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My sub 4 hour marathon training plan & top tip's from a running mum

Wendy Rumble


It goes without saying that training for a marathon when you work and have kids is tricky. BUT it IS possible.  And it's possible to run faster and do better than you ever have.  On 30th Oct 2016 I was over the moon to beat my pre baby marathon PB of 4.08 at the Washington Marine Corps with a 3.49 time.

So what did I do?

 - I printed off a plan and followed it very loosely!  (Link at the bottom of the blog)

- What I did stick to was the long run distance every weekend of that scheduled week.  It has more long 20m runs than other plans I had followed which I think was good.

- I didn't manage all the runs listed during the week. Prob 2 runs Monday to Friday. One about 4/5 miles (often with a buggy) and the other a quicker one.  


- I didn't do any hills training because it hurt my knee.  I did have to batttle a knee injury at the start and also a chest infection a month out from the race which meant no running for over 2 weeks.

- I picked an autumn marathon so I could train in the summer months.  Much easier with lighter days and warmer temperatures.  

- I joined a running club and did about 5 weeks worth of speed sessions with them rather than having to think about it myself!   I think getting used to running quicker played a big part.  If you are running less often every run has to count. 

- I did a Saturday parkrun with the kids in the running buggy. 


- If there was time for a short errand/school run with the buggy I'd do it. 2/3 miles is better than nothing. 

- I was lighter! About a stone lighter than my last marathon.  Less weight to carry about does make me a quicker runner I think.  But in terms of diet the changes I made were more protein at breakfast, no bread for lunch and nutribullet smoothies everyday to pack the nutrients in.  

- Before I started my training schedule I was doing regular weekly circuits classes to get my core strength and pelvic floor in good shape.  


- I love treats and did still eat chocolate and crisps and takeaways occasionally. 

- I gave up booze in the 6 weeks run up to the race.  This was really hard for me as I love a drink to unwind at the end of the day BUT knowing I wasn't running as much as the plan said because I couldn't find the time, I had to make every small sacrifice possible to give it a shot. 

 - I got some new trainers from my local running store (Runners Retreat in Marlow) which didn't give me one blister the entire time!  (A miracle as I always used to get them!) I ran in Brooks Ghost's 

 Good luck! I'm not a trained running guide, health professional, just a runner mum who is happy to share my experience!  For any specific questions don't hesitate to email me on