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...
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.’