I think it’s safe to say that winter has most definitely come for us in the UK. Temperatures hovering in single digits, rain and shorter days can play havoc with your Marathon training. Then there’s the small occasion of Christmas that can derail any meal plan. But with some small tweaks and changes to your routine, you can stay on track with your Marathon training.
Winter Marathon training tips
Switch up your routine
Every routine needs a change, in order to remain effective and keep things interesting. Winter is a great time to do this. With darker mornings and nights you’ll likely have to alter your routine and perhaps your usual running route. Take the opportunity to switch to a different running route – one that’s well-lit, safe and not slippery in the rain.
Alternatively, head to the gym for a few weeks if the weather makes outdoor running particularly difficult. You can also up your cross-training and strength training at this time. The variety in your routine might be the push you need to get through the colder months.
Think of your Marathon training as more than just running. It’s also a mindset. The toughness that you develop during a run, especially in wet and cold weather, will help you get through the Marathon itself. Don’t forget, not all Marathons have good weather either, so if you continue training throughout winter you’ll be doubly prepared on London Marathon day (come rain or shine).
Find another purpose
Running the London Marathon offers you a good reason for your Marathon training in the first place. But for added oomph, why not tie in another reason for you to lace your trainers in the morning? GoodGym, for example, does runs to help the local community with gardening, upkeep and visiting older people.
Don’t get warm and comfy
Try to run first thing in the morning before the business of the day sets in (especially during Christmas shopping season!). If an evening run can’t be avoided then change and go running as soon as you finish work. It’s a lot harder to head out for a run when you’re settled with a cup of tea and the heating on.
Get a buddy
Winter runs can be lonely so get a running buddy to keep you motivated. This can be someone who enjoys running, who is also doing the Marathon – or if you really want to go the extra mile, get yourself a personal trainer.
Hiring a trainer to keep you running through the winter months has some added perks. There’s more accountability (who would want to let their trainer down at 6am?), someone who will be just as wet as you in the rain, and an expert who can change your routine to fit in with the winter weather. Of course, they can also get you back on track following Christmas’ indulgence.
Avoid illness and injury
This can put a stop to your training for months. Make sure you wear plenty of layers if training outdoors to keep yourself healthy. If it’s raining, as soon as you come in from a run get changed and showered. Don’t hang about in your soaking clothes.
Consider the running trainers that you use during this time. Pick ones with better grip for raining and icy weather – or stick to training indoors if conditions are hazardous.
Tough conditions = a better runner
Your London Marathon training takes time, and not all of it is going to be pleasant. Part of the reasons for doing a Marathon includes wanting to challenge yourself and build your grit. That’s exactly what training during winter does for you. So don’t shy away from a rainy run. Embrace it. It’s going to make you a much better Marathoner in the long run.