The London Marathon is a major distance-running event, an heroic 26-mile mission means that applicants need all the support they can get to become super fit, astoundingly fast, or light, and bouncing solidly over the finish line. Bringing a collection of people of all ages and abilities on one course is a wonderful aspect of the event.
Before You Start Training
Approach it gently
Before you begin your training for the London Marathon do some running fitness tests to find your starting level. Like any type of exercise, feeling in control and taking your first steps and if you’re new to running you need to approach it sensibly. Start with gentle hills, short distance and a slow pace, gradually building up the intensity every week.
The first few weeks of a training plan are all about getting into a routine and learning to get more into your training, running uphill, flat road running, and letting your body adjust.
If you are new to running, you should understand it takes a huge physical and mental confidence to go the distance, before attempting a marathon, in both training and on Race Day.
Are you ready?
Check with your doctor before you enter the London Marathon ballot.
Progress takes time and you simply can’t hurry it up. Being over ambitious and striving too hard too soon can result in injury and backwards rather than forwards steps.
It is okay to feel apprehensive about your marathon, pay your doctor a visit for a once over. This is perfectly normal. Look after yourself. It’s easy to overlook other important lifestyle factors such as quality sleep and healthy food choices. Learn to listen to your body and interpret how you feel when running, how easy or hard it feels. Be mindful of your energy levels, eat healthier food and get more sleep.
The long, slow, distance run (LSD)
This is the cornerstone of any marathon runner’s training programme.
Start off with a distance that you can manage easily and then gradually build up the distance. Your training plan should take you appropriately and progressively up to Race Day. It’s best not to overload your training too much so try not to increase your distance by more than 10% from one week to the next. But do increase it, and progress gradually, as you need to build up to a good steady speed, efficiently. Keep challenging yourself at an appropriate level for you.
Plan your route
Take a look at your normal training routes, see if they have any hills. If not, you could route through a park with hills, or use our route planner to find a completely new run in your area.
Running uphill can give a real boost to your training, putting you through an intense workout in a short space of time. Your legs will feel more tired than usual after hill running, so try running a little slower the following day to help you recover.