Posts Tagged ‘marathon training’

Get the Glow

November 4, 2019 at 6:15
Posted by Rachael Woolston


EARLY BIRD CODE GTG4 expires 11th October for 5% saving.

Experience the beauty of autumn mornings and fill up with feel-good endorphins with this fitness boosting, strong and lean six week challenge.

  • Including a pre and post assessment to help define your goals
  • An eating plan
  • Personalised goal setting
  • Feedback every session to help you stay accountable

Whether it’s getting in shape, or starting your base training for a Spring marathon, this is the perfect course for you, led by founder Rachael Woolston, with over a decade of experience in transforming women’s fitness, and performance.

Donn’t just expect results, but spectacular sunrises and crispy mornings that will leave you flooded with good vibes and an amazing community of women to work out with.


Available at 6.15am and 7am.

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GRTW Run Like a Pro Workshop Series, Heart Rate Training

February 3, 2018 at 8:00
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Many of us may have even received a free heart rate monitor when we bought our training watch but may never have used it. Now is your chance to find out how to use heart rate training to supplement your run training.

In this workshop, you’ll find out what your own personal heart rate training zones are, and why working within certain target zones can help ensure you are training correctly, which can mean training hard enough when doing a pace session to get the most out of it, or conversely, when your heart rate is showing you are ill or  under stress and shouldn’t run. 

You will need to bring your own heart rate monitor, already paired to your watch. You can finish the workshop by putting into practise what you’ve learned at our GRTW Get Together Hove Prom Parkrun.

 £4.99 Facebook Live.

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Rise & Shine

January 8, 2018 at 6:15
Posted by Rachael Woolston


EARLY BIRD CODE VALID MIDNIGHT DECEMBER 14. INPUT CODE R&S at checkout. Only valid with full six/four week course bookings.


Reset your fitness, health and well being with this four or five week course, three mornings per week. It will help you to detox and re-focus on the kind of fitness and healthy lifestyle choices that will make you feel fantastic.

Weight-loss is a given with this course, although that’s not our focus, it’s on making  you fitter, stronger, more flexible and confident about what you are capable of achieving.

All those who commit to the six and four week course will get an complimentary one on one assessment before and after the course, where we will discuss your goals and measure your body statistics so that you can see the difference from the beginning to the end. The course, as always, comes with our complimentary eating plans which have helped hundreds of women lose weight with our courses over the last eight years.

What you get with this course is personalised training in a group environment, all-female coaches who understand your body, your motivations and your goals, whatever age, life or fitness stage you are at right now.

We don’t do large, impersonal classes, we get to know you, what motivates you and just what you’re capable of achieving in fitness terms.

It’s likely that you will have spent the last two weeks in a food and drink coma, or at the least, taking care of everyone else in your family except yourself. So, why not give your mind, body and soul a little bit of the me time that  you deserve? Being fit and feeling healthy is not a luxury, it changes how you approach your life, work and relationships. If you feel good, life is much more straightforward!

So, why not devote this course to being about you? Get fit, lean, supple and calm with our courses that blend everything from body balancing strength work to boxing, Pilates style core work to serotonin soaring fitness games along with yoga sessions that work to help to destress and detox the body while boosting the parasympathetic nervous system.

Our courses are not just an exercise class – we offer you a supportive, fun journey that is as much behaviour changing as butt changing …although it does that too!

Here are your price options

EARLY BIRD CODE VALID UNILT MIDNIGHT DECEMBER 14. INPUT CODE RISE & SHINE at checkout. Only valid with full six or four week course bookings.

Five week course, £150 or £135 with 10% early bird discount code. This includes a one to one assessment and works out at £9 per session

Four week course, JAN 8TH – FEB 1ST , £140 or £126 with 10% early bird discount code. Same as above but works out at £10.50 per session.

8 single session drop ins, £100 to be used over the five weeks.

