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Hours
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The Variables of Victory

This four-week marathon training guide has been carefully crafted by experts in nutrition, exercise, sleep science and psychology to take you through the final month running up to race day. Follow their advice and embark on a series of miniscule training wins that will prepare your body and mind for what’s to come.

Explore the plan week by week

Diet

BY MICHELLE NEWITT

My ultimate dietary advice for those training for a marathon would be to stick to clean and natural foods as much as possible. At this stage, four weeks before marathon day, you’ll still be training pretty hard, and as endurance training requires a higher level of vitamins and minerals than less demanding exercise, it's important to include an abundant amount of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables in your diet.

How to eat around your workouts

Knowing what to eat before, during and after your workouts is key to ensuring you go out energised, keep up momentum, and repair muscle tissue efficiently post-run.

BEFORE
Slow-release carbohydrates that are easy to digest should be the focus here, plus a little bit of protein and essential fat to keep things balanced. Try porridge with unsweetened almond milk, blueberries and a sprinkling of ground almonds before your morning run. It's best to eat this type of meal 2-3 hours pre-workout to ensure it's fully digested and absorbed.

DURING
Around 75 minutes into training many people start to experience a 'nutritional bonk' where energy levels dip. If this happens, give yourself a boost with a concentrated source of natural sugar, such as a small box of raisins, which will provide a rapid burst of energy

AFTER
Fast-acting carbohydrate is needed after training to replenish glycogen levels along with protein to help repair muscle tissue. When you get home, try a plant based, natural protein powder such as brown rice or pea protein combined with unsweetened almond milk, berries and banana.

Example meals for this week

BREAKFASTS

Smoothie with tropical fruit, unsweetened almond milk and almonds

Combining different types of fruits increases the number of vitamins and minerals we can get into one meal. Fruits like bananas and mango are higher in natural sugar so are ideal post-morning-workout.

Jumbo oat porridge, organic milk or unsweetened almond milk and berries

Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C which boosts immunity and they also contain plenty of fibre.

LUNCHES

Lean meat (such as chicken) with quinoa, avocado, baby spinach and rocket

Ensuring you get plenty of leafy green vegetables into your diet and particularly, the darker greens, will boost levels of vitamin A and C. They also help purify and cleanse the blood.

Lentils with sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, beetroot and rocket

Sweet potatoes contain abundant amounts of beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A - a vital vitamin for boosting immunity.

DINNERS

Red meat (such as steak) with Mediterranean vegetables

Combining different types of vegetables in one meal increases the profile of vitamins and minerals - cooking veg such as tomatoes enables our bodies to better absorb the nutrients.

Stir-fried tofu with sweetcorn, broccoli and mushrooms

Mushrooms provide a rich source of zinc and together with vitamin C. This little combination boosts immunity and keeps us running day after day without getting ill.

SNACKS

Pumpkin seeds and goji berries

One of nature's top superfoods, goji berries contain abundant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, zinc, antioxidants and fibre, and they make a handy, portable snack.

Exercise

BY BENJAMIN BARWICK

The month leading up to the marathon is when you really go through all the emotions, with everything more heightened than usual. The excitement of the race can be replaced with fear in an instant. But it's important to remember there are 40,000 other people going through the same emotions as you and that you aren't alone. If the anxiety does start getting to you, reach out and talk to others in the same boat.

This week in exercise

  • Aim for two key workouts and one long run
  • Supplement with any cross training, easy and recovery running that you usually do to give you one last big training week
  • Do not increase the volume of your training now - if you've only run twice a week for the last six weeks, don't add a third one in at this stage
  • Be sure to fit in a threshold or interval run into this week, or a medium length long-run if you've been doing them as part of your plan up to this point

An example workout for this week

This is your last long-run and a chance to get a really good block of it done at marathon pace, on tired legs. This will allow you to mimic the fatigue you'll be feeling on race day in training, without overdoing it. If your marathon time is looking near the three hour-mark, this week I'd suggest a long run of 150 minutes with the first 75 minutes set at an easy pace, and the second 75 minutes at marathon pace, to keep things challenging but doable.

This week you should run 100 of your maximum mileage in training so far

Sleep

BY JAMES WILSON

Too many of us skimp on sleep to maximise our training when working up to an event. But without sleep you will not have the physical and emotional recovery you need to get the most out of your efforts.

