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Marathon motivation: 10 top tips

Everyone has days when they just don’t feel like running – days when the sofa, or the pub, seem much more tempting. But if you’re preparing for a marathon, you need to find ways to stay on track. The next time you’re struggling to get out of the door, follow these top tips. 

1. Set small goals

Having a target in mind for each run, even if it’s just to complete it without walking, will give you a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s running a bit further or faster than last time, or just reaching a certain point, hitting a goal on every run will help to stay motivated as you work towards a bigger goal, such as finishing your first marathon.

2. Run with friends

The social side of running is one of the most common reasons people start and carry on doing it. Finding a local running club or gathering some friends or colleagues to run with you can make every session both easier and more enjoyable.

3. Keep track of your progress

Completing a training log, or recording your runs online, can really help to motivate you. By looking back at previous entries, you’ll remind yourself how far you have come, which is sure to encourage you to keep challenging yourself to give your best.

4. Remember the health benefits

Running is good for you! Whether you’re looking to lose weight or improve your fitness, running gives back what you put into it. It’s also a great stress-buster thanks to the feel-good endorphins you produce during exercise.

5. Do it for a good cause

If you’re not already raising money for a charity then signing up to fundraise will give you a huge motivation boost. Knowing that you’ll be providing funds to help a good cause should keep you going if you’re feeling low.

 
The official Virgin Money London Marathon kit from our partner New Balance

Official Virgin Money London Marathon kit by New Balance

Check out the official Virgin Money London Marathon range of clothing and footwear from our partner New Balance – ideal for your training runs, or celebrating your marathon achievement with a stylish souvenir item to treasure for many years to come.

6. Mix it up

David Hylton, co-founder of #RunChat, says: “Running is simple. Preventing it from getting boring is simpler.” HyIton turns this maxim into reality by injecting variety into his running sessions. You can do the same by trying something different: hill repeats, a track session, signing up for a trail race. You could even just run somewhere new to freshen up your routine.

7. Avoid an ‘all or nothing’ approach

If you’e short on time or really not feeling up to a long session, just go for a shorter run for however long you feel you can spare. As legendary running author Dr George Sheehan once said: “Have you ever felt worse after a run?”.

8. Reward your efforts

Treating yourself to some new running gear is a great way to re-energise your running as you’ll want to get outside to show off your new kit! You could also promise yourself a sports massage, new pair of trainers, or the latest running gadget as an incentive when you’re targeting a big goal.

9. Be inspired

Which athletes do you look up to? Many big-name runners have written books about their amazing exploits and how they pushed themselves to greatness. Read about someone who has inspired you to see what you can take from their lives into your own training.

10. Have something to look forward to

A treat of some kind at the end of your run is a great way to keep yourself focused and ensure you give your best until the end. It could be a good meal, sitting down to watch your favourite TV show, or finishing your run somewhere with a great view. 

Feeling suitably motivated? Now get out there and put these tips into practice!

More training information

    • Gear Guides

      From footwear to hats and everything in between – all you need to know about essential running kit

    • Nutrition and hydration

      Our Nutrition and hydration section is packed with articles about boosting your performance

    • Training Plans

      Our 16-week Training Plans will guide you right through to the Start Line

    • Gear Guides

      From footwear to hats and everything in between – all you need to know about essential running kit

    • Nutrition and hydration

      Our Nutrition and hydration section is packed with articles about boosting your performance

    • Training Plans

      Our 16-week Training Plans will guide you right through to the Start Line

    • Gear Guides

      From footwear to hats and everything in between – all you need to know about essential running kit

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