Coaches: Rachael & Tara



Rise & Shine Hove Recurring Payments
Time Slot

(no assessment or eating plan included)

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Essentials: Marathon Stability, Strength & Conditioning

January 6, 2017 at 6:15
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Choose from two course times, 6.15am-7am or 7-7.45am

If you have a marathon (or half marathon) goal in mind, whether that is just to finish, or to go for a specific time, then this course will help ensure you achieve it.

One of the most important aspects of training for a marathon or half (other than running) is conditioning work to help give you stability and to support your joints, in order to help you remain running injury-free and efficiently.

We only accept 8 people on each course to provide personalised training and correct technique. It will involve suspension training for effective stability, along with strength work for the legs, bottom and core.

Stay injury-free during marathon season, and give your body what it needs to keep running strongly.

Each course runs for a six week block and will be progressed on an individual level where appropriate. No refunds or transfer to other sessions.

If you can’t make either of our morning classes and would prefer one-to-one sessions, please get in touch for our prices and marathon mentoring scheme.

Parking is free on Madeira Drive.

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Run Strong

October 14, 2016 at 6:15
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Aimed at helping those runners who are undertaking endurance events of half marathon or over, this eight week strength and core based exercise class will help to build efficiency, speed and stability and prevent injury.

Each class lasts 45 minutes and is available as a class drop in if space is available. Ideally, it should be taken as a course so that we can help you build and adapt as your body becomes stronger.

(Injured runners or those returning from a recent injury should try the Run Rehab class first).

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Injury-proof your running body

September 14, 2016 at 3:21
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Is your running always halted in its tracks by injury or constant niggles? Help remove the obstacles with a course that helps you to build your stability and strength whatever level of runner you are..


Over the last eight years, we have coached hundreds of women to become runners, get faster and run further so there’s not  much we don’t know about when it comes to women’s running – and motivation to run and keep going.

The biggest reason we see many women fall by the wayside when it comes to running is trying to do too much too soon. And without the correct foundations, this often ends in injury setting you back months.

Our Run Rehab course is aimed specifically at strengthening all the muscles which are essential for running to help you prevent injury and become stronger, fitter and more efficient. Over our six week course (starting Friday 16th September) we will help you build stability and balance both through core and gluteal work in a small group environment.

This course is ideal for ALL levels of runner and will help you rehab and get back to running if you are injured OR help to prevent you getting injured in the first place.

If you have only JUST started running for the fun of it, our Run Fit class may also be suitable. For those new to Fitbitch, you can try your first class of RunFit free by entering the code RFP at checkout.

RunFit, a running and conditioning class for beginners. 7pm Thursdays, Preston Park (Five weeks free with Learn to Run 5km, £7 drop in/included in outdoor season pass)

RunRehab for all levels of runners with targeted exercises to help prevent injury. 8-8.45am Hove Seafront until October and then New Fit Studio, The Level, Brighton. £60 for a six week course.





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SOS Marathon

March 2, 2016 at 7:00
Posted by Rachael Woolston

So, it’s March and you are only now beginning to get focused that you are about to run 26.2miles? Never fear.

If your training has suffered and you need help to get you back on track, come and join our small group training. We can’t help you with making up the miles that you may not have done yet, but we can help you work on race day focus, improving your pace and just getting you into the right head space to approach race day.

All sessions will last 45 minutes to an hour and will focus on tempo and pace work in a small group environment. We can also help you to address injuries with stretching advice and more.

Dates: 6 weeks form March 2nd – April 10th

£60 non members, £50 for run club members.

Don’t forget to join our online group too

Coach: Rachael

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Marathon Foundations Course

November 2, 2015 at 9:30
Posted by Rachael Woolston

London Marathon

Whether this is your first or your fifth marathon, this course is an essential conditioning phase that ALL runners should undertake before starting to build any distance.

We will be using suspension training to build important gluteal and core stability that will help to ensure efficient running technique, as well as keeping you free from injury during your training.

Sessions will also include foam rolling and yoga for runners stretches.

Any of those on the course will also gain complimentary access to our online marathon mentoring group worth £50.

If you want to take your marathon training seriously to ensure you enjoy race day and reach the finish line feeling strong, and running happy this is the course for you.

Only 8 spaces, this is open to both men and women and will take place indoors at a venue on Brighton seafront.

