How did we train for the Rome marathon?

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Mum and I have been asked quite often recently how we trained for our first marathon last year and if we had any tips.  Well we don’t feel that we can really give out tips because we are not in any way ‘seasoned’ runners.  However we did follow advice from online sources and from friends who had a lot more experience than us.

 
This is some of the key things we did do…
 
First of all we drew up a 16 week running plan and we made the decision to stick to it, we think in retrospect that was the ultimate decision – sticking to what we decided to do. 
 
As we were already running three or four times a week for 3 – 5 miles we produced a schedule that built up our long runs.  We read enough to realise that it was very sensible to stick to the rule of not increasing our weekly mileage by more than 10% – although that can be difficult in the countryside when you are stuck for finding decent long runs.  Here is more on the 10% rule and lots more advice on all aspects of running.  
 
Each week we also made sure we did a long run so that our bodies got used to progressively  longer distance and longer time on our feet – so that the hours on our feet for the marathon didn’t come as too much of a surprise! Some runners prefer a long run every two weeks and some just one long run per month.  You can read more about the pro’s and cons of your long runs here.
 
Here are some of the things we didn’t do…
 
We didn’t stretch enough (or at all really) a very silly omission – we were lucky we didn’t pick up any serious injuries.  Here is some info on stretching and marathon training.
 
We also didn’t do any core strengthening exercises which was a real missed opportunity.  Here is some advice on core strength training. 
 

We ate too much – mum even put on weight despite the mileage we were doing.

 And … we didn’t learn how to hydrate properly but luckily the Rome marathon organisers knew what they were doing and we were ok on the day.  This is my post on what we do now to keep us going on long runs.
 
Overall as we progressed we realised a one fit plan doesn’t suit everyone for example we had different aches and pains, availability for training and different needs for hydration and food on long runs.  And don’t forget there is a 28 year age gap between us!
 
So what we needed was a whole system that we could adapt to our specific needs to help develop our speed, strength and endurance.
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