How to Train for a Marathon with Our Experts

How to Train for a Marathon with Our Experts

Kristin Kennedy-Brown - April 13, 2023

As we enter 2024, our training goals are in full swing, with many people beginning to train for an upcoming marathon - we asked some of our ambassadors for their marathon running tips. Here’s what we found out…

Stephen Fraser

We caught up with Stephen Fraser; HYROX competitor, marathon runner and founder and coach at FITT Principle - a personal training studio in Glasgow. Read on to learn more about Stephen's tips and tricks of how to train for a marathon. 

How long have you been running and how many events have you participated in?

I was a sprinter in school competing in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. The running fell by the wayside during university, however I decided to pick up longer distances about 10 years ago. The London Marathon was actually my first marathon in 2013. Since then I’ve competed in many races from 5km to a marathon on the Great Wall Of China. I’m currently training for another marathon on the Polar Circle ice caps in October of this year. 

Describe the training process of a marathon - how do you train both mentally and physically?

The key is to always have a programme and stick to it. There are plenty of free options out there or find a coach to work with. The mileage expected during a marathon is no joke and something that should be respected by giving yourself a good lead up to train. Depending on your running experience, ideally 12 weeks + is given to your training and it should consist of both running and strength work to make sure your muscles can handle what’s expected of them. This timeframe also gives you the opportunity to train your mind to the same extent. During the training process, you’ll have runs that will feel great and ones that don’t. Both are as valuable as each other as they teach you resilience and to just KEEP GOING through the ups and downs (in running and you’ll find that’s transferable to life as well). 

What is your main motivation when running? Do you have to adopt certain mindset techniques when running long distance?

I’d say for my first London Marathon experience, it was because I wanted to challenge myself and do something outside of my comfort zone. As I’ve been running long distances now for over 10 years, my main motivation is honestly because I really enjoy running. To run long distances and run them consecutively, you’ve got to enjoy the process. If you don’t and want to find an outlet to stick with, there’s plenty other cardiovascular options out there like swimming, cycling etc. 

In terms of mindset techniques, it depends on how I feel on that given day to be honest. Sometimes I’ll listen to classical music, dance music, a podcast or no music at all. The beauty of running is it gives you a hypnotic sense of mindfulness. It’s hard to think about anything else when you’re just present in the moment - scanning the pavement, the traffic, the noise of your breathing or the people you’re running with. Put that into a race atmosphere, our physiological and psychological abilities are amplified, enabling a greater performance. 

What Castore piece do you swear by when training for a marathon?

As a lot of races kick off early spring, something I can’t go without is the Castore track jacket. Having a track jacket that will keep me warm and dry through the winter months of training is key. 

What do you find most rewarding about running?

The fact you get out what you put in and it takes no prisoners. It’s such a humbling journey but with the right programme and direction, seeing your body adapt to cope with what you’re expecting of it is amazing. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking of running the marathon?

Start a programme with plenty of time before the race so you enjoy the process, and more importantly, enjoy the race experience. I didn’t do any strength training before my first marathon and I was one of thousands on the start line with a brace on my knee and shin splints half way through the race. It detracted from the crowds cheering your name, the whole spectacle and made the mindset element even more challenging, so lift those weights alongside your running! Also mix up your runs with others who can positively influence your training. The extra push makes all the difference. 

What does success mean to you?

Success means crossing the finish line knowing I have given my all. If it doesn’t go to plan, success can also be taking those learnings and applying them to the next race. 

Eve Muirhead

We chatted to our very first women’s ambassador, olympic champion and all around sportswoman - Eve Muirhead about her experience training for the marathon. 

How long have you been running for and how many events have you participated in?

I haven’t really been running for that long, occasionally I would head out for a run when there wasn’t another way of training, so in terms of events I have participated in - not that many.

Describe the training process of a marathon - how do you train both mentally and physically? 

I did my very first half marathon, years and years ago in Glasgow, and I did another one last weekend in London in the lead up to the London Marathon - so I’ve got a couple of events under my belt. 

I’ve also had a few duathlons, but in terms of running events not overly many. 

So it’s hard to train mentally I guess and that's one of the hardest ports I have found. Especially doing the longer runs, it's just a matter of not getting bored. Physically, it's about keeping away from injury and listening to your body. 

What is your main motivation when running? How do you adopt certain mindset techniques when running long distance?

The biggest motivation is running for charity - running for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. I am very passionate about raising money and awareness for motor neurone disease and trying to find a cure for it. In terms of other mindset techniques, it's listening to other music you enjoy, listening to podcasts maybe and just anything that gets you through. For longer runs especially, the thing you look forward to is when you can have a gel. 

What Castore piece do you swear by when training for a marathon?

I love wearing all the Castore running range - the leggings are super comfy. During the winter I did a lot of outdoor training and found the quarter zips and the vest tops great. One piece of advice I would give anyone training for the marathon is find what you think is comfy and go with it. 

What do you find most rewarding about running?

The most rewarding feeling is when you stop and realise you have completed that distance. When I did my half marathon the other weekend - the rewarding part was when I crossed the finish line and saw all the smiles on peoples faces, knowing that they’ve finished the marathon.

What does success mean to you?

For me success is actually taking part and doing the event - it is very daunting thinking about it, but it's the passion and dedication I’ve got. I don’t like letting people down and I like doing my best job in everything. So I guess that is what success means to me. So many people are raising awareness for different charities and that to me is very special, that people are performing outside of their comfort zone for other people. 

Read our blog post to learn more about Eve here. 


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