Coach: Rachael & Tara

Cost: £160

Course dates: Monday and Thursday, starting 2nd November and finishing 26th November.

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Marathon Foundations

Posted by Rachael Woolston

London Marathon

Whether this is your first or your fifth marathon, this course is an essential conditioning phase that ALL runners should undertake before starting to build any distance.

We will be using suspension training to build important gluteal and core stability that will help to ensure efficient running technique, as well as keeping you free from injury during your training.

Sessions will also include foam rolling and yoga for runners stretches.

Any of those on the course will also gain complimentary access to our online marathon mentoring group worth £50.

If you want to take your marathon training seriously to ensure you enjoy race day and reach the finish line feeling strong, and running happy this is the course for you.

Only 8 spaces, this is open to both men and women and will take place indoors at a venue on Brighton seafront.

Coach: Rachael & Tara

Cost: £160

Course dates: Monday and Wednesday, starting 2nd November and finishing 25th November.

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Marathon training – get off to the right start

October 12, 2015 at 7:14
Posted by Rachael Woolston


When it comes to training for a Spring marathon such as London or Brighton, most runners do one of two things;

  1. They think about running but don’t run at all. Instead, they wait until January and then panic run in ten weeks of training and end up injured.
  2. Start running in a blaze of enthusiasm without any strength training with the same result, injury.


If you want to enjoy your training and get to race day feeling confident and injury-free, the key is laying strong foundations built on stability, balance and strength training.

You need to find out whether your hips and core are strong and stable before you even start increasing your distance. Get this right and you will feel confident and running will feel so much easier.

Last year, we worked on this with our personal training clients, resulting in these individuals running many marathons last year, achieving personal bests and going on to run an ultra. (read about their experience here).

Now, we’ve created a specialist small group Marathon Foundations training course, specifically aimed at creating strong and stable foundations. Open to men and women, the course is particularly suitable if you have suffered running injuries in the past or this is your first marathon.

The course will take place indoors and will work on a personalised level to analyse and strengthen weaknesses before the long training runs are loaded.

Only available for a maximum of eight people per course, they begin in November and take place at either 6.15am, 7am or 9.30am for 45 minutes twice per week for four weeks.

To find out more about the content of the courses, click here. Each person on the course will also gain complimentary access to our closed online marathon mentor group.

The marathon mentor group costs £50 from November to race day and will provide advice and support throughout your training, whether you simply need some motivating support to help you on a bad week, or more specific advice regarding your training, what to eat, or even recommendations on what to wear.

To join our Marathon Mentor group with Rachael, (you can read about her marathon experience here) book below.

Please note that the running membership discount only applies to the marathon mentor group price.

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Get some Mo-Go this September

September 2, 2015 at 3:51
Posted by Rachael Woolston

After a summer of kicking back (or rushing around after the kids!) this month is the perfect time to reset and reboot. It’s what we, at Fitbitch have coined, Mo-Go time – getting your motivation back with some well considered fitness and healthy eating goals.

goal setting

In fact, if you are a beginner or lapsed exerciser, we think September is BETTER than New Year for setting goals because it helps you to get through the autumn-winter months feeling inspired and keeping the blues (and the bloat) at bay with some endorphin-boosting workouts and purpose.

Alternatively, if you are a regular recreational female athlete, NOW is the best time for plotting your 2015-16 goals, which races to enter, target times etc.

This It means that you can enter events intelligently, taking into consideration how much time you have to train, measured against social life, relationships, work and family. And the upshot of this? Your goals become achievable and not another millstone of stress around your neck, leaving you feeling guilty or rubbish for not being able to fit in the training.

Still feel bamboozled, and not sure what goal to choose or how to go about achieving them? Take some inspiration from our Mo-Gos – and the courses we offer to help you achieve them.

Mo-Go 1: Lose the seven pound summer bloat

Feel bloated, out of shape and generally like you have a summer bloat hang-over-your-waistband?

