Marathon Training Hacks

Marathon Training hacks

Do you hate the word hack? I know I do.

And sorry if you came here for some marathon training shortcuts, there aren’t any. The training really does take the 12-18 weeks that those plans outline however, these ‘hacks’ may well ease the process…

Choose a plan that fits with your life and your running style

If you don’t have time to run six times a week, then avoid the Hansen method plan. You don’t have to run everyday, infact my previous training plans have only had me running 3 times a week but were pretty hard runs. Other plans have you running less mileage but over more days- find a plan or make one that suits you.

Find a Friend 

Having a training buddy or group will help keep you accountable as well as someone to chat all things running with. Long runs are more enjoyable when you have a group to go with, or at least someone to text about your early morning speed workouts.
Marathon training hacks


Rotate your Shoes 

There’s nothing worse than training in a pair of shoes for your entire cycle then needing to replace them just before the big day. Prolong your marathon shoe life by swapping to a different pair for your speed work and cross training workouts.

I’ll be wearing the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 for my long runs, and Vazee Breathe for my speed workouts and some tempo runs.

Figure out your Fuel

Practise your long runs with your fave pre-run breakfast and energy gels or foods. There is nothing worse than underfuelling and bonking during the run, or having something new on race day and it not agreeing with your digestive system!


Socialise while you Train 

Your friends might not be down for running, but I’m sure some will join you at a yoga class or weights workout. It’s the perfect way to catch up and work on your strength or flexibility, then go for brunch/drinks after! I love doing my long runs on a weekend morning, then meeting friends for barre or Pilates. Cross-training is almost as important as your actual runs, especially if, like me, you’re dealing with some niggling injuries, do not use time as a excuse not to train!

Marathon Training plan


Multitask with your Recovery 

Keep a ball under your desk, a foam roller next to your sofa and a water bottle in your bag. Often post-run recovery is overlooked, or the first thing that gets thrown to the wayside when it’s vitally important for your training as a whole. Keep a tennis ball or similar under your desk to roll your feet over, and foam roll those tired muscles as you catch up on *Love Island* (*Tom is obsessed!).

New York Marathon training has officially started – what hacks would you give to newbie marathoners? 


  1. Marie
    June 28, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    Great post! I’m just starting half marathon training (after being out the distance running for quite a while!) how often would you recommend foam rolling?

    • charlotte
      June 29, 2016 / 8:31 am

      I think stretching/foam rolling as often as you can is great, especially after long runs! I’m not brilliant about doing it during the week, instead focusing on the weekend post-long run foam roll!

  2. June 29, 2016 / 9:18 am

    Great post as usual.

    I agree with the comment about foam rolling, including in the taper period even though distance is greatly reduced.

    Time management was also key for me during London training, having to be organised and learning to say ‘no’ really helps. It might feel like you’re missing out but when you cross the line and get the medal all the nights out and glasses of fizz you might have not stuck around for are nothing in comparrison to that feeling.

    I also learnt how to hydrate properly which really helped, just a shame I didn’t focus on rehydrating after the marathon!

    Good luck in your training and to everyone else gearing up for their next events.

    • charlotte
      June 29, 2016 / 7:12 pm

      I so agree but it’s definitely hard! Thank you and well done for London, what’s next? 🙂

      • July 1, 2016 / 2:34 pm

        What’s next is attempting to be able to run again! It’s got so hard and I’ve not gone beyond 10km since the marathon. Enjoying being back in classes and weights again though which I let slide a little in favour of running xx

        • charlotte
          July 3, 2016 / 9:00 pm

          I was in the same place (and still haven’t run more than 10K since January!)

  3. June 29, 2016 / 9:47 am

    I’ve just started training for my first half (EEEK) and panicking about my plan as I made it myself. It only has three runs per week (hill, speed, long) plus lots of cross training. I’m hoping it will be enough. Don’t need a certain time, I just want to be able to get through it. Excited though!

    • Marie
      June 29, 2016 / 12:49 pm

      I’m also just about to start my half marathon training! There’s a really good plan that was posted on this blog a while ago (I just googled half marathon training plan the runner beans and it came up!) and combined it with a women’s running magazine training plan…the combination of the plans really fit my life/schedule! I also have 3/4 runs per week, lots of cross training and yoga! Good luck with your training!!! 🙂

      • charlotte
        June 29, 2016 / 7:12 pm

        So glad it worked for you Marie and thanks for sharing!!

    • charlotte
      June 29, 2016 / 7:10 pm

      That sounds great and certainly the type of plan that I usually follow for both halfs and full marathons! It’s all about consistency so build up slowly, do your recovery workouts and don’t forget those rest days! Good luck with your training!

  4. June 29, 2016 / 10:11 am

    My race is not for a little while, I need all the tips I can get.

    • charlotte
      June 29, 2016 / 7:11 pm

      All about the multitasking!

  5. Happy Fit Mama
    June 29, 2016 / 10:40 am

    I’m all about multi-tasking. I keep recovery tools everywhere and use them whenever I can.

    • charlotte
      June 29, 2016 / 7:09 pm

      Such a good way of ensuring they don’t get missed out!

  6. Hannah
    June 29, 2016 / 11:39 am

    What do you eat and drink before a marathon and throughout? I am tackling my first marathon this year and that side of things I’m unsure of. Thanks xx

    • charlotte
      June 29, 2016 / 7:09 pm

      Hi Hannah, it’s all personal and about practise. I eat a bagel or toast with peanut butter and a banana beforehand, plus coffee and Nuun. During the race I drink water and take a salted caramel Gu every 5 miles (or until my body can’t stomach it anymore!!) While training I take other flavours of Gu to mix things up or Haribo if I don’t have Gu!

  7. June 29, 2016 / 11:45 am

    Definitely multitask, multitask, multitask. And body glide. BODY GLIDE EVERYWHERE! And sunscreen under your clothes, as well as in the areas that are showing!

    • charlotte
      June 29, 2016 / 7:11 pm

      I have experienced the pain of a mid-bootcamp dip in the ocean and NO body glide today – I’m in pain!!

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