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London Marathon 2014: Here it comes!

London Marathon – 13th April 2014

Good luck to everyone running and supporting this event. It will be hard work but worth it. My final piece of advice, is try not to stress, easy up, rest up, you have done the training now. It’s really important to hydrate this last week, and load up on carbohydrates as you are going to burn them all up on Sunday! On race day, try and get to the venue early and queue up for the toilets as soon as you get there then as soon as you have been get in the queue again, because your nerves will just make you think you have to go again.

Be over cautious make sure you are wearing sun scream and have a spare roll of toilet paper and bin liner for rain protection in case it starts to pour before the start. I like to Vaseline my chest under my running bra and inner thighs and arm pits to prevent chaffing from my running vest. I also always use blisters patches on the arches of my feet to prevent any blisters. Don’t forget to have a couple of sweets and a pound coin in your pocket in case you drop out of the race, that way you can phone someone to let them know.

But you won’t need it, because how ever hard it is the crowd will inspire you to get to the finish. Enjoy it, they will be cheering for you.

I won’t be running as I am still not allowed to exercise since shoulder surgery but I will be putting in an entry for 2015. Good luck, it is amazing achievement!
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6 weeks to go!

At this point you should be feeling really comfortable with running around five miles in a hour, two or three times per week if you can but achieving the long run is your main focus. I have increased the long run from 16.5 miles to 18, 20 and 22 miles, ideally I would like you to manage all three long runs, so your body can get used to the additional increments in the distance and running extra time on your legs.

MarathonIf you are injured or unable to manage to do all three, just do what you feel able to do. If you have an injury and you can manage to cross train by aqua jogging, swimming or cycling, great. If not, rest. To compensate for the increase in the long run I have shortened your normal weekly runs to three miles because in the last few weeks they become recovery runs. The idea is that your body is still going through the mechanics of running but this time on your feet is all about recovering from the long run. You may feel tired, you may not manage to run the whole run. If you struggle, stop for a minute, breathe and keep walking until you feel well enough to start jogging again. You will feel tired on and after these runs, this is normal, rest, stretch, hydrate, take it easy, try not to take on too many other work or home commitments in the next few weeks.

You may also be feeling a little irritable, your hamstrings, calves and possibly back and neck muscles may ache. This is normal, training for a marathon is very tiring and at times you may feel exhausted. I  recommend you book yourself a couple of maintenance massages in these few weeks, either before or after your long run. I prefer my massage the day before the long run, but some people prefer it after, it is all about what works for you or what you can fit into your day.  Marathon training is all about finding extra hours in the day, to train, recover and prepare for the next run.

Remember fuel or refuelling is equally as important as hydrating or re-hydrating. You may have noticed that after a long run, initially you may feel thirsty and cold and mostly in need of a hot drink and bath. But within an hour you will probably be inhaling carbohydrates. I always try to have a meal in place prior to my long run, something to look forward to like wholesome jacket potatoes and beans or even something naughty like a huge pizza.

By now you should be used to having to carry a snack or several snacks and fluids on your long run. Some of you may have a supportive partner who meets you on the long run, or choose to take money to buy a drink on route (make sure you know there is somewhere to buy a drink). Whatever works for you, on marathon day they will be plenty of drink stations and gel stations and it’s important to practise consuming these or using your own before race day. Your body needs to know how to handle exercising and digesting at the same time, otherwise you could have a lot of loo stops!

Lastly if you haven’t managed a long run of at least 16 miles, you may want to consider pulling out of the marathon. If there is a chance that due to injury or illness that you are either not well enough or fit enough to complete 16 miles before race day, adding another 10 miles is a huge stress to put on your body, unless you’re prepared for a very long walk.

Most importantly try and relax and enjoy the build up (a strange mix of nerves, and excitement) especially if this is your first marathon. You have done the training that is a big accomplishment in its self. Do not start running extra miles other than the long run, as adding miles to the program will just make you tired at this point. You should be feeling a little restless at race week, even keyed up. Try and get as much rest and sleep and carbohydrates and water as you can.

