Susan and Chris prepare for the London Marathon, supporting and encouraging one another through the highs and lows of their tough training.

Since our training run in the snow at Stamford Park we’ve both been training really hard. We can’t always run together due to family and other commitments, but when we do it’s really enjoyable.marathon blog

The hardest part of training for us is to get out early in the morning or late at night after work…and even harder when it’s an early start at weekends! This calls for lots of motivation, but it helps when we’re encouraging each other the day before via text, email or tweets, whether that’s about the route or even just motivating each other by saying we can do it!

On the runs we chat about where we are going to go on the next run. Planning ahead helps lots and allows you to get your mind in order. When you’ve done a few runs together and your legs are aching but you know you must run again to get the marathon miles under your belt, it’s tough, but if you have a plan at least you can prepare. In the cold, wet UK winter, despite your preparation, you can wake up to the wind howling around outside your house, or be driving home with the rain lashing at the windscreen, and you just think ‘why are we doing this?!’

But we know the ultimate aim is the thrill of the London Marathon and we must work hard to succeed in our challenge.

Since the last meeting at Stamford Park we have run over 100 miles in training, both on trails and on roads, some during the day and some at night. I personally prefer training on the trails and Susan likes roads. When we run with the club it is usually on the road, but we did do one muddy trial run and have also done a few late night runs at a local country park on the trails. It can be fun running under torch lights and makes the run exciting as it’s something a little different.

Susan has also been doing lots of hill reps to strengthen her legs. This is where you run up a hill as fast as you can then jog back down and do it again several times. She has also been doing spin classes and dog walking to get her legs as marathon ready as possible.

I have just been following the running club marathon plan which is on Monday and Wednesday night, as well as long runs at weekends. I did a 10k event in Southport on 7th February called Mad Dog. This event was made extra hard by having to complete eight miles before the race to keep up the marathon plan! Still, we know what we signed up for and keep pushing each other whenever we can to not only build up our running fitness but also build our confidence that we will complete the London Marathon and hopefully cross the line together.

Susan and Chris are running the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon, courtesy of Holiday Inn – Official Hotel Partner.