Then…kickstart a new fitness and healthy eating regime with our Reboot four week course for beginners and beyond. Three or four sessions per week, in a small group aimed at your individual level. Fun, effective, transformative. Various times and locations but hurry, spaces are going fast.

Mo-Go 2: Run your first Parkrun

What better way to get fit and stay motivated than running 5km with the amazing, free community But what if you are not yet capable of running 5km and struggling with a Couch to 5km app?

Then…Join our Learn to Run 5km available different days, evenings and daytimes, which will help build your fitness and confidence to get to 5km.

After that, you can join our NEW run membership which will give you access to one FREE run per week, paced runs in a group which will help you to forever feel the #runlove. Not to mention entitling you to discounts off courses and savings on everything from Juice cleanses to yoga and float sessions with our local business partners.

Mo-Go 3: Smash Your Brooks 10km personal best

So, you can already run 10km but are so bored of trudging along doing it, you no longer get any enjoyment out of it?

Then…Join our friendly Smash Your PB group starting next week and at the end of September to help you get faster, fitter and feel supercharged with endorphins.

Mo-Go 4: Take part in Brighton’s FIRST 10 mile road race

October 16th sees the FIRST ever 10 mile race on Brighton and Hove seafront. Want to be part of the first group of runners and build your distance too?

Then…join us on some beautiful off-road weekend routes on our Learn to Run 10 miles (three of four guided, coached runs over six weeks) starting THIS weekend.

Mo-Go 5: Run your first 10km

Always struggled with running for longer than five minutes?

Then…beat the boredom, and boost your butt shape with our  Learn to Run 10km course starting September 8th (or on Monday’s during the day)

Mo-Go 6: Run a Half or Full Marathon

Perhaps you’ve signed up already but are pushing it to the back of your mind. Don’t! Want to get fit and run happy, feeling good from start to finish?

Then…Do our Absolute Beginners Half Marathon course, or sign up for our indoor, small group Marathon Foundations Performance course (available at pre-work and daytime time slots at different locations). Hurry for the latter though as spaces are very limited and include online mentorship throughout your marathon training programme.



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Run Club Testimonials

August 5, 2015 at 11:32
Posted by Rachael Woolston

I’ve gained fitness, self confidence and friends who are like a second family


I’m Anna, and I’m a runner.  That’s not a phrase you would have heard cross my lips until a couple of years ago.

I’ve always loved sport, and tried my hand at loads of different ones, but being “a runner”? Nah.

That was until I started running with Fitbitch. I’ve learned techniques that have changed my running posture (you try holding Pringles whilst sprinting and not crushing them…), developed core strength and stability (squats and burpees are your friend, honest!), cultivated mental fortitude and confidence to keep pushing (when really I wanted to cry), smashed my ParkRun personal best, and made a group of friends that feel like my second family.

Running gives me headspace, fitness, confidence and friendship. But sometimes it’s just about the running.

Anna Stavrianakis (second from left ), 37, university lecturer

I could run 5km in 40 minutes, now I’m sub 25

I joined Fitbitch because I wanted to get fitter and reach my first 10km, as well as gain coaching advice on my running technique and to meet new people.

I’d never done anything remotely sporty before, and the only running I’d done was via the Couch to 5km IPhone app.

The first run we did was a five mile trail run through Stanmer Park which was gorgeous. It was challenging but everyone was so encouraging and supportive, it kept me going.  I was absolutely hooked from that moment.

Running with Fitbitch is awesome, you learn loads and you push yourself much more than you’d ever do alone. When I joined Fitbitch, I could just about run 5km in around 40 minutes. Now, I’ve got that down to a below 25 minutes and have not only run 10km races, but half marathons too – plus I’ve lost so much weight.

I’d never have achieved this without the support of the Fitbitch coaches and community.

I’ve met and made friends and met some of the kindest, funniest, most inspirational women I’ve ever met.

