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Getting Marathon Ready: 6 Weeks until 26.2

Sep 2, 2015 | Uncategorized | 8 comments

With less than 40 days to go until the Chicago Marathon, it’s all beginning to feel very real. In the next few weeks I am doing my best to get to the starting line in tip top shape and ready to run. Here’s my advice to you (and myself) to get fully marathon ready with 6 weeks to go:

  • Stretching & foam rolling.  I’m making sure to stretch and ice my legs like crazy after my runs, plus multitasking when I’m watching TV by foam rolling and icing.
  • Address any niggling injuries or strains. I’m taking advantage of the physio at work to iron out my knee issues. It’s nothing super serious, just a very tight ITB! I’ve also been getting my knee treated with acupuncture whilst I’m there for migraine attention.

ML Chiropractic

  • Iron out any knots with a sports massage. These have been key in my past three marathons to get the knots out of my tired legs. I know that previously I’ve had really tight hip flexors and IT bands, however this cycle I’m also struggling with tight calves. I booked a session last week at ML Chiropractic in Fulham for a massage and it highlighted how in need I was of some attention to my muscles.  I was beginning to get a little discomfort in my shins and discussed this with my therapist, Ashlyn, who worked some magic. I appreciated the extra 10 minutes that Ashlyn took to talk through my training, and previous injuries before my 30 minute session. Plus, although sports massages aren’t exactly enjoyable, I found this experience fairly relaxing. The next run after my massage was one of the best speed workouts of the whole training cycle! I’ve booked in another 3 sports massages in the coming weeks to ensure my legs are in top condition for 11th October.

ML Chiropractic

Yes this was a really awkward photo to get.

  • Make every run count. When you take into consideration a 2 week taper, there are only actually 3 and a half weeks of proper training left. I’m ensuring that I’m working hard during each and every run, nailing my paces and using each run for it’s intended purpose, whether that’s speed work, a long run or a shake out run.
  • Get lots of sleep. Sleep is so crucial to help our bodies recover, recuperate and repair. I’m trying to get into bed by 10.15 and asleep by 10.30pm to get a decent 8 hours sleep a night. Marathon training can be exhausting!

Yasso 800s

  • Eat well. Fuelling properly before, during and after runs is really important for successful training. I make sure to bring healthy snacks with me in my bag for emergencies, as well as elevenses and tea time snacks- I am a grazer!
  • Don’t overdo it. Now is not the time to sign up for a Tough Mudder, try a Judo class or add in some hardcore weights into your routine. Stick to your plan, rest plenty and don’t try to do too much!

Plus I’m planning our trip to Chicago, including where we’re going to eat before the marathon, what I want to buy at the expo and what my post-run treat will be! Have you been to Chicago? Any tips on must do’s, places to eat or things to see? Would love some advice!

This post is sponsored by ML Chiropractic, tight muscles are all my own! 


  1. Jess

    I’m impressed you’re going for such regular sports massages- I always mean to but then convince my self they’re not essential to try and save money and then majorly regret it! That photo is so funny- I can imagine that was rather embarrassing and then they hardly got you in it!!! hahaha

  2. nycgirl12

    I love your blogs and really want to you do well and get reach your target time for Chicago. Love your marathon training write ups as you really do focus on everything.
    I have been to Chicago and it is an amazing city, so clean situated on the Lake it is so beautiful. Things to do:
    – There is a zoo in Lincoln park which is free! its probably not the best zoo you will ever go to but given thats its free its a nice little something to do and wander round
    – John Hancock Tower and the Willis Tower
    – Eat at one of the Pizza places – Pizza Uno do unbelievable Pizza Pies they call them – always a queue to get in though
    – You must try and find a Protein Bar – google them, there is a few of them around the city and do healthy breakfasts, lunches and smoothies with only healthy ingredients.
    Hope the tips help!
    Enjoy. x

  3. stevebonthrone

    Great post Charlie! How are you feeling now about the marathon? Here’s a tip, work on the mobility around your hips as that’s likely to be where your niggles are coming from. Your ITB isn’t tight so no need to stretch it or foam roll it as that’s only a symptom and not the cause of the problem. The ITB is a piece of connective tissue, much like a ligament, and doesn’t contract or expand and so it’s impossible to stretch. It’s more likely that it’s being pulled out of position because of something going on at your hips hence the issues with your hip flexors and knee and if you’re experiencing issues in your calves then that may also be coming from the same issue. I’m a PT and running coach and I have created some exercises that help alleviate a lot of these problems and I can send you some video links across for you to try if you want?

    • charlotte

      That would be fab, thanks Steve!!

      • stevebonthrone

        These are warm up exercises I use everyday that mobilises every joint and through all 3 planes of movement. They will help improve movement at you hip joint and I would recommend doing them 2-3 times a day – There are other exercises that would help but these are a good place to start

        Give them a try and let me know how you get on. Might take a week or two to notice a difference 🙂

  4. Jo

    I lived in Chicago you’re going to have an amazing time! Go and have the best (vegan) milkshake I’ve ever had and the food is incredible here too:

    I’d also recommend booking a table to have lunch up the Hancock tower or drinks – the view is awesome and a lot less touristy than the Sears/Willis Tower!

    And pizza get pizza! All my suggestions are food I’m sorry 🙂

  5. has2run

    I’ve never been to Chicago, but it sounds really exciting. I want to do a large city marathon, soon. It sounds like you are taking all the proper steps in preparing for the race. Just remember to have fun and breath. I wish you luck!!!

  6. Laurie

    Great Post. I sprained my ankle recently and should have listened to my body more while training. As for Chicago I used to visit every year. Lovely city. You should try some Garrett’s popcorn; caramel and cheese mix. It’s very popular and people line up to try it. It’s also given to celebrities durning on of the Oscar celebrations I’m told. They have a shop in the airport if you can’t make it to one of their shops.


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