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Top Tips for Improving Your Personal Best When Training for a Marathon

Training for a marathon requires dedication, perseverance, and a strategic approach. Whether you're a seasoned marathon runner or preparing for your first race, the desire to improve your personal best (PB) is a common goal. In this blog post, we will share the best tips to help you elevate your performance and achieve a new PB when training for a marathon. From training techniques to mental strategies, let's explore the keys to unlocking your full potential.

1. Set Clear and Realistic Goals:

Begin by setting clear and realistic goals for your marathon training. Define your target time and break it down into manageable milestones. Having a specific and achievable goal will provide focus, motivation, and direction throughout your training journey.

2. Develop a Structured Training Plan:

A well-structured training plan is essential for consistent progress and improvement. Consult with a running coach or utilise reputable training resources to design a plan that suits your abilities, fitness level, and time frame. Include a balance of long runs, speed workouts, tempo runs, and recovery days to optimise your training and avoid overtraining.

3. Prioritise Long Runs and Endurance:

Long runs are the foundation of marathon training. Gradually increase your mileage each week, focusing on building endurance. Simulate race conditions during your long runs by incorporating goal race pace segments. This will help your body adapt to the demands of sustained effort and improve your overall endurance.

4. Incorporate Speed and Tempo Workouts:

To improve your PB, incorporate speed workouts and tempo runs into your training plan. Interval training, hill repeats, and tempo runs help increase your lactate threshold, improve running economy, and enhance speed. Include these workouts once or twice a week to develop your anaerobic capacity and boost your overall pace.

5. Strength and Cross-Training:

Don't neglect strength training and cross-training exercises during your marathon training. Incorporate exercises that target your core, legs, and upper body to improve muscular strength, stability, and overall running efficiency. Cross-training activities like cycling or swimming can provide cardiovascular conditioning while giving your running muscles a break.

6. Focus on Recovery and Rest:

Allowing your body to recover and rest is crucial for performance improvement. Integrate rest days into your training plan to prevent overuse injuries and mental burnout. Prioritise quality sleep, proper nutrition, and hydration to optimise recovery and ensure your body is prepared for the demands of marathon training.

7. Practice Race-Day Strategies:

Simulate race-day conditions during training to familiarise yourself with pacing, nutrition, hydration, and mental strategies. Practice fuelling during long runs, experiment with race-day nutrition, and develop mental techniques to stay focused and positive when fatigue sets in. This preparation will help you execute your race plan effectively and achieve your PB on race day.

8. Mental Preparation and Visualisation:

Running a marathon requires mental strength and resilience. Incorporate mental preparation techniques such as visualisation, positive self-talk, and goal setting to cultivate a strong and focused mindset. Visualise yourself crossing the finish line with your desired PB, and maintain a positive attitude throughout your training.

Improving your personal best in marathon training is an exciting and rewarding journey. By setting clear goals, following a structured training plan, prioritising long runs and speed workouts, incorporating strength and cross-training, focusing on recovery, practicing race-day strategies, and nurturing a strong mental game, you'll be well-equipped to achieve your PB. Remember, consistency, patience, and perseverance are key. Embrace the process, trust your training, and celebrate the progress you make along the way. On race day, give it your all and enjoy the exhilarating experience of surpassing your personal best in the marathon.

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