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Getting started – Your marathon training tips

Getting started – Your marathon training tips

We speak to runners every day and know that tackling 26.2 miles can seem a daunting prospect. Follow this fool proof guide to prevent making those age-old mistakes and keep your marathon training simple and fun!

Correct trainers & kit

Invest in a proper pair of running trainers from the word go to prevent injury and make the running more comfortable. Go to a proper running store, explain you are new to running ask for a ‘gait analysis’ so that the trainers are properly chosen and fitted to your foot and running style. Good running shops are there to help and make sure you speak to an experienced member of staff!

It’s also worth investing in some running kit made of running specific technical fabric. This is vital to aid comfort, they will help wick the sweat away from the skin, feel less heavy and support the correct areas.

Take a look at Saucony's latest footwear and kit

Avoid going from zero to hero

Starting with 3-4 runs a week is a great place to begin if you are just starting out, with rest days between your runs. Build patient and be prepared to walk/run if building fitness and gradually reduce the amounts of walking in the weeks ahead. You’re long run at this stage could be anything between 30 minutes and 90 minutes depending on how long you have been running and your level of experience, it might be a structured mix of run walking for example 10 minutes easy run, 5 minutes brisk walk.


Remember these and apply them to your running at all times! Plan your running, how many times a week, where, when, long term, mid term, short term goals. Be patient, improvement will come but it is a progressive process! Any of our training plans will give you this but you need to get those runs ring-fenced in the diary and make them a priority!

Set intermediate goals

12-16-20 weeks of solid training can seem quite daunting and we strongly recommend adding some intermediate targets with half marathon races in February and March for example to help you check your progress and focus your training. You could look to run one of these at full half marathon pace and save one to run at your goal marathon pace with easy running before and after to make up a clever key long run.

Training plan

Get yourself a training plan to support your goal. The plans we have produced with High5 are specifically design to not only get you fit, but to get you marathon fit. Just running faster and harder alone won’t get you there. Follow a plan with all the key elements you need to cope with the physical demands of running 26.2 miles such as weekly threshold running, hills to build strength and marathon pace and effort towards the end of your key long runs.

Invest in a watch

A GPS watch can provide you with loads of useful information on your training volumes and heart rates, recovery etc. It tells you how long you have been running for, will help when structuring lengths of runs or blocks of run/walking and you’ll see our plans are based around time and perceived effort to help you with this. Check out for the latest GPS watches we recommend.

Safe, sensible, interesting

Choose routes that are all of the above: Safe, sensible and interesting. Incorporating lots of ‘off road’ such as grass or trail alongside tarmac running is most desirable as this is kinder to the body and joints. Don’t be afraid of keeping hills in your route – hills act as ‘speed work in disguise’ and can provide crucial strength you’ll need in the final 10km of the marathon.

Pace yourself...The Tortoise was right!

Many new runners say to me ‘but I can’t even run for a bus’… that’s because when you run for a bus you are usually charging along at full pace hoping it won’t leave you behind. When starting out with running please learn to ‘run at the speed of chat’ as if someone were next to you and you were able to talk to them at all times when running. The same is true though of more experienced marathon runners. It can be tempting to always push along at a steady effort – never quite getting the full aerobic benefits of a genuinely easy, conversational paced run, but also leaving you tired for your harder sessions.

Basic core exercises.

These are vital as a strong body will support the running and prevent injury. These only need to be very simple exercises that can take minutes in your living room. They don’t take long and will make you a stronger, less injury prone runner.

Drop us an email or contact us via our Contact page if you would like some more help or to discuss bespoke coaching with one of our team!


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