Focus: quality

In week one you'll still be training at full capacity, so it's important your 'sleep need' is fulfilled. That doesn't necessarily just mean getting more sleep, though. Every individual is different but for some it's more about getting a better quality sleep, than a higher quantity.

Tip 1

Your wind down routine should last about an hour but if you are covering many miles you may need more. Listen to your body - if you still feel a bit wired don't go to bed just yet. It's better to wait a while, as here we're focusing on quality as much as quantity. Remember it's all about feeling sleepy (eyes drooping, mind wandering) rather than being physically tired.

Tip 2

Most of us are aware that the blue light emitted by phones, tablets and laptops disrupts our ability to fall asleep. However, for some of us it can be difficult to cut them out altogether, and this can make us more stressed. So, if you are using your device in the hour before bed I would recommend getting a blue screen protector to block out those pesky blue rays, which signal to our brains that it's still daytime.

Tip 3

If you don't fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed, get up, go into another room and do something that focuses on relaxing. But be aware that it can be more beneficial to listen to something that relaxes you than to watch something, as the mind is more likely to drift which creates the opportunity for sleep.

Psy
chology

BY JO DAVIES

By the time you reach the day of the London Marathon, your body will have run many hundred of miles, and your legs will be fit, toned, and prepared to within an inch of their life. But sometimes we forget that the brain is a muscle that also needs exercising and strengthening!

Mind and body

Mental preparation during marathon training is paramount to strengthening your focus, motivation, and self-belief in your fitness and readiness to achieve your goals. Your physical fitness will count for nothing if you're not also mentally fit to run.

MENTAL EXERCISE OF THE WEEK

Coming to the end of your training will start to free up a little more time but may trigger worries, such as wondering if you've done enough or peaked too early. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your body, mind and feelings in the present moment, and creates a feeling of calm. Next time you run, reflect on different senses within and around you, to give yourself chance to appreciate 'living' and 'being' in your body as it is, in the present moment.

#1

Scan your body and notice how it connects with your surroundings: air entering your lungs; your feet striking the ground.

#2

Pay attention to any sounds you can hear: your breath; your footfalls; nature.

#3

Tune into what you can see: the greenery; light and shadows; landmarks.

#4

Pick one feel, sound, and sight cue to look out for on marathon day - when you feel/hear/see your cues during the race, it should help create a mindful focus to get you through to the end.

  • Week 04
  • Week 02

Diet

BY MICHELLE NEWITT

As your training winds down, be sure to get plenty of oily fish or plant-based sources of omega 3 which helps reduce inflammation, muscle soreness and enhances joint flexibility. This is also a good time to identify any potential triggers which cause you gut irritation. Common foods that can cause a reaction and affect performance are gluten, dairy, yeast, coffee, eggs and soya.

How to eat around your workouts

Knowing what to eat before, during and after your workouts is key to ensuring you go out energised, keep up momentum and repair muscle tissue efficiently post-run.

BEFORE
Slow-release carbohydrates that are easy to digest should be the focus here, plus a little bit of protein and essential fat to keep things balanced. Try porridge with unsweetened almond milk, blueberries and a sprinkling of ground almonds before your morning run. It's best to eat this type of meal 2-3 hours pre-workout to ensure it's fully digested and absorbed.

DURING
Around 75 minutes into training many people start to experience a 'nutritional bonk' where energy levels dip. If this happens, give yourself a boost with a concentrated source of natural sugar, such as a small box of raisins, which will provide a rapid burst of energy

AFTER
Fast-acting carbohydrate is needed after training to replenish glycogen levels along with protein to help repair muscle tissue. When you get home, try a plant based, natural protein powder such as brown rice or pea protein combined with unsweetened almond milk, berries and banana.

Example meals for this week

BREAKFASTS

Coconut yoghurt, nuts, red grapes and jumbo oats

Walnuts are a plant-based source of omega 3 which helps reduce inflammation caused by training. They are also rich in magnesium for regulating muscle contraction.

Muesli with ground flaxseed, unsweetened almond milk and grated apple

Flax seeds are one of the richest, plant-based sources of omega 3. If you don't eat fish, it's important to add these to your diet.

LUNCHES

Mackerel or another oily fish on rye toast with baby spinach and beetroot

Mackerel is one of the richest sources of omega 3 and just 2-3 servings per week will give you all the omega 3 you need to protect your joints and reduce muscle soreness.

Chickpeas, beetroot, mixed salad leaves, pistachios and pumpkin seeds

Pistachios and pumpkin seeds, although lower in omega 3 than flax seeds and walnuts, increase the profile of omega 3 and other important minerals when combined.

