There’s plenty of miles to rack up in marathon training, that’s for sure. Almost every day, you’re out on the roads working progressively towards 26.2 miles, but there’s one important thing that a lot of marathoners forget. It’s not just about miles, it’s about getting fit. To help keep you clear of mileage boredom, we’ve detailed a few other ways you can work to get fit and keep in good shape mentally.
Fartlek quite literally means ‘speed play’ in Swedish. It’s very basically a mix of sprinting and slowing down the tempo with a jog, but it plays such a huge role in reaching your marathon fitness goal. Where you might be striving to run at a consistent pace on your day to day training runs, Fartlek helps to mix things up a little. Sprint 100m, jog the next, hit a ‘tempo’ pace for the next 50m and then sprint another 20m. The clue is in the name, ‘play’ around with your runs and your pace, strength and endurance will all reap the rewards!
Yoga or Pilates
Treat Yoga or Pilates classes as a filler for when you’re not quite feeling up to a run. A couple of classes don’t make you marathon ready overnight, but they’ll come in handy over your training months. Why? Well, because Yoga and Pilates bring in a whole set of muscles you didn’t realise you had! And why is that important? Because those muscles won’t be weak, and you won’t suffer any niggling injuries as a result of ‘just running’.
Nothing can prepare you for the buzz of race day! When the start line gun sounds, many runners are overwhelmed by the starting pace and adrenalin. The best way to combat that is experience those emotions for yourself. Luckily, ABP Newport Wales Marathon organisers Run 4 Wales are hosting the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run on Sunday 31st March, giving marathoners a chance to test their fitness in competitive conditions – and let’s be honest, it’s all a lot more exciting when you’re in it for real!
Road running is your marathon training bread and butter, but there’s more to running than just miles. The whole experience is for enjoying, which is why we want to encourage our runners to switch up their training with trail runs, new routes, paths and goals. Avoid doing the same run unless you have a different goal. Get off the roads and into a park or nearby field if you want a different challenge. Run your usual route in reverse. Do whatever it takes to stay away from mile monotony.
Raise the intensity
You might not feel like it some days, which is fine – but raising the intensity when you’re feeling strong will only benefit you further down the line. High intensity interval training (HIIT) works on your fitness, strength and is a great way to break away from the training routine. There are plenty examples and videos of these short burst workouts all over the internet, so make sure you find the ones that are right for you. Focus on your running muscles, use them only as a supplement to your running plans and you’ll be feeling great once race day approaches!
And don’t forget there’s still time to get your ABP Newport Wales Marathon place. Early Bird entries have expired, but there’s still time to get yourself marathon ready with a standard entry into the race on Sunday 5th May. Register now!