After completing five-plus marathons, I’ve learned that one of the keys to success when it marathon training is the cross-training. Whether your training plan has you running three, four, five or even six times a week, adding in some strength work, stretching and a little extra cardio will ensure you get to the start (and finish) line strong and confident!
With a whole section of class dedicated to ‘seat’ work, your most underused running muscle, the gluteus maximus, will get a workout you won’t forget. A lot of knee issues arise as a result of weak glutes, and regular barre classes will help strengthen these muscles as well as stretching hamstrings and hip flexors.
Most runners are terrible at stretching on their own—why take time to stretch when you could squeeze in another mile instead? Scheduling regular yoga classes will give your muscles a chance to stretch and relax and allow you to mentally detox. (Running a marathon is part physical strength, part mental strength, don’t you know!) Book yourself a post-long run Yin and Yang session on a Sunday morning at I am Yoga London before refuelling at brunch nearby.
Don’t be tempted to omit strength workouts from your marathon training plan; you’ll want strong legs to carry you through the 26.2 miles and arms that can help propel you forward. Sign up to the FitMiBody Chest and Biceps or Legs and Shoulders sessions for tailored weight workouts.
To run fast, you have to run fast. Perfect your speed workouts under the tutelage of the Project Fit instructors at their RUN classes. Mixing up speeds and inclines, you’ll get a heart-pumping workout and cover 5 to 10K in the 45-minute treadmill session.
Your core keeps you stable as you run, and a strong core can help prevent lower back pain that can come with pounding the pavement. Using the reformer machines at Tempo Pilates works the core, as well as facilitating hip openers, hamstring stretches and balance practise.
And, of course, running with other people is a lot more fun than completing all of your training runs alone. Join Run Club London various running sessions across London, suitable for beginner and intermediate runners!