Hitting January Running

Dr Martin Yelling

Here we go! This is it. January has arrived and with it your Virgin Money London Marathon training is kicking off with passion, purpose and intent! Or at least, that’s what’s supposed to be happening, right?

The reality is you’re all probably at different places with your marathon readiness. Some of you might have been banging out the miles for a few weeks already, some might have been tentatively tickling getting going and others will have not run or walked a single step.

Whatever you’ve done so far, wherever you feel you are right now, that’s just fine! The Virgin Money London Marathon is your race. It’s your run. You’ll be ready for it and you’ll get ready for it in your own way. That said, now really is a good time to start your training to ensure you’re competent and confident to go the distance in London.

It’s normal to feel excited about the marathon journey that lies ahead of you if, at the same time, a little apprehensive. Getting the start of your journey right lays important physical and mental foundations on which you build over the next few months.  

A training plan that is appropriate for your personal marathon aspirations, your own situation, content and commitment levels is a great tool to help you stay motivated and on course for marathon glory. Training plans for the Virgin Money London Marathon can be found here. If you’ve just started following a plan it should start off quite gently. Even if you’re uber motivated and raring to crack on appropriate progress is your priority. Your goal is to be marathon fit at the end of April and so starting sensibly is a golden rule of getting going.  

Five things runners get wrong when they start

Bite off too much

It’s much better to under promise to yourself and over deliver in terms of training than be over ambitious, set your sights super high and keep misfiring.  

Keep putting it off

There is no time like the present. There are no training shortcuts to a marathon finish. Start now and keep going. Consistency is king.

Think they can't do it

Yes, you’ll have times when the end of the road feels too far and you question your ability and sanity. Listen to your body, notice how you’re feeling and make the right choices. Your self-belief will grow as you get more training under your belt.

Do too much too soon

It is possible that you can get too excited and run more than you should. Particularly if you haven't done any running for a while (or not at all, ever!) a few over keen first weeks can end up with injury and frustration. Be patient. Relax into your routine.

Stop smiling

Remember your journey is about having fun, laughing, and enjoying every step, stride, breath and ache! We’re all privileged to be able to be getting ready for the Virgin Money London Marathon this year so share it with your friends, family and strangers and have a happy run every time you lace up and go out!