Marathon Training – Five Top Running Tips [Ep19]

For many of us runners, marathon training will soon be in full-swing. Whether you’re running to compete, or your goal is to finish your first marathon, the most important part is to enjoy the process over the coming months, and…

Marathon Training - Five Top Running Tips [Ep19]

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For many of us runners, marathon training will soon be in full-swing.

Whether you’re running to compete, or your goal is to finish your first marathon, the most important part is to enjoy the process over the coming months, and get to race day injury free!

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With the right training plan, there should be a good balance between progression in weekly run volume, cross training to build strength, and recovery time. Get this right and you’ll be rewarded with a satisfying race come the big day.

There are however a number of common pitfalls that marathon runners encounter, ruining the chances of them successfully achieving their marathon goals.

In no particular order, here are five of my favourite marathon training tips to help you run to your potential…

[1] Prepare Your Body to Run

Some of the biggest improvements I’ve seen from my marathon runners, haven’t been as a result of dramatically increasing weekly mileage, or adding more speed sessions (although these are both important factors), but from becoming stronger physically as runners.

The simple fact is, that when many runners approach marathon training, the mind might be willing, but the body is often less than able.

Often instead of a 16 or 18 week marathon programme, we work from a 12 week programme, preceded by 4 to 6 weeks of specific preparation training.

This preparation phase focuses heavily on run-specific strength workouts in the gym and out in the park, with medicine balls, resistance bands and kettle bells. The running sessions in these weeks are minimal in terms of volume – just enough to maintain fitness, and very much technique focused.

If this sounds interesting, you’ll love our Free 30 Day Challenge as a means of building running strength, stability and technique. I’ll leave the link in the description.

I’m a firm believer that runners of all levels benefit hugely from the resilience and strength that this preparation phase develops. This enables them to take maximum benefit from the heavy weeks of running that lie ahead, with reduced risk of injury.

[2] Avoid Running Junk Miles

You’ve probably heard this before, but junk miles really do hold little value!

But what do I mean by running junk miles?

Look at it this way: Every run session you complete should have a distinct purpose. Be it a long aerobic run, a tempo session, an interval session etc… you should know why you’re setting out on each running workout. If however, you’re just clocking the miles up with no specific structure, chances are that you’re not training as smartly as you should be.

The temptation for less experienced runners is to panic about the impending marathon and add extra mileage, when what their bodies really need is rest and adequaterecovery between quality run sessions. It’s usually far better to fill your running week with a number of key, well executed sessions, each with a purpose, balanced out with good rest, than to try and squeeze as many mediocre runs in as your time allows.

[3] Avoid Mid-Pace Mediocrity…

These five marathon tips are a some of my favourites from a longer list I wrote a while back on the Kinetic Revolution blog. I’ll leave a link in the description if you want to go and read the others…

Best of luck with your training, and go smash that marathon!

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ABOUT ME: I’m a runner, sports rehabilitation specialist and coach based in the UK (Norwich and London).

Since 2007 I’ve been working with athletes focusing specifically on helping distance runners and triathletes overcome injury and improve performance through developing their individual running technique.

Running biomechanics has become a geeky little passion of mine!

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