women marathon training

Marathon training tips and advice

Have you entered a marathon and now you’re worrying about how to get ready for it? Don’t worry! We’re here with a blog packed with marathon training tips and advice from the Run Mummy Run community to help you with the build up, the big day itself and recovery.

No matter which race you’re running or how long you have to prepare, we hope these top marathon training tips from our community members will help you feel ready to take on the 26.2 miles.


Run Mummy Run: What are your top marathon training tips?

“Those long runs can be daunting. If you can, find a training buddy, someone who can run part of your long run with you or a phone call to a friend. It really passes the time and keeps the run at an easy, conversational pace.” – Amy

“Enter races for your long runs if you can, and tag on miles either side if needed.” – Frances

“Stick to the plan and follow a training guide that is realistic and fits in with work and family.” – Helen

“Pants runs are part of it. I didn’t make my 20-miler due to fatigue (I have CFS/ME) and ended up crying at the side of the road as the young, fit, pretty things ran past me. Despite that all was okay and it was part of the journey.” – Laura

“Don’t stress if you can’t stick to the plan religiously; it is only there to guide you and life gets in the way sometimes! Allow for adjustments. We missed 2 or 3 shorter runs due to ice and snow. Sharon lost a week when she caught Covid, missed out on a half-marathon race. The following week we should have done 18 miles, then a drop down to 14. We just swapped them over and took it steady. Be sensible about it. It’s hard work training for a marathon anyway, but stressing over missed runs won’t help.” – Lindsey

“If you need to rest, you need to rest! I think the actual saying was, “if you don’t make time for your recovery you’ll be forced to take time for your injury!” Sleep is so, so important!!! I used a sleepcast the week before the marathon because I was just so wired and excited.” – Suzy

“Use a running journal to log your runs, you can see your progress.” – Wendy

“Get your gait analysis done and invest in a pair of decent shoes. IT’S IMPORTANT!” – Bev


Run Mummy Run: What is one thing you wish you’d known about training for/running a marathon?

“Think finish lines not finish times, if you’re unsure about what your time will be, so that there is no pressure on yourself.” – Emma

“I wish I’d run slower on my training sessions.” – Frances

“It’s intense. Super intense. But the training, well and to plan, made me realise could do it. I was in charge of this body, which was in bottom set PE in the 90s! I felt myself getting stronger and more confident with every mile I got under my belt.” – Laura

“Do strength training it will help!” – Nicki

“Trust in your plan, don’t overdo it, and under training is better than over training.” – Wendy

“That you have to accept you have to be prepared to train in all weathers, and cannot use rain and cold as an excuse!” – Bev


Run Mummy Run: What are your top tips for marathon day?

“Control the things you can control. Make sure that you have practised your fuelling, outfit, race-day breakfast, transport to the event. Hydrate throughout the week before and get as much sleep as you can.” – Amy

“Arrange which side of the road your family will be on – it is hard to quickly transfer sides as it is quite congested at times” – Frances

“Have your name printed on the front and back of your vest. The crowd are amazing and will shout your name out. Around mile 24, walking along the Embankment [at the London Marathon] I had amazing support to help me put one foot in front of the other.” – Jennifer

“If you go alone to the start and there is an RMR meet-up, do it! I was so nervous to meet strangers but best decision I made.” – Jo

“Random, but a laminated set of directions home [is worth taking]. I had a feeling my phone wouldn’t work and I’m atrocious with directions, so I wrote out a few routes back to the hotel and laminated them. It meant I could just go straight to the tube and even though my phone didn’t work and I had not the foggiest where I was going, I had my little laminated sheet. It was an inch by 5 inches, popped in my belt. Even the marathon staff thought it was good. Unless they were just making me feel better about my super uncoolness!” – Laura

“Don’t be afraid if you have to walk some. It’s no biggie. So many people walk some/all of it. You haven’t failed if you have to walk. You will still be a marathoner. Also, consider jeffing as it helps recovery after; we hardly got the DOMS at all and I swear it’s because of jeffing”. – Lindsey


 Run Mummy Run: What are your top tips for recovery?

“They say recovery takes a day for every mile ran, so take it nice and easy after the marathon.” – Amy

“Get a massage and take time to rest! Have a week off or more if needed.” – Frances

“I found having a Jacuzzi bath helped a bit, and a gentle walk next day to try and keep legs moving.” – Nicki

“Do not let yourself get hydrated. You will feel dreadful. Listen to your body, good refuel and rest. Believe it or not, your body can take a long time to recover from a marathon and long training runs. You need to fuel your body for the work you’re putting in.” – Bev

We’d love you to share your own marathon training tips in our Facebook community.

Main image by Mabel Amber on Pixabay

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