As some of you may know I taken on the challenge of running the London Marathon this April. Although I’ve always been a keen runner this is my first ever marathon and with 8 weeks to go my miles are the highest I’ve ever run and are slowly building up for the big day!
Although I’m by no means an expect, in fact I’m a complete marathon novice, I’ve decided to start doing weekly updates on my training and sharing my tips in the hope of helping others who are also taking on the 26 miles.
On average I am doing around 4 runs a week alongside other forms of training with my longest run being on the weekend. Theres no right or wrong way about this, its just what I find fits in best with my schedule. However, all 4 of the runs I complete are completely different and should be for everyone training for the event.
I’ve included interval/speed runs into my training plan which are so important and are often missed out. These runs are so beneficial in helping to bring up your average pace in those longer runs. The idea is to run as fast as you can for a certain length of time or distance and then bring the speed right down in your recovery. See below an example of a 6 mile interval run.
You’ll need to be doing these at a comfortable pace. It should be a pace that you could chat at, and continue for an indefinite amount of time. You should aim to keep your pace even during these runs. Don’t forget that fuelling is really important on your long runs. I will do a post on this separately.
These are slow runs which should be fitted into training the day after long runs and hard interval runs just to get your legs moving. These are to be just ran at a slow comfortable speed. I completely ignore my pace on my watch for these.
Strides are medium paced sprints lasting for 20-30 seconds or 60-100m as part of your normal paced run. Focus on pumping your arms and legs more quickly than your usual pace.
My Training So far
I have included two timetables of everything I have done over the last two months up to today. I find that due to working full time the best time for me to run is in the morning. This means that most days I’m setting my alarm for 5.30 am. This sounds horrible but it allows me the flexibility to also do a strength training or classes like KOBOX, which is amazing for strength and conditioning, after work if I’m feeling up for it.
FEBRUARY (So far…)
My top 4 tips from my journey so far…
1- Track everything. And I literally mean EVERYTHING. I started a marathon diary back in November and I have logged every single run. Every split, every time, my average pace for every run, what my last meal was, how I felt on the day and more can all be found in my dairy. It’s not only a great confidence boost when you look back on your runs and see how you’ve improved but its also great to really keep track on what time you’ll realistically do on the day.
2- Ask for advice from someone with marathon experience. I have been lucky enough to have a friend who’s basically done my whole training plan, helped me with any questions I have and is also pushing me to achieve the best time possible. I honestly wouldn’t have a clue otherwise. So especially if its your first marathon I’d defiantly find someone you can chat to about everything and push you to achieve your target time.
3- Invest in a good pair of trainers. If you’re unsure about what trainers you should be running in go to a good running shop and get a gait analysis done. You should also aim to get a new pair of running shoes after clocking around 400 miles (you’d be surprised how quickly that happens). I made the mistake in running in old shoes at the start of my training and it resulted in an ankle injury which stopped me running for just over a week. Learn from my mistake, its just not worth it!
4-Rest, stretch and roll! Enough said.
I am running in aid of the Sick Children’s Trust and would be so grateful for any help to reach my target. To sponsor me click here!