Your Marathon Prep Guide

With only a month to go, we asked Adi­das run­ners cap­tain James Hep­ton­stall to share his top tips ahead of 23 April...

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We’re ner­vous. What should We ex­pect? ‘The crowds, fel­low run­ners and the sense of achieve­ment all add up to a day you won’t for­get. To make that race day en­joy­able, you need to get your body ac­cli­ma­tised to in­creased mileage. Be­ing able to sus­tain a com­fort­able pace over a long pe­riod of time is crit­i­cal to mak­ing the most of your marathon ex­pe­ri­ence.’

so What’s the plan? ‘As a begin­ner you may run three times a week and as a reg­u­lar you may do five. The key is qual­ity ses­sions, not quan­tity. In­tro­duce in­ter­val, hill ses­sions and fartlek [in­ter­vals of fast- and slow-paced run­ning] into your train­ing plan. Don’t ne­glect core sta­bil­ity ei­ther. A good core gives you a great base for an ef­fi­cient run­ning tech­nique.’

how long should We run? ‘Build up the dis­tance or time you run slowly each week. Gen­er­ally, get your longer train­ing runs done at the week­end and shorter runs in the week. Aim to run a half marathon (3. miles) a month be­fore your marathon.’

do We ever need to run the full 26 miles? ‘No, I’d sug­gest only run­ning 20 miles as your max­i­mum dis­tance, around three weeks be­fore the marathon.’

What about pre- and post­train­ing fuel? ‘Slow-re­lease car­bo­hy­drates are good be­fore a train­ing run to give you a sus­tained en­ergy re­lease through­out. Eat at least an hour be­fore your ses­sion so you have time to digest. Por­ridge, peanut but­ter on brown toast and ba­nanas are all favourites of mine. Fas­tre­lease carbs re­plen­ish en­ergy stores straight af­ter train­ing. White pasta, white rice and pota­toes are good as well, as pro­tein for mus­cle re­pair.’

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