London Marathon tips

Do you want some great London Marathon tops and preparartion advice to help you run the London marathon (or any marathon for that matter?)

A marathon is one of the easiest hard things you'll ever do. If that sounds contradictory, let me explain and then go on to provide some marathon tips that you may, or may not be aware of.

Almost anyone can do a marathon - you could probably walk twenty six miles tomorrow if you needed to. What makes it hard is that we want to do it at a certain speed, so we run. So what can you do in your marathon training that will make the hard thing (running twenty six miles) more like the easy thing (walking twenty six miles)?

Ultimately, marathon training is about teaching your muscles how to withstand the rigors of running for four or five hours. Your training needs to build towards that. Top tips for marathon training include:

Run just enough miles:

Forget the Paula Radcliffe's of this world who run 125 miles per week. You need to run the minimum miles possible to achieve your objective. For most recreational runners that means a weekly mileage of no more than 30 - 40 miles per week.

Build your mileage slowly:

The golden rule of building mileage is to increase your miles by no more than 10% per week. This is a rule really worth sticking with if you want to stay injury free.

Don't try to make up for missed workouts: If you miss a day because of a busy schedule or illness, don't try to make up for it the next day or the next week. Simply continue on with the schedule - the occasional missed workout won't cause a problem, but cramming in extra workouts will.

Long runs:

These are the heart of your training, the workouts you really need to be sure to do. Gradually increase your long workouts until you can run at least three hours in training. Do a couple of these, the last of which should be at least three weeks before the race.

Recovery:

The body makes progress not when you do hard workouts, but when you rest afterwards. Be sure to schedule rest days and stick to them.

Race pace:

It's very important to figure out your race pace and practice it. Ultimately the race is about sustaining that pace for a long time, so you need to do quite a bit of training at that pace for your body to adapt. If you train slow, you'll race slow.

Cross train:

Cross training (swimming, biking, etc) allows the body to recover from hard runs without the impact of running.

Taper:

Finally, you need to taper. Tapering means that two weeks out from the race you cut your mileage by 50%, then the last week you cut another 50% (to 25% of maximum mileage). That way when you stand on the line, you'll be rested and raring to go!

The bottom line is that marathon success comes form training smart - utilize these tips and chances are you'll make it to the start line ready to race.

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