I wanted to touch on this first because there are more than just two marathons In the UK all the hype is generally around London and Brighton but in reality, you can generally run an organised marathon every weekend.
Secondly, I think as a nation we have never been ‘busier’. Often people are prioritising the silliest things over their health and happiness.
In an ideal world, you would complete a completely personalised plan, running 4-6x a week building up progressively. Eat perfectly, stretch daily, sleep 8 hours a night and see a massage therapist weekly.... not happening right 😂
You can complete a marathon on just 3 runs a week.
There are some basics that you can’t skip or you won’t make it to the start line anyway.
1. Build a base. Most runners complete a 12-16 week marathon plan. Yours is going to be double that. We want to start with 12 weeks of consistent running not far or fast just getting out there.
* Weeks 1-4. Find a routine that works for you with ideally a days rest in between runs Be firm with yourself but also flexible around your busy schedule.
* Weeks 5-8 crank it up. One of your runs is going to be a speedier Run incorporating intervals, tempo’s or fartleks training and one longer run.
* Weeks 8-10. Here you will do your two longest runs around 16-18 miles, these cannot be missed.
* Weeks 11-12 stick to the plan and start to reduce volume and intensity ready to be fresh for marathon day.
2. How far should I run?
In those first 4 weeks aim for 30-45 minutes per run focusing on an easy heart rate and good running form. Weeks 4-10 you're looking at 45 minutes a 60-minute effort and a longer one.
3. Add some distance, you can’t escape the fact you have got to cover 26.2 miles to get that medal so think about building up that long run adding a mile or two a week to your long run until you get to 16-18 miles or 3 hours max.
Time and stress saving tips 💡
* Plan it into your diary. Don't just hope you have a spare hour on Tuesday get it booked in.
* Don’t stress- you can achieve a great purposeful workout in 45 minutes, run harder once a week to get faster.
* Focus on time commitments. Where do you waste time that you could spend squeezing that run in?
* Run commute? A lot of people run to or from work, early morning or late at night to squeeze it in.
* Have fun, change your routes regularly and drag your buddies out for a run 🏃🏼♂️
I’ve worked with runners to complete their first marathon with just 3 days a week training, it’s not ideal but with discipline and a good plan it can be done.