Marathon Base Building
So, let’s have a think about preparing for the London Marathon. It’s around 8 months away now which is bags of time to prepare. This advice can of course also be used for any marathon you have that's further than 5 months away.
At this stage of things it’s a good time to be focussing on building a really good base. So that when specific marathon training plans start (usually 4-5 months before the race) you are in a really good, strong place. This helps you enjoy the training more and reduces injury risk too!
If you aren’t running at all or aren’t running regularly at the moment that’s fine. Now’s a great time to start building that running routine, be that starting out with the Couch to 5k app. Or if you are already doing some running just making sure you run 3 times a week regularly it all helps build that endurance (aerobic) fitness.
If you are already running regularly it might be a nice idea to pick a race this Autumn to aim for, a 10k or a half marathon. It will help keep you focussed for this years training and will start that gradual build up.
If possible it’s great to aim to be able to easily run 10k by November this year (around 6 months out from marathon day). This means that you can ramp up the marathon training more gently, again making it less challenging and lowering injury risk.
Talking of lowering injury risk, the biggest things you can do to avoid injury is strength training! So it’s a great time to start that too. Perhaps strength classes like Body Pump, or a strength focussed bootcamp class over the summer. Or you can do your own thing at home with or without equipment. Aim for two strength sessions a week and start gently, the post strength muscle soreness is intense for the first couple of weeks! It will also help with your running pace so definitely worth doing.
Some ideas on what to start with in strength work are here; https://www.ontherunhealthandfitness.co.uk/post/strength-training-for-runners