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How can I best train for my Brighton Marathon Weekend event now it is in the autumn?

31st March 2020BM10k, Brighton Marathon, Training

Life is bigger than running. The recent postponement of Brighton Marathon is disappointing for all of you who have been training so consistently and working so hard. The COVID-19 virus is a serious worry for all and we must focus on good hygiene, minimising risk and self-isolation where applicable, to keep the vulnerable and ourselves safe. It’s really important we continue to follow closely government and WHO’s most recent guidelines. However, running outside in the fresh air is healthy and a great way to boost your immune system.

Be sensible with your training and eat well before and after your runs, making sure you are never over-tired. If you begin to feel unwell or start to display any of the COVID-19 symptoms, please seek the advice of a medical professional and then begin the process of self-isolating and full rest. Only resume training when you have given your body enough time to fully recover…ensure you are signed off by a doctor before resuming any form of training.

England Athletics have made the following statement “Where possible, athletes and runners at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environment.”

My advice is simply that you carry on enjoying your running but train alone in open spaces and the fresh air. Below is a collection of our ideas we’ve put together to help guide you through the six months ahead.

My top tips for spring and summer running as we look to retain our fitness and motivation before the Brighton Marathon or BM10k!

The training you complete now will make a difference to your autumn fitness and the result in Brighton come September. Running releases endorphins, reduces stress and is a proven way to stay happy, healthy and positive at this time.

  • Try to carry on with your regular training, you may want to reduce your long runs slightly and move them to 90 minutes to 2 hours rather than battling through really tough long runs when the race date is now much further away.
  • Why not complete your own 10k or a half marathon GPS timed distance effort on the day Brighton originally was? A great target and motivation but also closure to this period of training. Please ensure that it’s within your local area and alone.
  • We would then advise you to take a week or so off, or at least complete a very easy week of training. You deserve this mini break before we start our summer training.

5k and 10k speed in the summer

  • Switching your focus in May and June to shorter faster training might be fun and a clever change of stimulus.
  • Following these plans keeps a routine and you could even set yourself a personal time trial using your GPS over 5k or 10k every few weeks. See your fitness, speed and confidence continue to build!
  • Use the lighter morning and evenings to enjoy the parks and countryside when nature is at its best.
  • This 8-week period has boosted your speed and maintained that spring fitness from earlier in the year. You are now ready to train for your Brighton Marathon or BM10k again in style…well done!

July 2020 – Marathon & 10k training starts again

It is now time to start your marathon & 10k training again.

  • You don’t need to think about a 16 week training block for this period though as you maintained your spring prep and boosted speed in the summer. A simple step back to the last 10-12 weeks of your spring plan is all that’s needed to take you through to event weekend.
  • Your long runs will increase again and so will some of the threshold or race specific workouts.
  • If you are looking to complete a half marathon before your Brighton Marathon, this would ideally be 4-8 weeks from race day so get booking and plan this in.
  • If it is hot in July and August, try to run early in the morning or later in the evenings to avoid the worst of the heat.
  • Remember to make sure you have had a good breakfast before your longest key training runs and practice good hydration and taking those gels every 30-45 minutes.

So stay positive and let’s begin our training towards a successful autumn campaign. You are in great shape and we want to keep and build on this.

One other positive is that it’s warmer in the summer! Race day in the autumn shouldn’t suddenly feel too hot when you’ve acclimatised to running in warmer conditions all summer. This will make your autumn event potentially feel a little easier.

Good luck team, stay healthy and safe.

Nick Anderson is the official coach for Brighton Marathon Weekend.

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