Running the London marathon 2016: February update

Update: follow the link if you’d like to jump straight to my report of running the London marathon.

I cannot believe I’m already writing my February update. The month has flown by and the London marathon is now less than 60 days away, a scary thought. How am I getting on?


On Saturday I ran the longest run of my life. 14 miles. Woo hoo! Two months ago I couldn’t contemplate running this far but I’ve trusted my plan and, dare I say, it wasn’t too bad at all. Although my legs are still a little achy.

I’ve missed out one training session. During half term we went to London for the day; I was supposed to run for 50 minutes that evening but we didn’t get home until 8pm and the thought of heading back out wasn’t appealing. In fairness I had been on my feet for most of the day and must have easily walked 6 miles.

The only other training I’ve changed was a speed session. To put it bluntly, I just couldn’t be bothered. I much prefer to pootle along at my own pace and although I know speed sessions are beneficial I don’t enjoy them. That said, I have managed to take 30 seconds off my Parkrun personal best this month so all the running must be doing me some good!

Touch wood I haven’t picked up any injuries from running yet. I do have neck and back problems but that’s more to do with age and years of bad posture. Aside from this I get niggles in my legs which last about a mile and then just as I’m starting to worry about them they’ll stop and something else starts hurting instead.


I’m slowly getting to grips with my new Garmin watch. It’s definitely more accurate than my phone app which was over-estimating both my distance and pace (pity). Despite the time it takes to locate a GPS signal I find it much easier to access and use whilst out on a run. The downside is that I’m having to carry my phone too in case of emergencies.

The trainers are still comfortable and the roller is being rolled on although I’m yet to be convinced it makes the slightest difference.

Food and drink

All of the marathon advice I’ve read stresses the importance of correct fuelling. Most seem to advocate gels and energy drinks but I’m not too keen on using these so I’ve been practising eating real food (Nakd energy bars) whilst I run. I haven’t choked yet!

Similarly I don’t generally drink much if I’m running but I know that if it’s a warm day I’m going to have to. I don’t normally carry a water bottle but will force myself to do so on longer runs so that I can get used to drinking on the go.

The month ahead

March is by far the hardest month of the training plan with four very long runs scheduled. I’m already struggling to find new and interesting routes so I think I’ll be pretty bored of running by the end of the month. I’m off to Belfast for a few days after Easter so will somehow need to fit runs in (and take all my running gear in my plane hand luggage) but at least I’ll have somewhere different to run.

According to the plan I should also be scheduling a half-marathon in. The organiser of the the local half-marathon I’m interested in obviously isn’t following my training plan as the date clashes with my longest run! I still haven’t decided what to do but am wondering if it’s a bad thing to delay my long run a week (into my taper period) or to run an extra 7 miles after I finish the half marathon. Watch this space…..

Are you training for the London marathon? Do leave a comment to let me know how you’re getting on.

10 thoughts on “Running the London marathon 2016: February update”

  1. HI Christine, I did think of you this morning,thinking you only had a month until the Marathon. You sound like you are doing really well.

    When we were training for the Athens one I kept bottles of water in the freezer so that we could sit in a bath of ice cold water after a long run, it wasn’t pleasant (and that was in summer), but I’m sure it helped.

    Have you tried honey as a fuel? It is apparently perfect as it contains carbs and protein and is easily digestible, we ran with individual honey sachets that had little screw tops, not sure if you would get them over there.

    When using the roller be sure to bare weight on any knots and tight areas without rolling, it will hurt, but after a minute or two you’ll feel the tightness ‘pop’ (in a nice way). Then roll back and forth over the area a fair few times and repeat if you still feel a tightness. You can check out videos on YouTube that show you how to roll properly.

    Good luck with your extra long runs this month and look forward to reading your March update.


    1. Thanks so much for the tips Debbie. Although I’m not convinced about the ice bath, I usually go for the opposite advice and have a hot shower to warm up (or maybe that’s because all my running seems to be in freezing temperatures) 🙂

      I read somewhere about white bread and honey sandwiches being a good fuel too, I guess as the sugar is immediately available to the body to use. It’s funny how something that would normally be deemed bad for you is good when you’re a runner!

  2. Wow! It sounds like you’re doing amazingly – I can’t even imagine running 14 miles, so a massive well done for that! I find people that run the marathon so inspiring. My brother ran it a couple of years ago, so I have a bit of an idea of how much work/effort/time/preparations have to go into it. You’re doing an amazing thing 🙂 #MadMidWeek

    Helen x

    1. I couldn’t imagine running 14 miles at the start of the year either but I think when you’ve got a target to aim for it helps immensely.

    1. I think some people take the training schedule incredibly seriously. I’m not aiming for a particular time, just want to finish, so my training sounds ‘easy’ in comparison to others.

  3. Well done Christine, I only just realised you were doing the marathon. I remember when I got to around the 15 mile mark I knew the training was going well! My best advice, to rest before the big day. Take a week off. I injured myself so had to take 2 weeks off, but I was so refreshed on the day and felt so much better than my friend who had run about 19 miles a few days before!

    1. Thanks Ting. I’m definitely having a rest the week before the marathon. I’m of the opinion that ‘less is more’ when it comes to my training. If I run too much I know my knees will complain!

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