DINNERS

Baked trout or another oily fish with lemon, asparagus and green beans

Trout is high in omega 3 and being a freshwater fish, it is more alkaline and lower in mercury.

Veggie burgers made with mixed beans, herbs, walnuts and sunflower seeds

Combining walnuts and sunflower seeds in a meal is another way of boosting omega 3 levels in a plant-based diet.

SNACKS

70% dark chocolate with walnuts

Combining omega 3-rich walnuts with magnesium-rich dark chocolate makes an excellent and tasty snack to help repair muscle tissue damage post workout.

Exercise

BY BENJAMIN BARWICK

You can't train hard all the way to race day. Marathon fitness is gained over many weeks of training, not in the last few. It can be really tempting to just try and squeeze in one extra workout or a marathon-length run at this stage, but if you do that you won't be well rested for race day. I always prefer athletes to get to the start line of a marathon well rested but slightly undercooked with their training, rather than having done too much and be fatigued.

This week in exercise

  • Like Week 1, aim for two key workouts and one long run
  • But this time, reduce the volume of your run from three to two hours
  • Keep 75 to 90 minutes of your long run at marathon pace
  • Reduce other key workouts in volume to start with the tapering process
  • Still aim to supplement your key runs with easy/recovery runs or some cross training, but this week take an extra rest day

An example workout for this week

This week a good workout could look like a 10-minute warm up followed by 3 x 15 minutes running at your estimated half marathon pace with a 90-second jog recovery in between effort. Then do 10 minutes of easy jogging to cool down. If you're a less experienced runner, you might be better off going for 3 x 10 minutes or 6 x 5 minutes at your half marathon pace. Doing some training sessions at your half marathon race pace is going to improve your speed endurance, which is essential for running a marathon.

This week you should run 80 of your maximum mileage in training so far

Sleep

BY JAMES WILSON

Too many people train late at night, come home and eat, have a shower and then jump straight into bed as they think they need to get their eight hours in.

Focus: diet

As you draw closer to the marathon you'll be thinking a lot about the nutrients you consume to keep your immune system strong and to allow your body to recover from intense training. But don't forget, the things you eat and the time you eat them at can really impact on your ability to get a good night's sleep, too.

Tip 1

Don't eat heavy meals too close to bedtime, as the digestion process raises your core temperature and makes sleep harder to achieve. Try to leave three hours from finishing eating a heavy meal to going to sleep - otherwise you run the risk of struggling to fall asleep or waking up in the night.

Tip 2

If you do feel peckish before bed, eat a complex-carb based snack to tide you over until morning. A fortified cereal like Shredded Wheat would be ideal, as it releases energy slowly during the night. Alternatively try Jasmine rice as it releases glucose steadily - an important ingredient for controlling adrenaline and cortisol hormones in the night, which can wake you up if your glucose levels drop.

Tip 3

Always be mindful of caffeine consumption, and the time of day you're putting it into your system, if at all. We all metabolise caffeine at different rates, but a general rule is to leave 6 hours from consuming it until you want to sleep.

Psy
chology

BY JO DAVIES

Your inner voice will determine how you feel about your training and race day. Notice what you are telling yourself about your running. Is it pessimistic and self-critical (I've peaked' / 'I'm not good enough') or positive and encouraging ('I've done my best' / 'I'm ready'). Consider whether you are being a good 'coach' or 'friend' to yourself.

Mind and body

Mental preparation during marathon training is paramount to strengthening your focus, motivation, and self-belief in your fitness and readiness to achieve your goals. Your physical fitness will count for nothing if you’re not also mentally fit to run.

MENTAL EXERCISE OF THE WEEK

As you start to slow down your training, take time reflect on your progress and achievements and set out goals for marathon day itself. In this exercise, make sure you use language that reflects how you want to be on marathon day, e.g. confident, relaxed, and enjoying the experience. This will help you to recognise the variety and multitude of 'confidence sources' that underlie your self-belief for marathon day and help you to trust your ability to meet your goals.

#1

Write down on one side of a page your goals for marathon day.

#2

Now, on the opposite side of the page, write down a list of reasons why you can be confident of achieving them.

#3

When writing, consider your training and race experiences, paying close attention to your running technique and character strengths.

#4

Finally, make sure to note all the preparation you've done to get you to this point: physical, nutritional, logistical, and tactical/race strategizing, and the team around you.

