Top tips for your first London (or any) marathon

It is the New Year! Time to recover from the festive season and try and stick to your resolutions. IF you last year, in a fit of excitement (or stupidness), signed up for your first ever London Marathon it also means, gulp, training has (or should of 😉) started.

We know – April 22nd seems a long way away, but trust us (we’ve been in this situation before), it will be here before you know it.

To help you along we have put together a guide of top tips that we hope will be useful:

  • Find a training plan that works with your lifestyle and your running ability (and don’t leave it too late to start your training). Listen to your body and train accordingly (if you feel like you need a rest day – then take one – you know your body best). There is a great beginners training plan here 👉
  • Follow the plan. Just think about the run you need to do today – don’t skip ahead and think about the 18 mile run in 5 weeks.
  • In the weeks before your training plan kicks of properly, and in the first few weeks of training, spend some time on strength and conditioning. Find either a strength and conditioning coach or program. This will help you so much with performance and also help to protect against injury.
  • Sign up for a half marathon in late February or early March. The race practice will be amazing preparation for marathon day.
  • Don’t run too fast! Easy runs are supposed to be slow, they help give your muscles a break.
  • Invest in a foam roller. It’s like a massage for your legs and body (albeit a sometimes sore massage) and it will do wonders. Order one today! Here is a snap shot of how you can use it:

    Click on the image to zoom in and read about the stretches clearly.

  • Cross training is useful – it helps with building speed and endurance and also is important for injury prevention.
  • Eat properly. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet and are eating lots of carbs for energy and protein to help your muscles recover.
  • After your long runs (which normally fall on a weekend) make sure you allow 24 hours of rest afterwards to let your body recover properly. Even if you think you feel fine resist the urge to go out for even an easy run too soon.
  • Have a life. Make sure the marathon doesn’t take over your life. You need time to yourself.
  • If you are going to buy new running shoes for the marathon make sure you wear them in properly before the race (nothing worse that all that training going to waste because you have blisters). Same applies to socks (yep, you need to wear these in too). To make sure you get the right running shoes for your feet go to somewhere like where they can do a gait analysis of your running style and a proper shoe fitting.
  • Before all your runs think ‘start slow, finish strong’ (easy to say, hard to do!).
  • Have faith in yourself and your body and try and stay positive. You can do it (sometimes it might not seem like it – but you can).
  • Get training gear for all weather (hey – we live in the UK, you’ll probably train in the snow and then blistering heat).
  • Enjoy the journey. You might only do it once (hopefully not) so try and enjoy it.
  • Stretch!! It is so important to stretch after your run. Make sure you allow time for this. Your body will thank you. We have included 5 basic but important stretches below.
  • If you get injured during your training consult a physio for expert advice to get you back on track.

Look out for our next blog that will go into more detail to help you prepare.

Click on the image to zoom in and read about the stretches clearly.