London Marathon Training Plan

Our London Marathon Training plan will help you cross the line on marathon day. It takes a huge amount of time, energy and effort to train for a marathon, but you can do it!

London Marathon training plan downloads

Teenage Cancer Trust Marathon Runner
Teenage Cancer Trust Marathon runner
Teenage Cancer Trust Marathon Runner
Teenage Cancer Trust Marathon Runner High Fiving

Not quite ready to get into a London Marathon training plan?

These training plans for shorter distances might be a good place to start.


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    London Marathon traning plan from our experts

    The team from RunningWithUs are here to support you on your TCS London Marathon journey from sign up to finish line. Here are just a handful of our top tips for getting started:

    Getting started… those first steps

    So you’ve signed yourself up to a race for Teenage Cancer Trust now where to begin with your training? Having a goal/race is definitely the first step, this gives you the motivation and the determination to see it through to the end.

    1. Ensure your goal is realistic and achievable in the time frame you have given yourself, depending on what distance you will be racing obviously depends on the amount of time you need to give yourself to train for it. Experience and lifestyle need to be taken into account with your training, we all lead very busy lives with family and work commitments so don’t pile too much on yourself if you know you can’t stick to it, that said, you need to be running around three times a week to start to see the benefits over time.
    2. Focus on ‘The Three Ps’: Planning, Patience & Progression. Have a plan in place, how may times a week will you run, where, short term and long term goals? BE PATIENT! Fitness takes about 6 weeks to bed in, you won’t see or feel instant results but with time and consistency you will! Ensure that your plan allows for progression. As your body gets used to running, with rest it is able to adapt, it is then able to have a little bit more added on and that’s how you progress. It’s wise to consider a slightly easier week running every 3-4 weeks to allow your body even more time to recover and adapt ready for another phase/load of training.
    3. Avoid ‘The Terrible Toos’ - too much, too soon, too fast. This is a sure fire way for an injury to occur, the body can’t handle too much in one go…be sensible!
    4. Get yourself the right kit, appropriate running apparel, hi-vis gear if necessary and trainers to suit YOU is really important. Get yourself down to a recommended running shop that offers gait analysis so they can watch how you run and advise you on the right trainers, trainers that works for one runner doesn’t necessarily work for another so make sure you try on a few pairs to ensure the ones you do pick are comfortable and supportive enough for you.
    5. Remember to enjoy it! Don’t allow running to become a chore, make your runs social, this will help with motivation if you plan to meet a friend or training partner. Be sensible, keep your runs interesting. Choose routes that incorporate lots of ‘off road’, such as grass and trail alongside tarmac running is most desirable as the softer surfaces are kinder to the body and joints. Make sure to keep hydrated, eat well, stretch regularly and you will be in a perfect position to progress quickly. Stay safe, be seen and have fun!
    Teenage Cancer Trust Marathon Group training

    How to stay motivated with your London Marathon training plan

    How to stay motivated when running? You’ve had a long day at work, meetings ran over, you didn’t eat until late and now you’re tired…your scheduled 6pm run is now looking less and less likely - so how to stay motivated so your running doesn’t slip?

    Have a goal!

    Having a goal to work towards is a sure-fire way to keep motivation alive! A little bit of healthy pressure put on you, knowing you’ve got to run a certain race at the end of your training, makes it more likely you’ll keep it up.

    Keep it social

    Running is meant to be fun and enjoyable and running with likeminded people is a great social thing to do and it keeps you motivated. If you’re due to run with a friend later in the day, chances are, you’ll keep to your promise. Running with others is a great way to share advice and stories with each other, hearing what others get up to can be inspiring and gives you the kick to keep going!

    Be realistic

    Make sure whatever goal and training plan you have is realistic and achievable to you. There is no point in picking a plan that wants you to run 5 times a week when you know that’s too much, if 3 times a week is achievable, stick with that and remember - consistency is key!

    Make small goals along the way

    You may be targeting a big race, let’s say a marathon, this could be 16-20 weeks away and a long time to keep motivated! Consider making small goals along the way, these could be smaller races, park runs, 10ks or half marathons for example, it gives you closer goals to work towards and it’s a great way to see where your fitness is at at that point in training.

    Avoid the terrible toos!

    Too much, too fast, too soon all lead to overtraining and injury and no runner wants this as it can be very frustrating and sometimes make you feel like you don’t want to bother. By having a sensible approach to training, allowing your training to progress gradually over time and giving yourself adequate rest and recovery will all help to make your running consistent and enjoyable. Of course, injury and illness can occur, be sensible when this does happen and don’t return too quickly.

    Health and nutrition to support your London Marathon training plan


    1. Visit your local running shop and get a gait analysis. The staff in the shop may also want to see your old/current running shoes and will then advise on the best shoe choice for you and your running style (biomechanics/gait).
    2. Check out your local physio and get an MOT. We hope you are running a few miles already in training, but would you take your car on a super long journey without getting it serviced or knowing all is working well? An MOT from a good running physio will help prevent injury and they should give you some personal exercises and stretches to compliment your running.
    3. Get medically checked out? Nothing to worry about here but if you have suffered from an illness or medical condition in the past we advise you to chat with your GP before starting the real marathon training.
    4. Get plenty of sleep and try to get into a routine. The training only works and you will only gradually get fitter if the recovery is good. Aim to get 7-8 hours sleep a night as often as possible if you can. Research suggests that those getting less than 6-7 hours a night sleep are far more likely to pick up injury or illness in their marathon journey.
    5. Focus on healthy nutrition most of the time. We all need and deserve our treats but the marathon body needs regular fuel in the form of healthy snacks, balanced meals and natural food choices. Poor fuel will lead to break down, illness, injury and fitness not progressing. Please eat or take on a recovery drink within minutes after each run and follow our simple line of “never hungry, never over full”. We will talk at greater length about nutrition, gels, hydration and more in the months ahead and at the training day.

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