Ahead of this Sundays London Marathon we carry on our tips of things to consider when training for a marathon. It's not as easy as Mo Farah makes it look!
It's sometimes hard to fit all the necessary runs in per week. If you need to skip any runs try not to avoid the longer runs as these are the building blocks to a good marathon time. Most importantly if you become injured do not try to run through the pain. Seek expert advice as soon as possible.
VARY YOUR SPEED
Do not run at the same pace, training runs for a marathon need to be executed at different speeds.
A long steady 18-20 mile run should be just that. Most often people set out too fast and then suffer at 15-16 miles, pace yourself. During your training try to include short fast 5-6 mile runs as well. Learn to measure your own running tempo.
This is a very personal area and depends on foot biomechanics, foot strike, running speed and body weight.
Once you have found a shoe that suits buy two pairs and alternate. This will extend the shoe life and also enables the shoe to "recover" between runs. From experience there is nothing worse than needing a new pair of runners just a couple of weeks before the marathon.
This is important especially if you're going out with a specific marathon goal time in mind. For example if your aim is a 3hr30mins marathon then train at 8 minutes per mile. You will find your longer training runs are slower than this but this is where your interval running, weight training and faster shorter miles help.
PRACTICE WITH NUTRITION
Food for marathon training is very specific to the individual. Find what suits you and stick to this, keep the same foods and times when training so that on marathon day the body is used to the foods.
One personal tip is practice with gels do not introduce them on race day! These are very harsh on the digestive system and can cause stomach cramps if your not used to them. Find one you like and buy lots so you do not get to race day having to buy one you are not used to.
I hope you found these tips useful and don't forget you can find me at Low Wood Club Gym Monday to Friday if you need any personal advice.