Before I started reading running magazines and websites, I always turned to running and fitness blogs for advice. They seemed like normal people, just like me, who must have started somewhere. When I trained for my first marathon, it was Emily’s blog
that I read on a daily basis, and through her blog, I’ve added numerous others to my bloglovin list.
I asked a couple of my favourite marathon running bloggers to share with me their best piece of advice for marathon training to take me through the next 14 weeks until the Berlin Marathon. I was thrilled to see such a range of tips! I know I will be keeping them in mind as I complete my training, and I think they would be helpful for any runners or future marathoners out there- even those that have a couple under their belt already!
If you want to catch up on my first two weeks of marathon training for the Berlin Marathon, you can see Week 1 and Week 2 here.
Ashley from Healthy Happier Bear
‘Marathon training lasts for weeks so the most important thing is to make sure you have fun during the process. Some of the ways I’ve made my marathon training more enjoyable is by planning long runs with friends, squeezing in some of my favorite classes for cross training, or just making great playlists.’
‘My biggest tip for marathon training is to get enough sleep. The recovery is just as important as the training and a lot of our recovery from hard workouts is done during our sleep. So important to allow your body plenty of rest so that you can do your next workout!’
‘Goals are good to keep you motivated but choose them wisely. Wait until your last couple of long runs are done before having a realistic look at what you might be able to achieve on race day. If training hasn’t quite gone to plan you might have to add a few minutes to the time you’re expecting to run. Likewise, if you’ve surprised yourself and everything has gone amazingly, you might be selling yourself short by sticking to your original goal
I’ve been guilty of stubbornly sticking to my original goal despite having a dreadful run up to the race and ending up disappointed despite a 14 minute PB. Happily I’ve also been realistic on race day and come in 7 minutes faster than I’d hoped I would 16 weeks earlier. Base your time goals on what you think your body can do, not an arbitrary number or what anyone else is aiming for, and reassess them as you get closer to your race.’
My #1 tip for marathon training is to focus not only on your physical training but also on your mental training! Staying positive even when you’re tired and want to quit will make a world of difference in running (and also in life, actually)! No matter how tough a run or a race gets, I try to repeat a positive mantra or remind myself why I love running. It’s supposed to be fun after all, right?! My mantra during the LA Marathon this March (which was insanely hot and tough) was: “It’s a beautiful day and I’m doing what I love.” I repeated it over and over to myself and it really helped. Remember that you’re out there because you WANT to be — and also because you have the privilege to be. Enjoy it, and don’t forget to smile!
‘Figure out your fueling during training. Try something new, keep your tried-and-true-method, get tips from blogs/magazines/friends… it doesn’t matter what method you use but you MUST figure out what your body needs to keep going for 26.2 miles!’
“Use your long runs as an opportunity to try things like fueling and kit – ie what fluid/food/gels you can stomach and what’s comfy over a longer distance. Also, mix things up a bit – take a train out to a new area or run from point to point and get a train home, to add variety to your training. And don’t forget to enjoy it – running should be fun, not a chore!”
‘I’d say my best piece of advice would be to not get overwhelmed. You look at a 16- or 18-week training plan and get terrified. But if you take it one workout or one week at a time, it’s a lot more palatable. Also, at the end of the day, remember you’re doing this for fun. If you’re feeling burnt out, it’s more than okay to take a rest day…or a few! to give yourself time to recallibrate.’
What would your training advice be? Whether it’s specifically marathon training, or physical training in general, I would love to hear it!