Alice Reeves, 29, digital content strategist


It’s fantastic being able to train with my daughter
romy and tanya
Running with my daughter, Romy has given a new dimension to our relationship. It allows me an insight into her character I’m not sure I would have witnessed if we hadn’t done the course together.
I see how determined she is, how much she can push herself, how much she likes to be challenged and how strong she is, physically & mentally.
I want her to know that anything is achievable in life, and running is a great metaphor for her to understand this!
She’s become much more interested in fitness since taking up running, even using her Christmas money to buy new kit. Best of all, she is now confident enough to volunteer to run 800m at school sports day.
It’s made her more confident and I love the fact that I get to share the experience of running with her. It allows her to see me in a new light too; I’m not just a mum!


I’ve really enjoyed the course which has made me realise how much I love running. Rachael challenges me to do my best and it makes me feel really proud of myself.
She never doubts that I will be able to do anything and doesn’t treat me differently just because I’m a child.
It’s also nice to be involved with such a different mixture of women who are all really nice. And I love doing it with my mum, even though I’ve discovered we’re quite competitive on the sprint finish!

Tanya Taylor, 41 and Romy, 12, mother of four

I’ve achieved so much in one running course


Every session of the course, Run for the Hills, was different and while each was challenging, it left me with such a great sense of achievement each time.

Before this course, I didn’t feel strong or capable enough to do hill repeats but now, I feel confident and a better runner.

The group support was amazing and it never felt like we were competing, but helping each other to be the best we could be.

Rachael is great at inspiring and motivating the group, and believing in each of us and what we can achieve. I also loved the yoga at the end of the session, the perfect complement to a challenging session.

Sarah Crosier, 39, IT project manager

I went from 500metres to 10km in ten weeks

Alicia, far right

Alicia, far right

When I joined I couldn’t run 500m and on my last session, ten weeks later, I ran 10km off road!  Rachael is an amazing coach who believed in me, which gave me the confidence to keep on running.

Whilst, I thought I was built to eat cake, she proved to me that I was also built to run and eat cake!

Alicia Ryan-Gywnn, far right

Fitbitch trail running courses are incredible


For introducing you to the sheer feelgood bliss of running in beautiful countryside, the weekend and Learn to Run 10km trails course can’t be beaten.

I’ve always been nervous of running on trails, preferring to stick to parks and roads, but Fitbitch running has introduced me to local trails that I didn’t even know existed, giving me the confidence to explore on my own.

Our coach, Rachael gave every one of us personalised advice, to help us improve our technique which helped me to run better and further.

We were all different speeds but Rachael adapted each session so that no one got left behind and we all achieved our goals.

I’ve done Fitbitch boot camps, as well as HiiT and the running club, and the camaraderie and support from everyone involved in incredible.

All of us on our running course enjoyed it so much that we’re planning to meet every week to continue our trail running.

Andrea Childs (far right), journalist, 46

I’ve conquered my fear of running up hills

Rosie USE

I really loved the Run for the Hills course with Rachael. I’ve never enjoyed running up hills, but this course really helped me overcome my fear and actually enjoy them.

I felt a real sense of accomplishment after each session and feel fitter and no longer will fear the hill. I particularly loved ending the class with a yoga for runners session on the beach at sunset.

Rosie Beale, 35, massage therapist

I’ve improved so much and gained my run mojo

sarah crosier

Run for the Hills was the first running course I’ve ever taken, and it’s transformed my running. It was great to join such a positive group and rather than fearing the training, I looked forward to each one.
I’ve learned so much alongside a brilliant group of runners, who have all been so supportive. And most importantly, it’s helped motivate me to get off the sofa and train.
I loved the challenge of doing things I’d not normally think of doing myself, and surprised myself with how much difference it’s made to my technique, endurance and enjoyment of running overall.
Each session finished with yoga and Rachael’s knowledge on the correct form for running and yoga has been a huge benefit in helping to prevent soreness and improve recovery times.
Now, I feel I can go out for a run and push myself to achieve more.
I loved the course so much, I’ve signed up for another one. Being part of such a friendly, supportive group with the added benefit of great coaching is an unbeatable combination.

 Cassie McManus (top row, third right), 37, engineering consultant

Fitbitch running courses are the best


I had lost my motivation for running after endless runs along Hove seafront, and so I signed up for a 10 mile trail running course to try something new.

