Overcoming marathon motivation meltdown -
Natalie Lawrence London Marathon

With the London marathon just around the corner, many runners are now training for Spring races. Juggling marathon training around work and family life, as well as dealing with obstacles like bad weather, injury and tiredness can cause ‘maranoia’, which can be difficult to overcome.

Natalie Lawrence

One person who understands the strain of marathon preparation all too well is Profeet ambassador, mother of four, triathlon coach and elite GBR triathlete Natalie Lawrence.

This year, Natalie will be standing alongside other intrepid London marathoners, back once again in the Championship pen and with a sub 2:55 goal in her sights.

Bored of the relentless plod?

Natalie advises, “keep it varied!” Confessing to getting bored easily and not following a ‘rigid training plan’, Natalie says her triathlon training sufficiently sets her up for the marathon.

“You find that a lot with triathletes. They just rely a lot on their mileage, especially that they get from biking.”

Natalie often advises those she is coaching (N L Fitness) to mix things.

“I coach a couple of girls that are doing marathon training, and in their week they’ll do some strength training, they’ll get on the bike and do some aerobic stuff, or they might do a bit of swim or get on the cross trainer, just to get the time off their feet!”

However, you can’t ‘cheat that distance’. The long run is still a crucial part of your training.

“The one thing I say to my athletes is that if you’re not at least covering a percentage of that distance, don’t be surprised that you’re not going to A, cover it, and B, not do very well on it. You need to practice with your equipment, what you’re going to wear, and your nutrition. Practice, practice, practice!”

Mixing up the run can keep things more mentally stimulating.

“I don’t just run endlessly, I always break it up with a bit of quality, or drill work. And the time goes a lot quicker.”

Another great tip,

“Park your car at the end destination or at your favorite coffee shop. Then you have to run to your car!”

She adds,

“Unless you’re coming back from injury, don’t run loops near your house. It’s just too much of a temptation just to bin it off and go home.”


Tired of doing it alone?

Most of Natalie’s training is solo, which allows her to fit it around her busy schedule and family.

Natalie Lawrence Race to the stones

“That’s tough in itself because as well as self-coaching, I’ve got to do self-motivation and self-planning,”

says Natalie. She recommends a buddy system, making you accountable to somebody else will give you that extra push out the door.

“Running clubs are a great way to meet others, while allowing you to join a speed session or long runs that work with your plan.”

“You’re more likely to do it, but you’re also more likely to commit, and you’re more likely to push harder. You become a part of a membership, a badge if you like, and you’re sharing a common goal, good and bad.”

Parkruns are another great way to tap into the sociable running community.

“You’re accountable every Saturday. You can even embody it in the training by doing a bit of a long run there, do the event as a couple of miles of ‘hard graft’, and then run home or go and have a coffee.”

With four young children and a dog, Natalie also recommends getting the whole family involved, often piling bikes into a car and meeting up at a park or track somewhere.

“I managed to do 10 miles without even thinking about it because it was broken up into chunks. I looked forward to having them on a bit of the circuit and then running home.”


Feeling aches and pains?

It is very common for a niggle to creep in during your marathon training – especially if you suddenly increase mileage or intensity, and if you don’t recover properly, with sufficient stretching, good nutrition or enough rest, but also when you don’t have correct footwear.

Natalie had to overcome her own running injury issues having dealt with a stress fracture at a young age.

“I’ve had orthotics of a certain kind for twenty years, just because of my history and my podiatry is not great anyway biomechanically.”

Profeet Insoles

With extra miles also comes extra wear and tear to your footwear, that will need changing after around 500 miles. Natalie recommends alternating between two pairs of shoes to ensure maximum support.

“Strava is really good! You can input what shoe you have and it will work out the mileage of that shoe.”

For injury prevention, Natalie also ensures that she makes time for strength and conditioning work.

“I usually try to go at least twice a week. I do a lot of band work now, so I’m doing a lot of lateral side work because predominantly everything we do as runners is frontal.”

If you are marathon training and feel that you would benefit from a specialist running shoe fitting and gait analysis, make an appointment with one of our run technicians at the Profeet Run Lab. We’ll ensure that your shoes are giving you correct support, allowing you to perform at your best on marathon day, and can help with custom insoles if needed.

Call 020 7736 0046 to book your one-to-one appointment with one of our qualified Profeet technicians.

(You can follow @natlawrencecoach on Instagram)

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