Complete newbie running London Marathon 2013

So, I always thought that I hated running...loved the idea of it but just couldnt do it! Or so I thought. A few weeks ago I decided (on a whim as my partner seems to think) to sign up to the London marathon 2013 for an amazing charity called children in crisis. To my surprise I was accepted onto the team and am now running the marathon. Oh God! A marathon to me seemed like my idea of hell, but something I've always wanted to do (weird logic I know).

Now that I've been 'training' for the last 3 weeks, I've built up to comfortably running over 5k and actually enjoying it! Its a miracle! I've become a bit obsessed! I know I have the right mindset to do this, I just want to make sure I'm doing everything properly.

I've been googling/searching for all kinds of info..but just wanted a bit of extra advice on (pretty much everything):

trainers (how early on should I buy a decent pair to avoid injury etc)

when should I start 'proper' marathon training and what would you advise?

would you advise compression tights?

I have a 'clicky' left hip, what should I do to strengthen/avoid aggrivating it?

So sorry about all the questions, I'm just so into this now and want to get as much advice as I possibly can! Thank you in advance! image


  • Hi Mikayla

    Get trainers immediately.  Go to Sweatshop ASAP to get sorted out with an appropriate selection.  I would look to build up to being able to run 10- 12 miles by xmas easily (not out of breath, not too tired and minimal soreness), which would put you in position A to start training 'properly' in the new year.

    Go to a sports doctor now, so they can sort out the hip thing early, before it becomes an issue.

    I hate the look of compression tights so much, I won't wear them no matter what, but many swear by them.  I think you'll need to try them for yourself.  If you're attracted to these, you may also want to look into ice baths.

  • Thank you so much, reallly really appreciate the advice. I'll get on it with the trainers straight away. I've enquired to a few local physios about my hip...just wasnt sure if I was being a wimp!

    Will keep you posted! enjoy the sunshine image

  • Before buying your trainers find out what kind of runner you are neutral/pronator etc then research which model of shoe works for your type of foot planting. I wouldnt buy anything but Asics & know lots who feel the same but i guess thats personal choice. Asics site tells you which model of shoe is for which type of runner.

  • Start building up your miles per week and long run distance gradually NOW. Find your local parkrun (Google it) and try running that regularly for motivation.

    Whatever training schedule you choose, you want to be running AT LEAST what it says for the first week when you start it (preferably more, so it's not a huge shock to the system) and I'd advise starting a couple of weeks early - so if it's an 18-week schedule, start it 20 weeks before the marathon. That way if you have an injury or bad cold or whatever and have to take a week off, you're not worrying about falling behind (you can always repeat one of the weeks later on if you don't need to take any time off). Beginner schedules tend to be the MINIMUM required to get you round, so if you can extend the schedule and get one or two extra long runs in, it will be easier on the day.

    Consider e.g. pilates for core strength and flexibility as well.

  • About the hip, get to the physio soon. All my niggles come on the left side and my physio diagnosed a lack of flexibility with the left hip (which also clicks) as the probable root cause. She's given me some flexibility exercises to do and it seems to be working. I think the above poster's suggestion of pilates is well worth considering. I'm joining a yoga class next month for flexibility and strengthening. Good luck with your plans.
  • Re the advice above about shoes- it realy depends a great deal on your foot shape, as to which make suit you. I can't possibly use most makes as my feet  are too braod. Most important thing is to go to a good running shop, - if they don't make you run in the shoes ( usually on a treadmill, occaisionaly just around the shop), then don't buy there ! Go prepared with a pair of the socks you'l be wearing, and perhaps take your old trainers so they can see the wear pattern.

    Don't build up your mileage too fast at this stage, or you'll end up damaged- it takes about 6 weeks for the bone/ ligament changes to strengthen your legs, so if you over-do the mileage too soon, you'll get a stress fracture. Make sure you take rest days, and that most of your runnig is at "easy" pace- it's very tempting to get carried away and end up on the bench. Good luck.

  • I find compression tights really help reduce post-run muscle aches, but they're only really needed after long runs or tough sessions. I'll put them on after I've had a post-run shower, and wear them all evening. I'd keep them for when the harder training kicks in - put them on your Christmas list.
  • ive just signed up to london marathon!! its my first marathon! ive completed the bristol hald 2009 and 2010 in times 2:31 and 2:50, however i went running the other day and could barely do one mile without being out of breath!!

    whats a good diet plan as ive gained one dress size (currently size 12) since my last run?? can anyone help? should of started running before i signed image

    old running shoes arent proper ones, currently looking at the New Balance 1260.

    I have wide feet but normal soles.

    please any advide would be greatly appreciated! i know stamina takes time to build but i am VERYYYY worried!! 

  • Look up a "Couch to 5K" programme (there are lots available online) and follow it, starting at whatever level you think you're at now. Once you've got the 5K, look for your local parkrun (free, timed run every Saturday morning, 9am in about 150 parks around the UK), register online, print your barcode and go there - it's great for tracking progress and for motivation.

    Then start a 10K or even a half-marathon training schedule, or just start increasing your mileage. Look at what's the minimum you need to be doing by the beginning of 2014 for a "get you round" beginners marathon training programme. Preferably you want to be able to do MORE than that by the beginning of January. And see advice above about starting a 16-week programme early if possible.

    But follow the 5K programme first, then work on it further.

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