How to get marathon ready in a month


With a month to go to Australia’s biggest fun run attracting up to 80,000 people, the hype will start to build and chances are friends or colleagues are starting to ask who’s doing it!

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced runner there’s a few ways to get behind Sydney’s favourite fun run with a month to go.

Invest now

Nothing like a fresh pair of kicks or get-up to feel motivated to hit the pavement. Fortunately it’s still sale season so purchasing new footwear or even athleisure will help get into the running spirit.

If there’s one item that can make or break your running career, it’s shoes. Feet come in all shapes and sizes and therefore not all shoes will be for you. There are three types of feet: flat, high-arched and neutral. Fortunately, many shoe shops have technology to assess your feet and match you with an appropriate shoe, just don’t try wear them in a week before race day.

A pair of compression leggings are also advantageous because of their ability to assist in recovery by promoting blood flow and supporting the muscles which may improve performance.

Interval training

If training hasn’t been at the top of your list, there are ways to improve your fitness when time is of the essence. Fartleg training (Swedish for speed play) is the way to go which is centred around interval running. Essentially, this involves periods of running with rest which is a slow jog, this may look like one minute of a solid speed followed by 30 seconds of reducing the pace. You can play around with how long to run at an increased speed and half that time with the rest jog. If you’re a novice runner the rest periods can even be a walk, however motivation is key so practising this with a buddy will improve your commitment.

Hill training

City2Surf is famous for many reasons, but one of them is certainly heart-break-hill, it is as the name suggests, a hill that tests every muscle in the body and will get you panting, therefore it’s wise to get some hill training in before the big day. If your running path is relatively flat try practise snippets of the run to prevent a shock to the system on race day. Alternatively, find some hills around Sydney (which won’t be hard) and practise on them at least once or twice a week leading up.

Don’t just run

Surprisingly, I recommend against purely running in a training regime as there are other exercises which improve performance. For instance, I include strength training which focuses on recruiting the main muscles you use during running and strengthens them. This can also help protect against injury and improve stability of other areas that support the body such as the ankles, shoulders, knees, core and hips.

Yoga also helps in this department as what helped me visualise Flow Athletic as it’s how I met Kate Kendall. When I was training for my 35th marathon, the Great Wall of China, within a five-year period the workload had taken a huge toll on my body. Yoga was what helped improve my running game and reduced my recovery days. It taught me flexibility as well as mental clarity which is such a crucial strength in running. I strongly advocate for at least one or two yoga classes a week, which not only improves flexibility and stretches muscles but introduces variety into the running regime.

Ben Lucas is the Director of Flow Athletic and a personal trainer.



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