Training like a Rebel for your first marathon

It’s the day after Rebel PT trainer, Nicola’s longest run to date… and we’re going to share a Q&A we did with her as she prepares to run her first marathon! Nicola has been training for her this marathon since December 2017 and we wanted to share some of her journey with the Rebels and maybe inspire / motivate or encourage some of you who are either training for your first marathon or thinking about signing up for one.  

Which marathon and what was the motivation to sign up?

Nicola has run plenty of half marathons and 10ks over the years, but had always said no to a marathon as knew time was a big factor for her to train as she would want to for that distance. She is running the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 15th April for Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland – a charity she has volunteered with in the past at the Beast Race. Nicola has family who live near Brighton and her brother in law is also running the marathon for Stroke Association.

And why a marathon now? Time to train as she would want to and time to follow a plan! As well as being a Rebel PT trainer, Nicola runs her own fitness business and not working a conventional 9-5 job means she could give a marathon-training-plan time and attention. She wanted to give herself the best possible chance and wants to enjoy the run and the day!

What is the plan?

Nicola chose a BUPA marathon training plan, it appealed to her as it is 5 days of running per week, with 1 cross-training day and 1 rest day; is an easy-to-follow-plan and allows a certain amount of flexibility.  Nicola’s work as a Rebel PT trainer and Fitness Instructor keeps her active and also works very well for the cross-training day too!

Nicola’s very first run in the plan was with the Original-Rebel-Run-Club (#ORRC) on Boxing Day and when we spoke to her, her mileage total was 399… she is now onto the taper part of her training plan in preparation for Marathon-Day on the 15th April.  

Making the plan work and fuelling the runs.

Nicola does most of her runs in the morning or at lunchtime – this is partly due to her classes being in the evening and partly, as the training runs then become an important part of the daily tasks and that means it gets done. She always eats breakfast as a pre-run fuel and this is usually porridge for a long run and toast with peanut butter for a shorter run. Nicola had to address the lack of protein in her diet and refuels after a run with a protein shake (protein powder, chia and flax seeds, mixed fruit and coconut or almond milk). Also, there are lots and lots of egg-variations as a meal! And creme eggs too.

Nicola has used gels in the past for half marathons and is doing the same in her marathon training. She found out that the Brighton Marathon uses high 5 gel stations on the route and the ISO gels have a more juice-like consistency, which Nicola prefers. *toptip practice running with and using gels before the marathon!* Nicola uses the non-caffeine ISO gels during a run and is using caffeine ISO gels during the last few miles of her long-long runs.  

Most importantly, what running shoes do you use?

Nicola has always run in ASICS, but bought a pair of ON running shoes in the new year… She had used them for some of her training runs and when we first spoke to her, she was undecided on what she will be wearing on marathon-day…. however, news just in that Nicola has now got Saucony Triumphs, which she will be using for the marathon. She also runs in compression tights.

Post-run rituals?

Bar from the protein shake, Nicola stretches after every run (even if just for a few minutes), she is also getting a regular sports massage and uses Epsom salt baths as part of her recovery plan.

So, where do I sign up?! 

If you have any questions or comments for Nicola, you can get in touch or speak to her at bootcamp. There are a number of marathons around the world, opportunity to travel with other Rebels to these events too (we have Rebels at the Stirling Marathon in April and Amsterdam in September…) and plenty of different training plans… like Nicola says, the best top tip is finding one that works for you and your lifestyle! As she says: “I’ll be ready,  my legs need to be ready too”. #RunRebelRun