Pete Griggs


Marathon Training Tips

Personal Fitness

I’ve got a few of my personal training clients signed up the the London marathon this year, I thought I’d share with you a few tips and fitness training techniques I’ve been using to get them fit and ready.

  • Start Early!
    I get any personal training client that says to me they are signed up to a marathon running straight away (assuming they are fit to do so). Do not put off the training! Marathons have a habit of creeping up on you very quickly and if you haven’t got the training miles under you belt you are going to struggle. However if you have trained properly all the way up the big day and are at optimal fitness the whole race should be a enjoyable and pleasurable experience. You Ideally want to start training about 24 weeks before the date, more if possible. Bare minimum would be 12 weeks before if you are a running novice.
  • Gradually build up the distances
    I get my personal training clients to build up the distances very gradually, not in big jumps, as that is when injuries occur. The earlier you start the slower you can build up the distances. Starting 24 weeks before allows you to add 0.5-1k a week, starting 12 weeks before means you are going to be have upping your runs by 2-3k a week, a bigger injury risk.
  • 2 short runs 2 long runs a week
    Some programmes follow 2 short, 1 long run a week, I personally get my personal training clients doing 2 short, 2 long a week as the more frequent running burns more fat making them lighter (easier to run), keeps them focused as the breaks between the runs aren’t so big and they get fitter quicker. Note: they long runs are increased very gradually around 1k a week.
  • Nip injuries in the bud
    If any of my personal training clients get an injury/problem during marathon training I make them go and get it seen to straight away. Nip it in the bud and 9 times out of ten it is fixable, don’t let any injury get worse and jeopardize your marathon!
  • Train your core
    You must train your core when doing any sort of marathon training, I get all of my personal training clients to do it and they notice the benefit. If your core fatigues while you are running, your posture will change, changing your running style and foot placement and potentially leading to injuries. A strong core will maintain a good running posture and help your to breath better too.
  • 2 rest days
    Have a good couple of rest days a week and make sure you rest on them, don’t go out shopping for 9 hours, your muscles need to recover and refuel.
  • Eat clean
    If you do everything you are supposed to be doing you will be burning an awful lot of calories, but as I tell my personal training clients this is not an excuse to eat a load of junk food. Eating clean nutritious food will help your body recover massively better than junk food and will get it working more efficiently thus making your run further and faster.
  • Get your body fat% down
    This ties in with eating clean, shifting some body fat while doing marathon training will make the whole running experience so much nicer, the lighter you are the less excess weight you have to carry around, making you faster and running easier.
  • Stay hydrated
    I get my personal training clients to stay well hydrated all the time when marathon training, a small percentage drop in hydration can have a big impact on your running performance. Dehydration will make you feel sluggish on a run and the whole run will be an uphill battle. Hydrate properly during the day before your training run, don’t down a whole litre 5 mins before you set out.

If you would like some personal training sessions to help you out with your marathon training, get in touch at or give me a call for a further chat on 07947 049889

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