There is nothing comparative to the Fitbitch running group to help motivate you, and this course did not disappoint.  It was fun, friendly and informative with great tips from the coaches on how to approach hill running and even when you felt the top of the hill wasn’t in sight, the Fitbitch community got you to the top.

Sally Crundwell, 31, human resources manager

I couldn’t have run a marathon without Fitbitch

I’d progressed from my first 5k to a half marathon training with Fitbitch, so there was no question of training with anyone else after signing up for my first marathon in 2012.  

I knew that lots of people don’t make it to the actual race due to injury and poor training, and I wanted the support and expertise from the Fitbitch running coaches,  as well as the encouragement and friendship of training with a group of women working towards the same goal.

The combination of strength/pace training and long runs on Sunday helped me increase my distance and confidence. And the support of Kate, and the other coaches really helped me get back to training when I came down with an illness in February. Their expertise helped me to adapt my training plan and still accomplish the race.

Fitbitch puts the personal into their group training, which makes all the difference.

Jenny Holmes, 43, human resources executive

From 10km to the ice challenges, Fitbitch has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams


I ran my first half marathon five months after I signed up for my first training run with Fitbitch as a complete beginner.

Amazing to consider that I had avoided exercise for over 20 years, I didn’t even run for a bus and I only stopped smoking three years ago.

I started running around the park on my own, and just about managed to get to 5km, some of it walking. And so after signing up for the Brooks 10k, I decided I needed help from the Fitbitch.

My first Sunday training run along the seafront was hard but the support I got was incredible. The coaches understand how you’re feeling,  provide useful tips and generally just keep you going.

Not only have I changed as a runner but my body is so different, I’m slimmer,  my clothes fit and it doesn’t matter even if I have the occasional food splurge.

I’ve now run half marathons, hilly trail runs, and am undergoing personal running training to complete the Polar Ice Marathon and Half Marathon in October 2015.

Training with Fitbitch has given me the confidence and the skills to take on any kind of running and challenge.

Clare Lusted, 38, pensions executive

Run for the Hills taught me so much and has made me a better runner


After years of just running on my own, I’ve learned so much about technique and finally I understand the importance of cadence. On my course, Run for the Hills, we were all very different levels. I was one of the slower ones but I was never made to feel like that because the course was cleverly designed so that all the runners were staggered.

This helped motivate me a lot because it meant that at times, I’d be chasing someone down in front of me, or I’d be pushing harder when I could hear someone behind me.

This course challenged me and ensured I pushed myself far more than I ever would on my own. Which has made all the difference to my running.

Laura Marshall

After 42 years, I finally can think of myself as a fast runner

Rachael was an extremely motivating coach! I only managed to make four of the six run for the Hills sessions but even within that space of my time, my speed has increased significantly due to Rachael’s instructions on technique, and her refusal to let me walk or give up any point. My perception of myself as being somebody with stamina but no speed has changed after 42 years!

Clare Mansfield

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Eight Tips for Marathon Tapering

April 2, 2015 at 1:01
Posted by Rachael Woolston

After months spent training for a marathon, tapering can be one of the hardest things to get right. Here, we speak to the experts about the dos and don’ts to ensure you arrive at the start line race-ready perfect

Looking relaxed on the start line of my first marathon, Lake Garda, 2012

Do… stay fresh

After so many months getting used to have targets, 10, 13, 15, 19 miles and so on suddenly not having a clear goal can make it tricky and easier for anxieties to flood the brain. If you’re one of these people (who isn’t?), try focusing on staying fresh.

‘If you need a goal during these final two to three weeks, concentrate on only doing runs that will leave you feeling as fresh and unfatigued as possible,’ says Caroline Wood, the British X-Country Masters Champion, V50 who runs for Brighton based Arena Athletics Club. ‘Don’t do any workouts that are likely to undermine this goal. This way you will ensure that you don’t feel sluggish and arrive at the start line feeling great.’

