Celebrating our Thames Marathoners! – Part 2

Here’s some more knowledge bombs from our group of runners. If you missed part one you can check it out here!

How best did you prepare for the long run? Any recommendations ?

Gabi – Crossfit saved me! All I did to prepare was attending the regular evening classes. If you do the classes often and are not worried about being fast or finishing on a specific time, I believe they are enough for you to get through a half-marathon (we all finished, and without injuries!). It definitely helped to give enough strength and mental endurance. However, specific running training would be totally advisable. I was quite sore for a few days after which I imagine could have been avoided with proper preparation. Another recommendation is to have friends cheering for you. We had Shu and Patricia waiting for us half-way through the route and getting that smiles and high-fives definitely helped us to keep going!

-Crossfit is definitely a solid base in many fronts, just add endurance.
I would say it is attainable to run a half marathon without any preparation. A marathon is a tall order and requires specific training if you do not want to suffer more than necessary.

– Setting an ambitious but reasonable goal helps to keep the focus and motivation..
The McMillan Running website has a tool that is very useful to predict finish times based on previous races and to set a goal and running paces to train accordingly.

Check Out The McMillan Running Tool

You can always re-adjust as your training progresses by testing yourself with the so-called ‘marathon finishing time predictor workouts’ like Yasso 800’s, a session of 10 x 800m with equal time rest between each 800.

– Following a well designed training plan is paramount.
It is not about running endless hours/kms. It is about varied quality training and recovering and it saves you from improvising everyday. 3 months / 3 days per week is enough.
Moreover if you combine it with crossfit. Leverage on your gym workout and adapt weights and intensity to your convenience (Milo talked about this in the blog/january).
I only skipped crossfit the last month before the race when long runs were really long and needed some time to recover.

There’s tons of info and plans on the internet but I would suggest this brief and to the point book ‘You, only faster’ by Greg Mcmillan. You get to know the whys and hows of your workout and understand what you are doing.

-Don’t skip the weekend long runs
This is a MUST to build physical and mental endurance, be ready to overcome miserable days too and enjoy the way.

Andre – I didn’t do much preparation other than Crossfit 3 times a week, and it worked out fine. My recommendation is to try to plan a pace in your head before you start. I tracked my speed on my phone and I am glad I did. I have the tendency of starting too fast and dying towards the end, but my mental plan worked well and I managed to keep a consistent pace all the way through.

Ches – To be honest, as I dislike running, I did little running training for it. However, the only regular training I did do was CrossFit. So it’s a real testament, to how CrossFit gives you an all round general fitness and the ability to be able to run 13.1 miles none stop. I’ve also found that CrossFit has developed my mindset and determination to push through that mental pain barrier, cause I really wanted to stop multiple times.

Ally – Each time I’ve not done much training and just relied on Crossfit to get me through! This was fine from a cardiovascular perspective but to minimise pain towards the end I’d definitely recommend getting a few long runs in to prime the joints for what is to come.

Anything else people should know about before attempting a marathon?

Gabi – Practice at least a few runs with the kit you intend to wear in the actual race day. I didn’t break my trainers enough so I finished the day full of blisters. This was the worst after-effect for sure!

Isidro – I would consider shorter distances before. 🙂 Try a fat adapted diet and avoid ‘the wall’. Involve a bunch of friends, the more the merrier.

Andre – This was my second attempt and I have to say it is a lot of fun. To anyone planning to attempt one, just go for it… it is a nice challenge for the body and mind.

Cess – Set a realistic goal. If you’re not planning on winning the marathon, then just have fun.

Ally – A good playlist is a must!

Are you planning on doing another one in the future ?

Gabi – Yes, Hackney Half next month! Maybe I can do some training for this one 🙂

Isidro – I am already thinking on the next one … London, Berlin.
In the short term I want to run shorter races to gain speed 5.6Km JPM Challenge, 10Km Kew Gardens, …

Andre – Yes, I have another one coming now in May! Looking forward to trying to beat my pb on this one.

Ches – I’ve signed up for the London Marathon 2020, so if I’m successful, they’ll be plenty more half marathons for me in the near future.

Ally – Yes definitely, it’s much more fun when you run with friends so we’re going to be doing some as a group in the near future.


1) Cleans
3 x1@90%+
2) Split jerk
4 x 3@70-75%
3) Front squats
4 x 2@75-80%
4) Tricep work
3 sets


1) Snatch
3 x 1@90%+
2) Back squat
4 x 2@80%
3) Push press
4 x 3@70-75%
4)Pull ups
3 sets