Tips for New Marathoners

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Feb 2021
12:18pm, 11 Feb 2021
568 posts
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I do yoga and pilates as part of my training, but not specifically to improve my running or prevent injuries. I want to improve my fitness, flexibility and strength, so I run, and do yoga and pilates. Any added benefit to my running would be a bonus, but it's not the reason I do it.

I would certainly recommend some sort of cross training when training for a marathon.
Feb 2021
5:06pm, 11 Feb 2021
93 posts
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Thanks for the advice everyone :) I definitely felt I could have done more in the last few miles as I took walking breaks when the girls I was with needed to but would rather have pushed on. My worst points were early on (10ish miles) when my hands got too cold & I couldn’t open my gels. Learned from that one!

I have my eye on Higdon’s N2 training plan starting May time so I’ll plan to reassess goal time based on training paces/ comfort levels halfway through the plan and again a few weeks out.

I’m planning to keep up the yoga because I’m enjoying it (& really that’s what’s important!) and it does seem to help. Maybe it’s just about being more mindful of how each bit of my body is feeling.

I’ll let you all know how I get on :D
Feb 2021
5:18pm, 11 Feb 2021
181 posts
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Stretching/pilates/foam-rolling/compression etc scant evidence for all of these in terms of injury prevention/performance, but plenty of n=1 anecdotal stuff if you talk to people.
Personally, I haven't stretched in years (beyond dynamic drills), and my foam roller is an ornament. I attribute my lack of injuries over the last 18 months to fewer sessions and races, and I'm in my best shape ever albeit without races to prove it.
So on that note, don't worry too much about speedwork; miles and time on feet are the secret.
Feb 2021
5:55pm, 11 Feb 2021
1064 posts
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Lurking here as Im in for the Edinburgh marathon this year, would actually be my second but my first was over a decade ago.
Feb 2021
6:24pm, 11 Feb 2021
569 posts
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compartmental it looks like you're doing the right things.

My general advice for first timers would be:
Follow a training plan, but don't be a slave to it
Don't feel guilty about missing the odd session, and move sessions around if they fit better with your working week
If you get majorly behind due to illness or injury, it may be worth resetting your targets
Have a fuelling strategy, and practice this on your long runs
Make sure your long runs are long enough - I usually go up to 22 miles
Make sure you do enough long runs - general rule is your 5 longest runs should add up to 100+ miles
Try to do some sort of cross-training so you're not using the same muscles all the time
Watch out, marathon training is draining! I found for my first marathon that I got really tired during the week
I also found that when training for my first marathon (but not subsequent ones) I was eating LOADS!

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