Top tips for getting started
If you haven’t done any exercise for a while – don’t panic. Spend the first few weeks of your new regime regularly walking and build up until you feel confident and competent enough to break into short periods of jogging with regular walk breaks. Depending on your fitness levels, or how you feel, you can vary the length of time you walk and run. Gradually lengthen the time you spend jogging and shorten the time you spend walking until you can keep going without stopping for 30 minutes on 3 to 5 days a week.
Build routine and consistency first
There are no hard and fast rules about how long to run for, it’s all down to personal circumstances, motivation, fitness levels and goals. What does matter is that a little running is better than none at all. It takes time for your fitness levels to improve and don’t expect miracles overnight. After about 3-4 weeks you should start to notice some differences in how you look and feel. The investment into consistency really is well worth it and will lay the foundations for when you really start to think about your marathon build up.
Warming up and cooling down
Before embarking on your regular run it’s important to warm up appropriately to reduce the risk of soreness and injury. This also helps get you focused and raring to go. As a general rule include 5-10 minutes of very light activity (walking/jogging) and some gentle joint and muscle mobility exercises. Give your body time to cool down and recover after each workout. Some simple stretching or pilates exercises will help increase flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.
Top tips to get going
1. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the marathon. The more time you give yourself the better prepared you’ll be. This is especially important if it’s your first marathon or if you’re not currently a very active person.
2. Get going with a good routine. The most important thing you must do is look to establish a routine of regular running. Just how much you do will depend on your marathon aspirations but finding a time to put it in your week really helps you ring fence your run time.
3. Be consistent. The most important thing between now and October is consistency. If you approach your training like a yo yo – dipping in and out of it and coming and going your fitness will be slower to develop too. Consistency of regular running is the most important thing you should aim for between now and race day.