Training for a Marathon? It's Not Just About Running!

Updated: Feb 24, 2020

As a personal trainer you come across lots of weird and wonderful goals. I’ve had people tell me they want to lose weight, gain muscle, look good on holiday or do ten chin ups. I’ve even had someone tell me wanted to look good in their Hulk outfit on Halloween!

One goal I hear pretty often though, is attempting a marathon.

My particular area of interest is sports performance, so I love to help people with goals like these. Once we’ve got past the usual info like where is it, when is it, is it a half marathon or a full marathon, my next question is "what are you doing to train for it?"

The response is very nearly always the same: "I’m running and I’m running and I’m running and when my legs feel a little sore I go on the bike or the cross trainer instead".

"Anything else?" I reply, and I’m met with a blank face that says "why would I be doing anything else?!"

Its fair enough point; if you were preparing for a marathon you would think that you would need to run and you most certainly do! But look at the world's most successful people, whether it's in business or sport; it's highly unlikely that they are just doing that one thing. They are strengthening their skills in a wide range of areas in order to support their sport or their business.

So, why are you just running?

Here are my top three training tips if you’re preparing for a marathon:

1. Strength Training

Absolutely everyone should be doing some sort of strength training regardless of your goals. The research is absolutely undeniable - strength training improves endurance by increasing your running economy.

Furthermore, the research suggests stronger people recover faster. Recovering faster means you're going to be in a better position physically and mentally for each session to get the very most out of it.

A basic full body approach with an emphasis on single leg strength and core strength and stability is a great way to start and will reap some massive rewards.

2. Jumps and Plyometrics