News Training for a Spring Marathon…the real story! Training for a Spring Marathon…the real story!


Report by Ian Lockyer
2015-03-09 22:43:51

Training for a Spring Marathon…the real story!

If you look very carefully, you will have probably noticed that there are a lot of runners pounding the streets of Thanet, taking advantage of the recent improvement in the weather.  Normally dressed in a multitude of colours and lycra, most of the runners are out with the goal of getting fit and improving their wellbeing.
What you would not have realised is that many of the runners are training with the goal of running one of this year’s April marathons, most notably the Brighton and London Marathons.
If you asked most people if they could ever run a marathon, the answer would be an resounding no.  But there are athletes of all ages, shapes and sizes undertaking a training regime at the moment.  This normally begins at the turn of the year and ends four months later with the runner completing a life goal and  raising lots of money for charity.
As with all things in life, a structured approach to marathon training is important.  No point running silly distances straight away which can lead to injury.  The best advice to any one starting running is to get a decent pair of running trainers...these will cushion you from the initial heavy pounding on the streets.  Other than that, running is a very cheap and rewarding pastime
A marathon schedule is designed to build up stamina, speed is less essential.  It’s more important to spend time on your feet.
The structure of a training regime is different for everyone.  You normally have one long run each week which you build up over time, starting at 8 miles and reaching about 20 miles a month before the marathon.  You never do the full distance, I think it’s to avoid burn out.  The long session is normally followed up by a recovery run the next day which helps to build the stamina and get rid of lactic acid.  This is normally intersped with two shorter runs to keep the body ticking over.  Eating well is important, although you will find with the longer distances that the weight will fall off.
Thanet is one of the nicest places to train for a marathon.  The fabulous landscape, scenic coastal routes and other landmarks must be the envy of those inner city runners that have to cope with pollution, traffic. Add the good weather we have lately been having and it can be a real pleasure to go for a run and take your mind off the stresses of the day.
When you are putting in the miles, there is a lot or running by yourself that requires a lot of self-discipline.  To get up on a cold and wet January morning requires a lot of mental strength.  I am very lucky that I belong to Thanet Roadrunners AC who are a fantastic club to belong to.  My program fits right into the training sessions with the long run on Sunday covering a large part of the Thanet area.  Running in a group is really nice , because you get encouragement, advice and friendship from fellow runners.  We are quite fortunate that one of our coaches, and Club President Derek Sackett accompanies us on his bike on the long runs making sure that we are all looked after and provide encouragement….and water.
2-3 weeks before the race, runner go into a period of tapering where they reduce the amount of training so that you can build up the strength and be fresh for marathon day.  This is always a period which most runners look forward to, less mileage and a few less early morning.
There are quite a few Thanet Roadrunners taking part in the forthcoming Brighton and London Marathon this year…many for the first time.  My advice is not to put too much personal pressure on  yourself to hit a certain time.  What is important is to enjoy the event and experience.  Having been lucky to have run the London Marathon before, there is nothing like the sensation of running onto Tower Bridge and hearing the roar of a supportive crowd!




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