  • Week 01
  • Week 03

Diet

BY MICHELLE NEWITT

At a couple of weeks before the marathon you'll want to keep your immune system strong to avoid any illnesses that could hinder your chances. Make sure your diet is as rich in nutrients as possible, and that any grains you consume are whole grains, as they contain lots of vitamins and minerals which are crucial for a strong immune system.

How to eat around your workouts

Knowing what to eat before, during and after your workouts is key to ensuring you go out energised, keep up momentum and repair muscle tissue efficiently post-run.

BEFORE
Slow-release carbohydrates that are easy to digest should be the focus here, plus a little bit of protein and essential fat to keep things balanced. Try porridge with unsweetened almond milk, blueberries and a sprinkling of ground almonds before your morning run. It's best to eat this type of meal 2-3 hours pre-workout to ensure it's fully digested and absorbed.

DURING
Around 75 minutes into training many people start to experience a 'nutritional bonk' where energy levels dip. If this happens, give yourself a boost with a concentrated source of natural sugar, such as a small box of raisins, which will provide a rapid burst of energy

AFTER
Fast-acting carbohydrate is needed after training to replenish glycogen levels along with protein to help repair muscle tissue. When you get home, try a plant based, natural protein powder such as brown rice or pea protein combined with unsweetened almond milk, berries and banana.

Example meals for this week

BREAKFASTS

Jumbo oat porridge with organic milk or almond milk, grated apple and cinnamon

Jumbo oats are considered a whole grain, whereas porridge oats and instant oats have been processed to make them easier to cook - which in turn means some of their nutritional value gets lost.

Smoked salmon, avocado and rough oatcakes

Oatcakes make an excellent whole grain alternative to bread and come in handy packs which are easy for when you're on the move.

LUNCHES

Chicken or turkey, brown rice and mixed vegetable soup

Brown rice is an excellent whole grain which contains lots of fibre, B vitamins and other important minerals. It also breaks down slowly in the gut providing a stable energy source.

Poached eggs on rye toast with tomatoes

Rye bread is a denser, more nutrient-rich alternative to wheat bread and contains a lot of fibre. Paired with eggs, this combination can keep us feeling full for hours.

DINNERS

Quinoa, avocado, sunflower seeds, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and lemon juice

Quinoa in salads provides an important whole grain and protein source for those following a plant-based diet and also a gluten-free diet.

Tuna and sweetcorn with wholemeal pasta and homemade tomato sauce

Wholemeal pasta is superior to white pasta in that it releases energy more gradually, preventing an energy crash. If you digest wheat well, there's no reason not to eat pasta.

SNACKS

Hummus and carrots

Carrots are a high beta-carotene food which converts to vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps keep our bones strong and supports our immune function.

Exercise

BY BENJAMIN BARWICK

This week it's time to get stuck into the taper process and cut your training right down to allow your body to rest. And that means also not forgetting to prioritise sleep, which should be looked at as a training session in itself. The trick is to think of sleep as something that's very good for you, not this thing you have to do at the end of the day. When you sleep your body is recovering at an accelerated rate, so it makes sense to cash in on it in the run up to the big race.

This week in exercise

  • Cut down to just one and a half key workouts this week
  • A half workout could be described as some intervals, but just be sure to keep them a lot shorter than they were a few weeks ago
  • Do one long run, but drastically reduce the volume to just 70 minutes
  • Replace another of your easy-exercise days with a rest day

An example workout for this week

This week aim to do a 70-minute long run, with the middle 50 minutes at marathon pace. This may seem like a drastic decrease in length, but this is the absolute maximum you should be running at this stage. Don't worry, you're still getting the chance to do some marathon pace work to make sure you know how things are going to feel on race day, but what's important is that you're not using up all your precious energy too soon.

This week you should run 60 of your maximum mileage in training so far

Sleep

BY JAMES WILSON

Your pre-sleep routine should be geared towards a drop in heart rate and a drop in core temperature. If these two things happen then you'll produce more melatonin, leading you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Focus: routine

At two weeks before the big race it's really time to start monopolising on sleep and ensuring that your body is getting the rest it needs to recuperate from training. But it's important not to throw yourself off by ditching all sense of a routine as this will only hinder your ability to nod off at night.

Tip 1

Think about what sleep type you are as it will help you determine an appropriate bed time, which you should try and stick to as regularly as possible. Are you a morning lark (going to bed between 8.30pm and 10pm and getting up between 4am and 6am), a typical sleeper (going to bed somewhere between 10pm and 11pm and waking up between 7am and 8am) or a night owl, (going to bed after 11pm and getting up after 8am)?

