Home > community > blogs > sweaty betty

Marathon Tips From Pros In-The-Know

posted on Wednesday, 19th March 2014 | find under Tamara, Fitness, Nutrition
Each year, more than 36,000 people take to one of three start lines of the world-renowned London Marathon, preparing to run the 26.2 miles along the River Thames and via some of the city's most historic landmarks. With places gained via a ballot, the lucky entrants to the 34th annual event will currently be in training, hoping to beat their personal bests on race day - Sunday 14th April. 

To help you reach the finish post in the best shape possible, we've enlisted a few of our most experienced ambassadors to give us some insight into their marathon training schedules, and tell us their top tips for marathon runners. 

Soho Ambassador

"Throughout my marathon career, I have completed a total of 14 marathons in cities such as London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris and Budapest. As I began running marathons before I became a fitness professional, I had to ensure my training was varied; from 10k treadmill runs to dance class and half-marathon races, with Pilates and body balance to take care of core strength. I was always mindful that if I trained as much as the running magazines suggest, that it might take the fun out of the whole marathon experience, so I found a schedule that worked for me; keeping myself active with a diverse range of workouts. Even now, I always reduce my cardio and high-impact training the week before the race, focusing only on dance and short 5K runs instead. I also begin to increase my carb intake, particularly the night before - a tip I learned during the Budapest marathon: eat a large, carb-laden meal with protein and vegetables for dinner, and then a smaller breakfast of oats on marathon morning. I have been preparing this way ever since."

When running a marathon, don't forget..."to enjoy it! Make eye contact with the supporters lining the streets. Their cheers and smiles are a universal language!"

Harrods Ambassador

"Throughout my career, I have run a total of 11 marathons, 17 half-marathons and 3 ultra-marathons, with a best time of 3 hours and 37 minutes, achieved at the Edinburgh Marathon. I usually begin my training around 4 months before the event, fitting in my training around my day job. My average weekly mileage begins at 42 miles per week, increasing gradually by 10 miles per month. When training for a full 26.2 mile marathon, my runs will total 70-72 miles per week, and will be mixed in with a variety of full body conditioning, yoga stretches and speed work/intervals on treadmills, hills, and running up and down steps. I also ensure that my diet is good; increasing my carb intake a couple of weeks before the marathon. One month before the event, I do my maximum mileage, then decrease it to a low mileage two weeks before. The three days before the marathon are no-run days, and the night beforehand, I focus on staying calm, resting and hydrating. On marathon morning, I always make sure I am well-hydrated and have a good carb-laden breakfast as nerves can be draining."

When running a marathon, don't forget to..."prepare early to avoid over-training, vary your workouts, and practice with any drinks or gels ahead of the marathon. Pack your race-day bag ahead of time to avoid race-morning worry about forgetting something essential. Don't put pressure on yourself to achieve a fast time in your first race - just finishing the marathon and enjoying the experience are excellent goals for a first-timer."

Muswell Hill Ambassador

"My most enjoyable races to date were both in 2011: the London Parks Marathon, during which the weather was fantastic and I ran effortlessly, even if I do say so myself! That same year, I ran my other favourite; the New York Marathon. For me, it has never been about my time - it was about completing the course. As a yoga, Pilates, aerobics and Body Pump instructor, my forte does not naturally lie with running, but once I got into training it became very meditative and calming. In the months leading up to the marathon, I focused on increasing my distance from a 10K to the full 26.2 miles. If my experience has taught me anything, it would be to wear the right gear (and train with it before race day), and practice mindfulness meditation - it helps so much. And make sure you book in for a massage the day after the race!"

When running a marathon, don't forget to..."breathe properly, pace yourself and have fun."

(Leave blank to show as anonymous)
(Required, this will not display)
Back to Top
email a friend