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Are You on Track? A Guide to Training for the London Marathon



With 10 weeks before a marathon race, you should be in the heart of your training plan, focusing on building endurance, maintaining speed, and fine-tuning your race-day strategy. Here's what your training might entail at this stage:


  • Long Runs: Your long runs should be at their peak distances, typically reaching around 20-22 miles (32-35 kilometres) for most marathon training plans. These runs are crucial for building the endurance needed to complete the full marathon distance. Make sure to practice your fuelling and hydration strategies during these long runs to find what works best for you on race day.


  • Speed and Tempo Work: Continue incorporating speed work and tempo runs into your training schedule to maintain and improve your pace. This could include workouts like mile repeats, tempo runs at race pace, or shorter intervals at faster-than-race pace with adequate rest in between. These workouts help improve your lactate threshold and overall running economy.


  • Strength Training: Maintain your strength training routine, focusing on exercises that target the legs, core, and upper body. Strengthening these areas can help prevent injuries and improve running efficiency. However, be cautious not to overdo it and prioritise recovery between strength sessions and hard runs.


  • Recovery: Prioritise recovery between hard workouts and long runs. This includes proper nutrition, hydration, stretching, foam rolling, and rest. Adequate recovery is essential for allowing your body to adapt to the training load and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.


  • Nutrition and Hydration: Pay close attention to your nutrition and hydration, especially as the mileage increases. Make sure you're fueling your body with the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to support your training. Hydration is also crucial, both during runs and throughout the day.


  • Race Preparation: Start fine-tuning your race-day strategy, including pacing, nutrition/hydration during the race, and mental preparation. Consider doing a dress rehearsal long run where you simulate race day conditions as closely as possible, including attire, nutrition, and pacing.


  • Mental Preparation: Use this time to mentally prepare yourself for the challenges of the marathon. Visualise yourself crossing the finish line strong and practice positive self-talk during tough training sessions. Develop a race-day mantra or strategy to stay focused and motivated during the race.


  • Tapering: While you're still a few weeks away from tapering, it's important to keep it in mind. Start planning your taper period, which typically begins around 2-3 weeks before the marathon race. During the taper, you'll gradually reduce mileage to allow your body to fully recover and be in peak condition on race day.


Remember to listen to your body and adjust your training plan as needed based on how you're feeling and any feedback from your coach or training programme. Consistency, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and mental preparation are key factors in successful marathon training.

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