Tip 2

Give yourself enough time to wind down before going to bed, especially if training late in the day. If you struggle to switch off try a meditation app, as this could help bring down your heart rate, or watch something funny as this can help aid relaxation. Avoid watching anything stressful or violent, and don't skim through social media or emails as this can be stimulating.

Tip 3

Have a bath or shower half an hour before bed as this will temporarily raise your core body temperature. It's the dropping of your core temperature that enables you to sleep, so this assists the process. Many athletes supplement this process by using magnesium flakes in the bath, or a magnesium spray that they apply after a shower. This helps relax the muscles and can relieve cramps and twitching.

Psy
chology

BY JO DAVIES

Negative thoughts such as, 'this is too hard!' can make your shoes feel heavy. But wishing worries or fatigue away will only draw more attention to these things. Instead it's better to acknowledge them and talk them through with a trusted other or simply ask yourself, 'What advice would I give to a friend?

Mind and body

Mental preparation during marathon training is paramount to strengthening your focus, motivation, and self-belief in your fitness and readiness to achieve your goals. Your physical fitness will count for nothing if you’re not also mentally fit to run.

MENTAL EXERCISE OF THE WEEK

This week it would be useful to learn how to really deal with these negative thoughts. By picking a quiet time to reflect on them, you'll be better equipped to face them head on, in a focused way, and they'll be less likely to take you by surprise mid-run.

#1

Close your eyes and recall particularly challenging runs in your training. Write these down.

#2

Now, consider what encouragement you respond best to: friendly, cajoling praise, or a straight-talking taskmaster approach?

#3

Write a list of motivational words or phrases that challenge your negative thoughts, such as 'yes I can', 'tough', 'light', 'breathe it in, run it out'.

#4

Practise using these helpful mantras in your final few runs so that they feel natural to draw upon on marathon day.

  • Week 02
  • Week 04

Diet

BY MICHELLE NEWITT

For this final week before the marathon my number one piece of dietary advice would be to avoid experimenting with anything new. It can take a while for your body to adapt to a dietary change, especially if it involves changing the level of fibre intake (the last thing you want to be doing on race day is urgently running to the toilet!). So instead of trying to boost your performance with fad foods you've never tried before, stick to healthy, nutritious fail-safes to keep your strength and health at their optimum levels.

How to eat around your workouts

Knowing what to eat before, during and after your workouts is key to ensuring you go out energised, keep up momentum and repair muscle tissue efficiently post-run.

BEFORE
Slow-release carbohydrates that are easy to digest should be the focus here, plus a little bit of protein and essential fat to keep things balanced. Try porridge with unsweetened almond milk, blueberries and a sprinkling of ground almonds before your morning run. It's best to eat this type of meal 2-3 hours pre-workout to ensure it's fully digested and absorbed.

DURING
Around 75 minutes into training many people start to experience a 'nutritional bonk' where energy levels dip. If this happens, give yourself a boost with a concentrated source of natural sugar, such as a small box of raisins, which will provide a rapid burst of energy

AFTER
Fast-acting carbohydrate is needed after training to replenish glycogen levels along with protein to help repair muscle tissue. When you get home, try a plant based, natural protein powder such as brown rice or pea protein combined with unsweetened almond milk, berries and banana.

Example meals for this week

BREAKFASTS

Brown rice protein pancakes with natural bio live yoghurt and berries

Bio-live natural yoghurt is a rich source of calcium along with protein and probiotics which boost healthy gut bacteria and improve absorption of other vitamins and minerals.

Poached eggs on rye toast with feta cheese, peppers and rocket

Feta cheese which is made from sheep or goat's milk is a rich source of calcium and can be easier to digest than cow's dairy.

LUNCHES

Sardines or anchovies on whole grain toast with tomatoes and baby spinach

Sardines provide a huge dose of calcium, which not only keeps bones strong but helps control blood pressure. They also contain plenty of omega 3, protein and minerals.

Cheddar cheese and salad wholemeal sandwich

A classic and easy lunch that you can buy while on the go. Cheddar is a rich source of calcium and protein - just take care with the portion size due to the saturated fat and salt content.

DINNERS

Sesame-crusted chicken with sweet potato and green vegetables

Whole sesame seeds (which are the un-hulled seed) contain the highest level of calcium of all the seeds, plus plenty of magnesium, zinc and B vitamins all needed for running performance.

