How to dominate the training countdown to the London Marathon

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It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight...

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© Kate Gilbert

It's less than three weeks to the London Marathon (Sunday 21 April) so for all those crazy/amazing runners out there - here is so last minute advice for pro Virgin Active personal trainer, Ian Rushbury...

'At this point it's often an exciting, nervy time and questions like am I doing enough, am I doing too much, what should I focus on, have I prepared enough, am I eating right, all pop into your head on a regular basis. A lot of psychological considerations come in to play at this stage as well as those of a physical nature.

The main thing we recommend at Virgin Active in the last month before the marathon is to stay injury free and focus more on the actual race preparation.

The longer runs should have already started to taper but people mentally still want to be active.

Quality over quantity is recommended at this stage, so smaller sharper bursts of energetic exercise do serve great purpose in the last weeks.

Your last long run or marathon 'dress rehearsal', as I like to call it, should be about three-four weeks before the marathon and should be an 18-22 mile run. Then to 'get going' during the last three weeks you should opt for shorter more intense workouts, such as fast classes held on gym floors, or a short track session.

Other possible strategies to 'get going' in the final few weeks could be an alternative workout, such as a swim or a run-through of your race warm-up routine. That way you can still keep the heart and lungs going but prevent an injury and still have a race focussed approach.

Think about your water strategy for the race, don't start to use energy gels if you haven't up until this point in your training.

From my own experience, work and family commitments still come into play over these weeks, unless you are an elite athlete, so try not to burn out. Rest, recover and look forward to what is going to be a fantastic achievement in your life.

Good luck!'



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