• Helen Phillips

5 Commit to Your Marathon Training Tips

5 Commit to Your Marathon Training Tips

WOW you’ve entered your first marathon. Running your first marathon is an amazing experience, one you’ll never forget, especially if you were never ‘the sporty kid at school’.

If you’re entered a spring marathon, then you’ve got months to train. Plenty of time to get fit, in shape and ready to run the race of your life.

To help get you on your way, here are my 5 Commit to Your Marathon Training Tips

Tip 1: Plan Your Training

Committing to your training and planning it into your life is key to getting to the start line and having a brilliant race day experience. But, if you're training for a marathon, be prepared for your training and preparation to take over your life … for months!

“Be prepared for your race to take over your life physically, emotionally and mentally. If you aren’t our running then you’re thinking about running and planning your next run.”

You want to get to the start-line knowing you’ve done everything you can to get there and have a fantastic day.

“Plan getting there, plan your training, then just enjoy the day and soak it all up.”

The long runs in your training plan are particularly daunting, and will start to take big chunks out of your weekend as you get into your plan. But the long runs in your plan are the foundation stone or your marathon running and will give you the confidence to know you can go the distance.

Try to find ways to fit training around your life. Your kids can join you on their bikes whilst you’re running. Try combining your long runs with Parkruns (run to and from your local Parkrun) so you’re finished early on a Saturday and longer distances can be combined with local races or with your running group runs.

Make sure you run your long runs slow, build up gradually and leave a few weeks between your final long run and race day, to allow your body time to recover and rest before the race.

Get the mileage into your legs over the weeks, and listen to your body. If you’re super tired take an extra days rest.

Tip 2: Don’t be a Slave to Your Training Plan

You need a plan, not just any plan. You need a plan that’s right for you, for your current fitness, running experience and marathon goals.

Once you have your plan you should schedule in your important runs, to make sure they don’t clash with ‘life’ and your holidays and then get started.

“Life happens, and it's usually more important than a training run.”

If you're training for a marathon most plans are 16 weeks long. Four months is a long time to put your life on hold. You might catch a cold, which (in my experience) usually knocks you out for a few weeks. And if you’re new to running, stepping up your distance and speed lot there is a good chance you’ll get at few niggles that will require additional rest to resolve (or more serious requiring a visit to the physio).

I’ve learnt to start my marathon training a few weeks early. That way I have ‘contingency’ built into my schedule from the outset, so there’s no chance of me being tempted to play catch up with my plan.

Once you’re into your plan stick to it as much as possible, but also cut yourself some slack if you have to miss the odd training run. You can also switch runs around a bit, depending on life, work and the weather!

If you have to miss a few runs, through injury, illness or the busyness of life, don’t try to play catch up with your plan. It can be counter productive. Cramming in more runs could lead to overtraining, niggles and being forced to take more time out!

Trust that if you do the majority of a training plan you WILL get round.

Tip 3: Find a training buddy

It can get lonesome training on your own. Long runs, go on forever and it can be tempting to quit early if you’re feeling a tad tired and the weather is terrible.

Running with a friend, or family member can really help with motivation, to get out the door, commit to training and completing hard runs.

Find running buddies that will run all or part of your long runs with you, or to act as an ‘accountability partner’ to keep you on track.

Tip 4: Run in All Weathers

Winter 2018 we trained in some bitter horrendous weather, then VLM marathon day it was a scorcher! You have no idea what the weather will be like on the day.

So when it’s raining get out there, it’s not always sunny on race day.

Tip 5: Record Your Progress

Document your journey, keeping a record of all your runs both the good and the bad. It’s great to look back and see how far you've come, especially when you're struggling with long training runs in horrendous weather.

Post your progress on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Strava). This helps you friends know what you’re up to and can be a great boost to promoting your fundraising too.

If you're training for a marathon download my FREE Get Ahead Marathon Preparation Guide. Click HERE to download NOW!

Good luck with your training, have an incredible journey and see you at the finish line!

Helen, The Cheesecake Runner x