Don’t…cram the miles

Whether you’ve been injured or you simply slacked off and didn’t complete all the long runs that you should have done, DON’T try to cram them in at the last minute like a student cramming for their exams on a bucket of high energy drinks.
‘Any training you do in the last week will make no difference, and is more likely to be harmful,’ explains Caroline. ‘You can’t put in the miles which should have been done weeks ago and it is more likely to cause injury.’
Instead, focus on the positive runs you HAVE done. Far better to arrive at the start line able to run than ending up injured or tired as you try to cram in junk miles in the taper weeks.

DO… have a massage

So many runners neglect massage, considering it a luxury like a spa treatment. But sports massages should be considered an essential, not only to prevent injuries but as an aid to performance.
‘Regular massage helps to stimulate blood and lymph to keep the muscles, joints and tendons in optimum shape,’ explains Rosie Beale, Fitbitch sports massage therapist. ‘And during the taper period, it can help keep you feeling supple as well as aiding with last minute anxieties.’
We would recommend you leave between 24 and 48 hours between a massage and race. (To book a massage with Rosie, email
Don’t… sofa surf
Don’t interpret the taper as an opportunity to not run and just eat cake.  Tapering is about giving your body time to repair, replenish and reboot ready for a fantastic race. Not running at all won’t achieve this.
So, how do you strike the right balance?
It is widely believed that you should decrease overall weekly mileage by approximately 50% before a marathon. BUT you should keep up your tempo work.
‘If you have been doing fast leg turners, you want to keep this up as it will help you to stay fresh,’ explains Rachael Woolston, founder of Fitbitch and women’s winner of the Mumbai Marathon 2013 Veteran category . ‘If you don’t you’re likely to lose your race fitness and end up feeling sluggish, which can knock your confidence.’
A review of different tapering strategies support this with the general consensus appearing to support not dropping intensity by more than 20%.

DO… eat right

Getting the right nutrition is NOT just about what you eat before a race or during a run. It is just as important to eat well during the week, particularly during the taper.
In the first week of your taper, you may want to increase your protein intake to ‘feed’ your muscles so that they can gain peak repair. Thereafter, ensure you are eating a balance of healthy fats, proteins and slow release carbohydrates. Although as Caroline points out, ‘Don’t eat anything you haven’t tried in the week before a race – keep it neutral.’

Don’t… allow maranoia to take hold

No matter how experienced a runner you are, maranoia – the fear or anxiety that you’re injured/haven’t done enough/are going to get a cold/aren’t going to finish, takes hold in the taper week. It is essential to keep this in perspective and not allow it to overwhelm you. But how?
‘Negative thinking is natural, and the only difference between those with winning behaviour, is how you nullify it so it doesn’t preoccupy you,’ explains Yehuda Shinar, Think Like a Winner, £12.99 (Vermillion). ‘Write a goal plan, detailing what you are going to do at each stage of the race, and consider having three goals, one a time that you should be able to get, one that you could get, like a past PB, and an ideal, dream goal. That way you mitigate any pressure surrounding your goal time.’

DO… focus on the positives

Whether you have done everything your plan has asked or work, family life, relationships have got in the way and you’ve missed some miles or tempo sessions, don’t panic.
We are not professional athletes and we run because we enjoy it. Always remember this. If you’re still struggling, take the advice of Gareth Nicholls, sports performance hypnotist at The Therapy Lounge (

‘As soon as your mind begins to race, visualise a stop sign and interrupt your thought pattern and let it go,’ explains Nicholls. ‘Try breathing exercises, inhaling for a count of 7, exhaling for 11, each time focusing on what you want to happen, rather than things that you want to prevent.’

And remember, while many people take up running as a way of relieving stress, when it comes to marathon training when all we do is run, eat, sleep, and think about running, it often becomes a cause of stress in itself. The solution?

Go out and do something completely unrelated to running.

Don’t …forget to drink

No, we don’t mean wine. Ensure that you drink plenty of water. A good rule of thumb? You should be urinating every three to four hours. More than this and you may be overdoing it which can be bad for your electrolyte balance.

Most of all, try to keep thinking of the marathon as an actual celebration of all that you have achieved. The hard work is over. Enjoy the ride!

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