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London Marathon April 2020

The Breakdown

Working mother of two.

Using a structured plan to beat time from 2 years ago.

The London Marathon (currently known through sponsorship as the Virgin Money London Marathon) is a long-distance running event held in London, United Kingdom, part of the World Marathon Majors. The event was first run on 29 March 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since.

The marathon is run over a largely flat course around the River Thames, and spans 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi).

  • Goal: Beat a previous race time
  • Alice

Who. What. Where. When. Why.

“I decided to fulfill a long term goal of mine and run the London Marathon. I have always enjoyed running and could easily do 5 miles intermittently whether I’d been training or not. I therefore naively thought that as long as I was disciplined about training and building up my distance, running the marathon would be straightforward. However, as the miles grew from 10 miles onwards the cracks started to show. Initially it was my knees, which post a long run would ache making it agony to go up and downstairs. It was around this time last February that I stayed with Jemma who gave me advice regarding leg strengthening exercises, and icing post run. I continued with my training. The crunch came at the beginning of March when I did my first 14 mile run. I was about 2 miles from home when I experienced severe pain in my right thigh. I pushed on through and got home but the next day experienced pain on walking and when we all went up to the Norfolk coast for my husband’s 40th the following weekend I had to give up our 5 mile beach run and admit defeat. This was a very low moment.

Jemma was with me and here is were she really stepped in. We re-evaluated my training plan and stripped it back down to maintaining aerobic, core and exercise to maintain leg strength while reducing the length of my runs, but increasing their frequency to reduce impact injury. Jemma provided me with a timetable for training everyday, building a programme that took me to marathon day and beyond. Jemma’s help taught me the importance of key core strength training and how to eat, sleep and breath training, building it into my daily routine. It was tremendously hard. However, knowing Jemma was always there giving me the confidence of her belief that the training could work and the encouragement to keep going made all the difference. It was very scary when at 14 miles my body had said it couldn’t do anymore, knowing I was committed to raising a large amount of money and fulfilling a lifetime goal. I can’t thank Jemma enough for getting me past that point and fulfilling a dream. My marathon day was amazing I was pain free, I ran the entire way and I beat my initial goal of completing it in under 5 hours, running it in 4 hours 40 minutes. Jemma made all the difference!” – Alice