You probably won’t sleep the night before – you will be too excited, if you can’t sleep just try and lie still. On race day don’t forget to apply sunscreen, and use Vaseline around the armpits, thighs, and anywhere you may get chaffing.

Start in your allocated pen, and always go out slow and steady, at your own pace. Try not to get swept up in the crowd and go out too fast. When it gets tough, dig deep; you know you can do this. If you are struggling, remember to breathe, if you have to walk, do so. You will get around but it is important that you do it safely at your own pace. Good luck Ladies.

 

 

MON

TUES

WED

THURS

FRI

SAT

SUN

Total Miles

24/2/14

6 weeks

3 miles

5 miles

 

5

miles

5 miles

 

18 miles

36 miles

03/03/14

5 weeks

3 miles

5

miles

 

5

miles

5

miles

 

10 miles

28

 miles

10/03/14

4 weeks

5

miles

5 miles

 

3

miles

3 miles

 

20

miles

33 miles

17/03/14

3 weeks

3 miles

5

miles

 

5

miles

5 miles

 

10 miles

28 miles

24/03/14

2 weeks

5

miles

5 miles

 

3

miles

3 miles

 

22

miles

38 miles

31/03/14

1 week

3 miles

3

miles

 

5

miles

5 miles

 

10 miles

26 miles

07/04/13

race week

3 miles

2

miles

 

2

miles

1

mile

 

RACE DAY

26 miles

34 miles

 Building that long run

Over the next few weeks your long run is getting longer, you will need to think about making sure you either take fluid out with you or you have money to stop and buy a drink. I would choose water or a sports drink or both if you can mange to run holding a drink or if someone can meet you on your long run and give you a drink (swap containers). I also try  to squeeze some jelly beans or a sports bar into a jacket pocket.

You may think you don’t need either but you need to start teaching your body how to re-hydrate whilst running, so that you have enough energy to run the second half of the race. Another good idea is to make sure you have a mobile on you, so you can phone for a lift if you feel unwell. Your legs will be feeling tired now, so it is also time to try booking a relaxing massage and making sure that you stretch your legs after each run.

WEEKS To Go! Mon Tues Wed or rest day  Thurs Fri Sat or rest day Sun(the longer run) TotalDistance/ Time
9 weeks27/01/14 4 miles45 mins 4.5 miles50 mins 4 miles45 mins 4.5 miles50 mins 13 miles 30 miles
8 weeks03/02/14 4.5 miles50 mins 4.5 miles50 mins 4.5 miles50 mins 4.5 miles50 mins 14.5 miles 32.5 les
7 weeks10/02/14 4.5 miles50 mins 5 miles50 mins 4.5 miles50 mins 5 miles50 mins 15.5 miles 34.5 miles
6 weeks17/02/14 5 miles50 mins 5 miles50 mins 5 miles50 mins 5 miles50 mins 16.5 miles 36.5 miles

Marathon training in January 2014

So if you managed to survive the holidays and run three times a week, great. If you managed four runs even better! If you just didn’t manage it don’t panic. Most runners struggle to fit the miles in over the two week holiday period. Wait till you are back into your normal routine, which probably won’t be til the 5th or 6th of January and try and get back on track.

