Welcome to the Training Zone!

There are obviously many training plans to be found online and as the participants of The Chelmsford Marathon vary from novice to expert it is really hard for us to publish something for everyone. Therefore we have taken a different approach and are delighted to share with you the marathon diary of Sundried ambassador Becky Shuttleworth

You can follow a strict training plan – you can find hundreds of these online. Or you can do what I do and be a bit more flexible. Here’s my marathon training story to give you a flavour of how I prepared myself for a marathon.

  About me: I’m 29 years old and have been running for 11 years. My first race was the Great North Run (half marathon) in 2009 (1:45:42). My first marathon was in 2013 (3:35:48). Since then I’ve run a road marathon a year and numerous trail ultramarathons including two 100 milers.

  My approach: I have never followed a strict training plan, and never intend to. I run when I can, for as long as I want (or until I reach my destination), and usually at a fairly comfortable pace. That’s not to say interval training or hill training isn’t valuable. For some, that’s the best way to train. There are two approaches you can take – you can run fewer, stronger miles (which would include interval training/hill training etc) or you can just get the miles in, in any way you fancy. My approach is the latter.

Biased by a background in psychology, my marathon tips are geared more towards training the mind. My top tips for marathon training:

Make it convenient: The more convenient it is, the more likely you are to do it.  If you can run to or from work (or both), then do that. Fit it around your life so you don’t have to make huge changes to your routine to fit it in.

Make it challenging: Don’t cancel your run just because you feel tired – mentally or physically. You’ll come to a point during the marathon when your legs will feel like lead and you’ll think you can’t go on. It’s important to train your brain to cope with this and realise that you can keep going. Your brain will try to give up long before your body does. Training your brain is a large part of the battle. Two runs on the same day every now and then will really help with this.

Make it meaningful: Write down all the reasons you’re running the marathon the day before and take that note with you to the start. Remember who you’re doing it for – whether it’s for yourself or for someone else. How many people have you told you’re running? Who will ask you how it went? What do you want to be able to tell them? These are the things you need to remind yourself of when it gets tough and you feel like giving up.

Click here for Becky’s 10 week plan