Training for an autumn marathon

Training for an autumn marathon

If you’ve signed up for an autumn marathon, you can look forward to training during the sunnier months. While there will be plenty of challenges to work round, there are also lots of bonuses to train for a race that’s in September to November. Here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Autumn marathon training vs summer holidays

If you’re planning a break this summer, you’ll need to allow for that in your training. While it’s certainly possible to keep up with your training plan by running on holiday, often the best intentions go out the window as soon as you open your suitcase.

If your haven’t booked your holiday or your race yet, try to work your dates so that you’re not away during your peak mileage weeks as it can be difficult to get those really long runs in when you’re somewhere new.

You can mitigate against any disruptions to your training by starting your marathon training plan a couple of weeks early. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday and take the pressure off to hit all your mileage targets.

Longer days to train

With the sun rising earlier in the morning and setting later at night, you’ll have more hours of daylight during which to get out training. If you’re someone who avoids running in the dark because of concerns about safety, training for an autumn race can give you much more freedom to train when and where you want.

hotter weather

Along with more hours of daylight comes a rise in temperature. Say good bye to your thermal running kit for a few months and hello to vests and shorts. Of course, running in the heat poses its own challenges and you’ll probably find yourself getting out earlier and earlier to avoid running at the hottest part of the day.

The good news is that the temperature will have cooled off by autumn and you’ll feel the benefit of all those summer miles come race day.

Make the most of the trails

Summer is a great time to start trail running. The warmer weather means trails will be drier and therefore more accessible, and the longer hours of daylight mean you’ll be able to see where you’re going without a headtorch.

Even if you’re training for a road marathon, adding some trail runs can be a real benefit to your training. The softer ground gives your body a break from the impact of running on the road while the uneven terrain will challenge your stability and balance.

busier social calendar

The summer months seem to come with an increase in social invitations – whether it’s to your best friend’s wedding (and therefore Hen Do as well) or just after work drinks in a local beer garden. It is possible to have a social life alongside marathon training, you just have to be organized and prioritize what’s most important to you. So while you might not be forgiven for missing your friend’s wedding in favor of a long run, the pub can probably wait. As with holidays, the better you can plan around in advance, the more chance you have of a successful training block.

summer races

It’s a good idea to work a couple of shorter races into your marathon build-up, particularly if you’re training for your first marathon. A half marathon can be treated as a dress-rehearsal for the main event and will give you a chance to test out your kit and morning routine. Pick a summer half marathon somewhere you fancy visiting and make a weekend away from it.

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