WEEKS To Go! Mon Tues Wedor rest day  Thurs Fri Sator rest day Sun(the longer run) TotalDistance/ Time
12 weeks06/01/14 3 miles35 mins 3 miles35 mins 4 miles45 mins 4 miles45 mins 9 miles1 hr & 40 mins 23 miles
11 weeks13/01/14 3.5 miles40 mins 4 miles45 mins 4 miles45 mins 4 miles45 mins 10 miles 25.5 miles
10 weeks20/01/14 4 miles45 mins 4 miles45 mins 4 miles45 mins 4 miles45 mins 11 miles 27 miles
9 weeks27/01/14 4 miles45 mins 4.5 miles50 mins 4 miles45 mins 4.5 miles50 mins 12 miles 30 miles

Christmas Marathon Training

You may be tired from the office Christmas party or from a day of shopping but the next few weeks are all about building the your base running fitness.  You may be begin to find that you feel quite comfortable going out for a steady 3mile jog, but you are struggling on the longer run.  Don’t panic, this is normal! It will feel hard to begin with, but keep with it (no one else is going to run those miles for you). Any time on your feet now, will help you on marathon day.  If you have to stop running, stop, catch your breath and if you can’t continue running or jogging, just walk for 5 minutes and then try running again. If you have any kind of injury pain, stop, there is no point on running on an injury.  Ice and rest is best for any minor injury, over doing it now, just to build up your miles at any stage of marathon training will just make an injury worse.  With the busy festive season you may find it hard to squeeze if your fourth run, but if you can try not to skip the longer run (unless of course you are injured).

WEEKS To Go! Mon Tues Wedor rest day  Thurs Fri Sator rest day Sun(the longer run) TotalDistance/ Time
14 weeks23/12/13 2.5 miles30 mins 2.5 miles30 mins 3.5 miles40 mins 3.5 miles40 mins 7 miles70 mins 19 miles
13 weeks30/12/13 2.5 miles30 mins 3 miles35 mins 4 miles45 mins 3.5 miles40 mins 8 miles80 mins 21 miles
12 weeks06/01/14 3 miles35 mins 3 miles35 mins 4 miles45 mins 4 miles45 mins 9 miles1 hr & 40 mins 23 miles

Update: Marathon training update 17 week count down

Here is your training plan for the next few weeks. Remember it important to rest two days as well, I wouldn’t run everyday but perhaps cross train with a swim. If you don’t know the distance you have run, time your runs. This table works on a average of 10 minutes per mile, you might be slightly lower or faster, just adapt it to suit you. Just keep a note of what you do. If you can only manage 3 runs a week, make sure one of your runs is longer, it doesn’t have to be on a Sunday but I find that easiest (plus it means you can have a lie-in on a Saturday after a few drinks on a Friday!).

WEEKS To Go! Mon Tues Wedor rest day  Thurs Fri Sator rest day Sun(the longer run) TotalDistance/ Time
17 weeks2/12/13 2 miles 30 mins 2 miles30 mins 2.5 miles30 mins 2.5 miles 30 mins 4 miles 50 mins 13 miles
16 weeks9/12/13 2 miles 30 mins 2.5 miles30 mins 3 miles35 mins 2.5 miles 30 mins 5 miles 60 mins 15 miles
15 weeks16/12/13 2.5 miles 30 mins 2.5 miles30 mins 3 miles35 mins 3 miles 35 mins 6 miles 60 mins 17 miles
14 weeks23/12/13 2.5 miles 30 mins 2.5 miles30 mins 3.5 miles40 mins 3.5 miles 40 mins 7 miles 70 mins 19 miles

 

The London Marathon 2014, and how to create a training schedule.

Runners - London marathon 2012

I started running over 20 years ago at the age of 19, when I decided to enter the Windsor half marathon with my Dad. I was worried he wouldn’t make it around! We both finished in about two hours and I had the running bug.

Since then I have run many other half marathons and run on average one marathon every year, including London, New York, Chicago, Boston and Edinburgh. I consider myself a competitive club runner.  My quickest marathon is 3 hours 19 minutes at Chicago in 1995 and more recently at London in 2011.

I last ran a marathon in 2012. Since then I have been forced to take time off running while recovering from an ongoing shoulder and neck injury sustained whilst walking the dogs!  Over the last year, I have been less active and I have tried to rest my body as much as possible. Running has never caused me pain and in fact I think the endorphins have always had a positive effect on me.