Mediterranean vegetables with feta cheese and sweet potato

The calcium in the feta is complemented by the abundance of vitamins and minerals in the vegetables and sweet potato. This meal is better than a multivitamin and mineral tablet.

SNACKS

Natural bio-live yoghurt with a banana and almonds

Both bio-live natural yoghurt and almonds are great sources of calcium.

Exercise

BY BENJAMIN BARWICK

Runners often feel sluggish in the build up to the marathon, especially in that last week. If you have a 'bad' run (heavy legs, a bit slower than usual and generally feeling lethargic) a few days before the marathon, consider this to be a good sign that your body is working through everything you've done up to this point. It's on race day that you want to feel good, and as long as you don't do too much in these last few days, you will.

This week in exercise

  • You should do a maximum of three runs this week - definitely no more!
  • Your Tuesday/Wednesday run could contain a bit of threshold work to get rid of some nervous energy
  • It's ok to go for a run the day before the marathon but keep it to just a few miles - this is all you'll need to help you relax and stay focused

An example workout for this week

This week, try a workout that incorporates a 10-minute warm up, followed by 4 x 3 minutes' running at a relaxed effort (think half marathon pace) with a 1-minute recovery jog section in between each interval, and then a 10-minute cool-down. This offers a chance to burn off a bit of nervous energy and give your legs a work out before the big day.

It's marathon week!

Sleep

BY JAMES WILSON

Many of the elite athletes I work with struggle to sleep in the nights leading up to an event - it's totally normal. But they also find that poor sleep on the night before an event does not reduce their ability to perform if they've been getting the sleep they need most of the time - so try not to stress!

Focus: marathon jitters

It's natural to feel nervous in the days leading up to the marathon, and a bit of sleeplessness - especially the night before - is normal. What's important to remember is that a couple of bad night's sleep won't impact on your performance. With the right environment and wind-down routine you can give yourself the best possible chance of nodding off, but don't sweat it if you're kept up by marathon jitters.

Tip 1

Try not to worry too much about your sleep. Relaxation is key so don't beat yourself up if you're not drifting off. Instead, get up and start your sleep routine again, and don't forget to tell yourself that you're not alone. There'll be a lot of other marathon runners in exactly the same boat.

Tip 2

If you're staying in a hotel the night before the marathon, try and make the room feel as much like home as possible. Take your pillow and pillowcase, pictures of your loved ones and the perfume or aftershave of your partner to help achieve this. That way, you'll be able to mimic your usual sleep routine much more closely and will give yourself a better chance at nodding off.

Tip 3

Remember the basics. Your pre-sleep routine should be geared towards a drop in heart rate and a drop in core temperature, so be sure to carry out a relaxing routine and ensure the room is cool enough before getting into bed.

Psy
chology

BY JO DAVIES

When the going gets tough, either during training runs, tapering, or on race day, remembering why you're running can provide an extra motivation boost. Consider what's really fuelling you and use that to spur you on - be that a special person or cause, or the amazing sense of self-satisfaction when you finish.

Mind and body

Mental preparation during marathon training is paramount to strengthening your focus, motivation, and self-belief in your fitness and readiness to achieve your goals. Your physical fitness will count for nothing if you’re not also mentally fit to run.

MENTAL EXERCISE OF THE WEEK

Starting your run knowing the finish line is hours ahead can feel quite overwhelming! But with the right frame of mind, you'll already have won half the battle. These final four steps should help you get in the right headspace for a successful, rewarding race.

#1

Doing the necessary preparation in the week before Marathon Day - such as organising your travel route and pre-race nutrition - will help you to 'control the controllables' and feel ready.

#2

Put aside fifteen minutes to create a positive mental picture of how you want to think, feel, and run on marathon day. Creating a 'mental blueprint' will prime your mindset and actions in advance, and act as a useful mental rehearsal.

#3

When the nerves kick in, reinterpret symptoms such as elevated heart-rate, adrenalin, or clammy hands as 'excitement', to give you a new outlook on your heightened energy - view it as a positive way that your body is getting ready to run!

#4

When running on the day, break down the miles ahead into much smaller chunks. Just focus on the mile you're in, a person running ahead, or pick a landmark approaching that you're looking forward to passing by. However tired you are, you can be confident of running a single mile, and those miles and landmarks will soon add up, bringing the finish line closer.

  • Week 03
  • Week 01

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