Taking on a marathon challenge – what does it actually take to get prepped for the infamous London run? Infruition investigates…
The London Marathon is just days away, but for the thousands of runners who will be taking part on Sunday 23rd April, training to get to this stage has been going on for months, if not longer.
We caught up with Jessica Lane on how she has been preparing to take part in her first marathon, which she will be running alongside her mum in support of MS Trust.
What inspired you to enter the London marathon?
To raise much needed fundraising for the MS Trust which is a charity close to our family. My Grandma had MS and passed away when I was 4 years old. We also have a close family friend that has MS and I have seen the impact that it has on family, the support they give is vital not just for the person with MS but as a family unit.
Have you always been a keen runner?
At school I hated sport and P.E lessons. In October 2014, I decided I needed to do something about my health. I decided to take up running, it was difficult and challenging I could barely run to the end of my road but carried on and entered a half marathon so that I had something to aim for and keep me running. I completed the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon in March 2015 in 2 hours 58 Mins since then I have completed 7 half marathons, 10ks and the 2016 London Marathon.
How long have you been in training for?
I have been training since January 2017 but usually do a couple of 5ks in the week as I enjoy running and for fitness.
Do you set yourself weekly distance goals and how often do you have to run per week to get prepped?
In January, I started doing 2 5-8k runs then added distance onto my long runs each weekend, I started with 8 miles my furthest run has been 20 miles at the beginning of April.
How have your cooking habits/ diet changed since you’ve been training?
Overall, they haven’t really changed as I try and eat healthy. In January 2016, I joined Weight Watchers, in May 2016 I reached my goal weight. Since joining I have learnt that nothing is off limits it is all about moderation. Before a long run I usually have peanut butter on toast, or porridge. Depending on what time I train I have a piece of flapjack before or after my run to refuel me for the rest of the day. The evening before a run I have a carb heavy meal to help fuel me and after the run a protein meal to help the muscles to recover.
What is your typical daily meal plan when you are in training mode?
Breakfast – Porridge
Mid Morning Snack – Flapjack
Lunch – Peanut butter on toast
Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognaise
What are your favourite go-to power snacks or meals pre and post run?
My favourite go to power snacks would be Graze Protein Flapjack. After a run, it has to be a cheeky Nandos – double chicken pitta with pineapple and a corn which will to refuel my muscles.
Do you have a finish time goal or any other kind of achievement you wish to complete from it?
Last year when I ran the 2016 London Marathon I completed it in 5 hours and 33 minutes. This year I am aiming for 5 hours and 15 minutes. It would be amazing if I could achieve a sub 5-hour marathon!
You are running with your Mum, how have you both helped to motivate each other and push through ‘the wall’?
We keep each other going and when one of us wants to stop or doesn’t want to leave the house for a run, we motivate each other. Teamwork makes the dream work. My running mantra is I CAN and I WILL, when I’m struggling I repeat this to myself. My mum counts to 4 in her head to get her breathing and her pace back in focus.
What advice would you give to someone looking to take on a marathon?
Believe in yourself, keep breathing and don’t stop.
Don’t think of the as a whole distance break it down into smaller and more achievable chunks and slots for example I broke my 20 miles into 4 5 Mile runs and counted them down.
Tell us your Top 3 Training Tips…
1) Get the correct fitting footwear and socks to avoid blisters. Most running shops provided a free gait analysis
2) Train in what you are going to wear on race day
3) Practise your pre-race breakfast and drinks before race day.