So my goal for the 1st of November 2013 is to start running again and hopefully start training for the 2014 London Marathon. (I have my entry from last year).

Normally I would start a marathon training program with a good running base  of at least 20 – 30 miles a week. This will be the first time I have started from scratch or 0 miles a week.

I invite any of you thinking about taking up running to join me.

Cycling!I have been trying to get three good long hill walks per week in over the last two weeks, just to get my base fitness up. It’s amazing how unfit I feel and how out of breath I get walking uphill, I really didn’t appreciate how fit I was previously and I have gained a few pounds over the summer.

Training for a marathon requires a lot of time, patience and willpower.  The good news is we have time: 23 weeks, just over five months.

You simply start by jogging or running one mile, two or three times per week. The trick is not to do too much too soon.  If you are starting from zero, just start slowly. Time and record what you do. Start a diary, it will motivate you and you will be able to look back at it and see your progression. Once you feel comfortable running one mile, two or three times a week, slowly add either five minutes or if you are measuring your distance, half a mile to each run if you can.

Once you reach a running time of 30 minutes or three miles for each run – ideally three or four times a week – it will become easier I promise!.

After a few weeks this will be your base running platform and from here you can train for a half marathon or full marathon just by adding either five minutes of running each way (so ten minutes total time out and back) or half a mile (so one mile total out and back) to just one of your runs per week. This we will call your long run. I usually do my long run on a Sunday (as I don’t work on Sundays) and my three other runs take place in the mornings before work.

Equipment:

  • Start by investing in a good pair of running trainers with the right support and cushioning for your running style. Ask at your local running store: they will often let you try and analyse your run in different trainers and advise you.
  • A good running bra is also essential. Again, your local running store should be able to help you find one that offers the right amount of support and comfort.
  • A watch with a time and/ or a distance measurer: There are many GPS watches available, which will measure the distance you have actually covered (when I started running, I had to measure my route in the car afterwards to calculate my miles covered). Knowing how far you have actually run is a real confidence booster. If you have a smartphone there are many GPS running apps.

So this week find yourself a watch, a very comfortable bra and a pair of supportive trainers. No excuses!

Start your training by taking it slowly as over-doing it one week will make you ill or injured the next week. Drinking water and stretching particularly after running are also a must.

I invite you to join me in my challenge to start from 0 on the 1st November and see where we are in a month!

Challenge 0 to 23 weeks!

November 2013 running schedule:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total Time  TotalDistance
1 mile15 mins 1 mile15 mins rest 1 mile15 mins 1 mile15 mins rest 2 miles 30 mins 1 hr &30 mins 6 miles
1.5 miles 25 mins 1 mile15 mins rest 1 mile15 mins 1.5 miles25 mins rest 2.5 miles40 mins 2 hours 7.5 miles
1.5 miles 25 mins 1.5 miles 25 mins 1.5 miles 25 mins 1.5 miles 25 mins 2.5miles40mins 2 hrs & 20 mins 8.5 miles
2 miles 30 mins 1.5 miles 25 mins 2 miles30 mins 2 miles30 mins 3 miles45 mins 2 hrs & 40 mins 10.5 miles
2 miles 30 mins 2 miles30 mins 2 miles30 mins 2 miles 30 mins 3.5 miles50 mins 3 hrs & 40 mins 11.5 miles

 

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About Lisa Bennett

Lisa Bennett
Lisa Bennett is our health, beauty and wellbeing writer. She loves outdoor activities including cycling and running, eats a healthy, vegetarian diet and runs her own day spa! To find out more about Lisa and our other contributors, visit our Community page.

One comment

  1. My running is in the same place after a year of resting an injury. I’ve signed up for the London 2014 Marathon and have just started training. I’ll be checking in for your updates, I too cannot believe how out of shape I am and am back to very beginning. You’ve encouraged me.

    Thanks,

    NYCGirl20

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