Long Runs and Preparation Races

If you are preparing to run a spring marathon (London, Paris, Rotterdam, Zurich, Hamburg, Madrid, Boston, etc.) we would recommend that you participate in a few races before the actual Marathon. This is to prepare you for and make you feel comfortable in a race situation, run with a crowd, fetch water from a water table, learn to pace yourself in a competitive environment etc.

Another reason for thinking about preparation races is that you need to do some long runs before the marathon as part of your training. Opinions vary about how many you need to do, and how long – but you should almost certainly be doing a long run once a week, building up to 15-20 miles.

You should be aiming for between two and four runs of up to 20 miles in the run up to the big day. These should be at least two weeks apart, and the last should be not less than three weeks before the race. Races are often a good way to do long runs on a measured course, as they provide mile markers that you can use to pace yourself, and water stations. You may want to run progressively longer distance races, i.e. 10 kilometre, 10 mile, half marathon and 20 mile. Information on race entries can be found in the Runners Word magazine, their website, or the race planner on our website. Be aware that these races fill up quickly, so enter NOW.

Serpies may want to consider participating in the Club Championships race series, the longer races of which are chosen with a view to build up for a spring marathon.

We will also be running the last half of the London Marathon as a training run before the marathon for Serpentine members.

If you don't want to enter a race, the club meets in Richmond Park for a Sunday run, at 9am each Sunday morning. This gives you the opportunity to run 7-15 miles at your choice of pace. The Wednesday long runs offer 12 mile runs every week, with a longer distance runs thrown in before the London Marathon.