Planning, Patience and Progression
Any good marathon campaign is built of firm foundations check out our top tips under the three headings below right and you set yourself up to succeed;
– Be realistic about you’re the time you have to train. Don’t work of a 6-day a week plan if you know you can old train 4 days a week.
– Get yourself a training diary to log and record your progress.
– Ring-fence your training time in your diary – don’t let it become ‘ill squeeze it in when I can’.
– Think ahead and plan for training pinch points such as Christmas or a holiday abroad and think about how you can still get training in, even if it is through cross training.
– Plan your day – think about not only your running but also your rest and nutrition – if you are training in the evening for example think about how you’ll fuel yourself well in the day to nail that run!
– Be happy with where you are now – forget what your mates are doing and where you feel you need to be on marathon day. If you for example should be starting off with a run/walk strategy do this in a planned way e.g. 5 minutes run, 2 mins walk and gradually reduce the walking breaks, rather than aiming to run as far as you can without stopping.
– Consistency is key – a solid 4 runs a week, every week will see you make better gains than 6 runs one week, 2 the next.
– The training you do today takes 3-4 weeks to bed in so don’t expect immediate results.
– Focus on building the base in the early weeks – as we outline below the early weeks should see you focusing on easy running, building a consistent pattern of training slowly without risking injury.
– The key period is 9 – 4 weeks out (6 weeks that count)
– Adding in the variety below is the first stage. Progressing each of those elements is how you really get fit. Turning your 90 minute into 3 hour runs, your 5 x 5 minute threshold session into 3 x 10 minutes, your 30 minutes of marathon pace work into 60 minutes…
– Be marathon specific – lots of very hard, short intervals can leave you feeling tired and like you have worked hard but are really only the icing on the cake in marathon training. Look to increase the volumes of your marathon pace and threshold running as you get closer to race day…not just run faster.
– Long runs – We all know these need to build but look to add a maximum 10-15 mins each week only otherwise you’ll risk injury.
– Take an easy week every 3-4 weeks, cutting back your overall volume by 30-40% and cutting back some of the intensity. This will help your body absorb and heal from the training you have completed before coming back stronger.
– Practice race pace in a race as you get closer to race day. A great way to include and test big chunks of marathon pace is to run a half marathon at your goal marathon pace as a challenging training run.
– Progress your conditioning and recovery as well as your running! As your training volume goes up so your focus on rest, conditioning and nutrition also needs to go up.