Top Marathon Running Tips

The highly coveted marathon is an achievement that many runners set their sights on. The event, with a distance of 26.2 miles, is regarded as one of the ultimate challenges for long distance running, and understandably, a daunting prospect for less experienced runners.

Runners taking part in a marathon

With this in mind we’ve put together our top ten tips to help you prepare for your marathon, so whether your about to run your first or your 10th marathon, read on!

Don’t worry about your time

This is particularly important to remember if it’s your first marathon. Travelling 26.2 miles by foot is an achievement – whether you’ve ran it all or had to slow down to a walk! Focus on crossing the finish line and enjoy the atmosphere of the race.

Use a training plan

For anyone planning on running a marathon, a training plan is crucial. The 26.2 mile distance is not to be underestimated, and you’ll need to get your body used to running longer distances over a number of weeks beforehand. You’ll also get a much better idea of how to pace yourself on race day.

Keep hydrated

Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your marathon so that you’re well hydrated by the time the big day comes around. Keep drinking little and often during the race to prevent dehydration. Sports drinks with electrolytes are also great for replacing any minerals you lose through sweat.

Warm up

Never underestimate the importance of the humble warm up routine! Not only will warming up effectively prevent injuries, but it can also help to prepare your muscles and help you to perform to the best of your abilities during your run.

Find your soundtrack

Even if you’re Mo Farah, a marathon is a long distance that takes time to cover. If you find yourself getting bored running longer distances, a good running playlist can help keep your runs interesting and motivated, and spur you on to run that bit faster.

Track your progress

Keeping a diary of your training can help you to track your progress. The best way to do this is by using fitness apps or trackers that can monitor your pace, heart rate and more allowing you to see in real time where you can improve your technique.

Research your course

The more you know about your course, the better you can prepare. Knowing about a steep hill 6km into the course will help you to better manage how you pace yourself, and to incorporate hills into your training.

Run for a good cause

Marathons attract a huge number of runners who are raising money for charity. If you are not doing so already, it can be a great way to keep you motivated and give you a meaningful focus for your training. You’ll be doing something great for a fantastic cause too!

Don’t over-train

In the last couple of weeks before your race it might be tempting to switch your training into overdrive, but do resist this urge! If you train too hard before your race you’ll find yourself exhausted and risk injury. Start to taper off your training before your race to perform at your best.

Have fun!

Competing a marathon is a huge achievement, so remember to take in the atmosphere and enjoy the moment. Whether you walk the whole course or get around in record time, you should be really proud!


If you are looking for your next marathon, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - Marathon Listings

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UK Marathons

A marathon is often seen as the ultimate challenge for long-distance runners. Covering 26.2 miles, a marathon will challenge your fitness, endurance, pace, and grit, but reward you with an amazing sense of accomplishment at the finish line! Marathons take place all over the world, with well-known events such as the London or New York marathons attracting thousands of entrants every year.

Why run a marathon?

For many runners, once they’ve trained up from completing a 5k, 10k or haIf marathon, completing a full marathon is the big race that will be in their sights. A marathon is no easy feat, but if you’ve already completed a few longer races such as 10k or half marathon distance, you should be able to increase your training and take on a marathon as the next natural progression in your running journey. That being said, even If you’ve never run competitively before, many beginners often choose to take on a marathon as a way to encourage a change in fitness and lifestyle and to have a real challenge to work towards. You’re sure to feel a great sense of achievement after running your first marathon, regardless of your time, and you might just catch the running bug too!

Aside from being a great form of cardiovascular exercise, there are plenty of other great benefits to running too. Firstly, if you’re thinking of taking up running as a way to lose some weight, running a marathon is a big commitment, and through your training, you’ll work on getting your heart rate up and burning calories.

Another reason to sign up for a marathon is that it’s a great way to raise money for charity. Marathons are really popular events for fundraising and there are hundreds of marathons in the UK every year. Some people even choose to so the whole race in fancy dress to make fundraising that bit more interesting!

Finally, running your first marathon is a great way to really challenge yourself and improve your long-distance running ability. Once you’ve finished one marathon you’ll be looking for your next race to beat your PB. If you’d rather start with a shorter distance to ease into running, why not check out a 5k or 10k race first?

Marathons near me

Whilst you’ll have no doubt heard of some of the most popular marathons out there such as the London Marathon, did you know that there are dozens of local marathon events that take place every year in the UK too? As marathons are popular events and great for fundraising, you’ll find that there are more and more marathons springing up across the UK all the time, meaning that there is bound to be one that is easy and convenient for you to get to. Another benefit of joining one of the smaller marathon events nearby is that you’re less likely to miss out on a place and joining fees are generally lower.

If you’re looking for ways to get more active, or even start exercising more with a friend or partner, training for a marathon together is a great way to introduce a little friendly competition and also support each other in reaching your fitness goals. We list lots of marathon events that take place all over the UK, so be sure to take a look for marathons near you using the search bar on the left. You can then find races based on location and other options using the filters to find the perfect event for you.

Marathons near me and fundraising

As we’ve mentioned, running a marathon is a great way to raise some money for a good cause, and with such a long race distance, you could even get people to sponsor you per mile. As well as the better-known events, such as the Virgin London Marathon and the Great Run series, there are plenty of smaller local events you can sign up to as well. In fact, many local charities organise their own events to raise money for specific causes.

Setting up funding for a marathon is easy too. Most charities will provide you with a sponsorship pack to get started you can also fundraise online and share your goals with your friends on social media. Running in a local marathon race is also an ideal way to raise money for charities that are based in your local community, and also a great way to get more familiar with your local area.

Charity marathon events are some of the most popular events out there, so if you want to get into running then these are a great place to start!

How can I find a charity marathons near me?

If you’ve decided to run a marathon for a charity, you may be wondering ‘where are the charity marathon events near me?’. Well, you’re in the right place! On the UK Fitness Events website, you’ll find pages of fitness events that are taking place all across the UK. Use the search bar on the left and once you’ve filtered down the type of race you’re looking to take part in, you can then further refine the results by selecting your location and then choosing from a range of charities that you are interested in supporting.

If you’d like to support a charity that isn’t listed, you’re welcome to do that too! Be sure to check the website of your chosen charity to find out more about getting started with fundraising.

Training for a marathon

Marathons are probably the biggest challenge a runner will ever face and will push you to all your limits. Marathons require a much longer training plan where you have to train both your body and mind to be able to stand up to the length of the race.

If your goal is to do a marathon or even half marathon then you’ll need to get lots of training done before you even look at the track! Start off similar to a 5K prep with smaller runs and sprints and then slowly build up the length of the runs you do. You’ll also want to get into the right diet regime too so that your body gets in the right shape, find out more by looking at our marathon training plan

What are the best UK marathons 2020?

The most famous marathon is the Virgin Money London Marathon, though there are many others dotted around the country too such as the Brighton or Edinburgh marathons which provide just as much challenge and give you multiple scenic routes to run on. For a little more adventure you can also look at something like the Midnight Marathon Run which will have you sprinting around a mountain in total darkness! Want to find more, take a look at our guide to the Best UK Marathons

Related posts

Are you looking for some more information on marathons? We have some great quick-read articles covering everything from pace, training and nutrition to top tips. See some of our related posts below:

Calories burnt running a Marathon

How long is a marathon?

How to train for a marathon

Top Marathon Running Tips

What are the Best UK Marathons?

What is the average marathon time?

How to run a marathon faster

What to eat before a marathon