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Louise Damen
Running Training

I have a place in the 2019 London Marathon and want to do it as I am 80 this December. I have never run before and have to admit I do not particularly like running but I am looking on it as a challenge. I have started week 3 of "Couch to 5k" programme and have completed 4 park runs with a PB of just over 41 mins(quite slow). I have read several training programmes etc. but would welcome your advice as to the best way to achieve my goal and stay really motivated. I also go to the gym a couple of times a week for body strengthening exercises. Many thanks.

Congratulations on obtaining your place for London Marathon. That’s fantastic! You have certainly made a good start by following the ‘Couch to 5k’ programme and completing some parkruns. It would definitely be worthwhile finding a marathon specific training programme that you can follow that you feel is realistic yet also takes you slightly out of your comfort zone (there are plenty on realbuzz.com). In order to stay motivated it’s really important to set some shorter term goals along the way. Are there any 10k or half marathon races that you’d like to take part in between now and London? I’d also really recommend finding a running buddy or joining a running group as the support and encouragement from like-minded runners is invaluable.

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I ran when I was younger did 2:44 marathon, had a break for 8 years and started again rather fat 7 years ago. 2012 after losing weight I did 3:08 and have steadily been dropping to 2:41 this year. I’m 50 next year and currently training on the 85mi + Pfitzingers Advanced plan. Do you think sub 2:40 is possible or will age get the better of me and how can I adapt the plan for the better?
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Louise Damen

Louise has been running for over 20 years, with the last 16 of those at International level. She has represented Grea...