Sign up, start training, blag sponsors, facebook every run (and every blister), eat carbs, invite everyone to watch, sprint over the finish line, sleep for a month.  It's as simple as that, isn't it?  Actually, no - running your first marathon is about so much more.....

1.  The hardest part isn’t the race.  People talk a lot about those 26.2 miles, but they talk a lot less about the miles you have to run and the hurdles you have to overcome just to get to the start line. If you clock up the miles throughout the winter months you will breeze through. 

2.  You will fall in love with your foam roller.  Looking after your feet, legs and hips is vital.  You’ll be rolling out whilst watching TV, eating your dinner, and in between meetings at work. 

3.  Believe you can and you’re half way there.  Visualise, visualise, visualise.  You’ll be surprised just how far your determination will carry you.  Dig deep.

4.  You will start to meditate – without realising.  Once you start to clock in the long runs, you’ll notice yourself slipping into a semi-conscious state.  Running and meditation are very similar. Lots or runners report entering into ‘Zen Like’ states during marathons – feelings of bliss, clarity and joy will become a regular feature of your training.

5.  The crowds will overwhelm you.  Training alone for months on end, and then suddenly sharing the experience running alongside 35K other people will be unforgettable.  Combined with one of the loudest Marathon supporters in the world, you’re all set for one of life’s most moving experiences.

6.  Lubrication is essential.  The skin on skin, skin on material rubbing dynamic will bring you to your knees like nothing else.  You will happily “lube up”.

7.  The marathon is a great metaphor for life.  It cannot be blagged.  Under prepare and the road will bite back.

8.  You will become a training bore.  In the weeks leading up to the race its all you’ll talk about.  Watch your friends eyes glaze over. 

9.  You’ll get penis envy (one for the ladies).  Men have it a lot easier – they can take a whizz anywhere.  Women, on the other hand have no choice but to queue for 10mins at a portaloo.

10.  You will want to do another one.  New York, New York!!