Training

Martin Yelling's Video Q&A Friday 20 January 2017

In the third of a series of live video Q&A sessions on the Virgin Money London Marathon Facebook page, top performance coach Martin Yelling gets you ready to begin your training plan after the Christmas period.

You can watch the full Q&A video below, and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more video Q&As with Martin in the months leading up to the London Marathon.

Q: What should I eat for breakfast?
A: I don't think you need to go down the line of "I mustn't have this, this or this." It really depends what you think works for you in your training. When you're running your long runs now, if you find that you can digest some porridge, some toast, a cup of coffee and then go for a run 90 minutes later and you're all good, then go for that. Whatever you want really, but practise with it.

Q: How many miles should I have in my trainers for marathon day? Or should I wear new ones?
A: I don't think wearing brand new 'spanglers' is going to be a good idea on Race Day, particularly because those new 'spanglers' may rub in places you don't want them to, so you'll end up getting a big, unwanted blister on your foot unexpectedly on the day of the marathon and suddenly it's really uncomfortable.

Get your trainers – even if you've got them now they'll last until Race Day – wear them, be comfortable in them; they should feel like a pair of running slippers. Wear them in, don't wear new ones.

Q: Roughly what distance should we be running on our long runs now?
A: If you're a very enthusiastic trainer and you're wanting to get a personal best and you've run a whole lot of miles in the past, you may already be up to running 16 miles in January.

If that's not you, however, and you're on your first marathon and looking to get on the Start Line and do the best that you can do, I'd say if you're running eight to ten miles now, that's brilliant. It doesn't even have to be continuously; you can have walk breaks or stop breaks, but if you're covering 10 miles at the moment or by the end of January you're back on track.

Q: I don't like any gels – what do you suggest instead?
A: There's all sorts of things you can try – you might want to take handfuls of nuts or dried fruit fruit with you. If you don't like gels, that's pretty much all that's available on the course, so that does mean that you're going to have to carry your energy requirements with you on Race Day – perhaps a little waistband pouch or something that you can carry a few things in.

Q: Why do my legs feel heavy in training?
A: There's many reasons for that heavy-legged feel. Sometimes it might be that the volume training is a little too much – we've progressed it a little too fast too soon - it could be that you're coming down with something, you can feel in your bones sometimes when you're picking up the lurgy.

The key thing there is to listen to those sensations and just back it off. If you do have heavy legs and it doesn't feel that it's muscular, back it off on the runs – slow down if it's really bad – go home and run again thet next day or give yourself a couple of days' rest. It's much better to look after your whole body when you're in marathon training than to run, run, run and just bash it out.