This weekend saw the return of the London Marathon, 889 days after the last full physical race took place, 2020 was an elite only event. Sunday saw in excess of 35,000 people complete the 26.2 mile course, as well as thousands of people around the world completing the course virtually. The leading woman completed the course in 2:17:43 and the men’s race was won with a time of 2:04:01. Has watching the event left you feeling inspired to try it for yourself, is possible for your average Boldie to even contemplate running a marathon?
The quick answer to this is yes. The human body is capable of amazing things, it is quite often our mind that is the limiting factor. If you give yourself enough time to train, you will be amazed at what you can achieve. If you have a reasonable level of fitness, then 16 weeks should give you enough time to train to ensure that you complete your first marathon. There is a myriad of free training guides available online that can guide you through the process. The London Marathon site provides beginner, improver and advanced plans that can be found [here](https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/)
If you have a relatively low level of fitness, are carrying extra weight or have never run before then a longer training plan is sensible. It is not unreasonable to train for a year to achieve your goal. The secret is to build up your running distance gradually, don’t worry about the marathon distance! Start by training for a 5k, the couch to 5k app is great for this and will get you running 5k in 9 weeks. Once that goal has been achieved, progress to a 10k event, then a half marathon. When it’s marathon time you’ll be ready. As always everyone is different, so we always recommend discussing your goal with your GP or Health Care Professional before you begin your training.
For further inspiration, look no further than Fauja Singh, who completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2003, aged 92, in a time of 5 hours and 40 minutes! He didn’t even take up running until he was 89! Harriette Thompson ran the San Diego Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in 2015, to become the oldest ever female marathon runner at the age of 92. As we often say, Age really is no barrier.
If you are looking for an ‘easy’ marathon to sign up for, then the Manchester Marathon is described as ‘flat and friendly’, it’s also the county’s second largest after London. If you do fancy the London Marathon, the ballot for 2022 is now open!