Jan 22 2014

London Marathon Basics

Whether you’ve run marathons before and are looking to really shed some minutes off your time, or this is your first go at the big event, these next couple of months are crucial in  ensuring that you reach your goals. Make no mistake, running the marathon is no mean feat….

Whether you’ve run marathons before and are looking to really shed some minutes off your time, or this is your first go at the big event, these next couple of months are crucial in  ensuring that you reach your goals.

Make no mistake, running the marathon is no mean feat. Every year, thousands of runners are forced to pull out due to injury, often because they have underestimated the scale of the task, or simply left too much to do in the last few weeks. As one of the biggest fundraisers of the year, charities are often counting on your donations and it can be heartbreaking to let them down. So, here are our top tips to get your marathon campaign really motoring along over these next few weeks. Stay tuned in for more training advice on the lead up to the big day!

1. Plan Well;  By now you should have a clear plan mapped out for the next 11 weeks to the day of the London Marathon. Have it written down what training you plan to do each week, and hold yourself accountable. Do not simply wake up each Sunday morning and wonder how far you are going to run. Your schedule can always be tweaked along the way if necessary. Both the London Marathon and Runners World have programs mapped out for different times and abilities that are a great starting point, or if you need something more specific then our sub 3 hour marathon coaches can help.

2. Make Your Long Run Your Priority;  Singlehandedly the most important part of your training. Ideally this should be done on a weekend, and should be steadily built on each week. You should never worry about your speed on your long run, the goal is primarily to cover the distance you set out to cover. Ideally you want to increase your long run to around 20-22 miles; any further and you will really start to drain your body and make recovery difficult. As a general rule of thumb, your longest 5 runs should total around 100 miles. You should also try and lower your distance every 4 weeks, to allow for a bit of recovery time.

3. Aim For A Healthy Bodyweight;  If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, then the extra stress on your hips, knees and ankles can be quite damaging. Use the marathon as a starting point to an all round healthier you, and try and shed some of the extra weight over the coming months. Running the sort of distances you are in training will mean that you will need to eat more, but try to keep a good balance of foods in every meal. Aim for a portion of protein with every meal, even after training (this can be in the form of a shake such as Science in Sport’s REGO) and go for wholegrain carbs such as whole oats and brown rice rather than mountains of pasta. The more you run, the more efficient your body will become at converting the food you eat into energy so don’t go nuts on the food portions; you’l probably find this is unnecessary.

We will also be answering a couple of marathon specific questions each week, so please feel free to email us with your queries.

Happy running!

Becs Cronshaw Rehab Specialist

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Salman