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Marathon training programme - half way point

Those who are training for London are now likely to be eight weeks into their 16-week programmes - that's half way through! We hope you are on track and that the excitement is building!

Generally, marathon programmes begin by building an aerobic base, move onto strength-endurance and then speed-endurance. So, if you've had enough time to get a good few miles under your belt and are happy with your aerobic fitness it is probably time to start looking towards the hills, running off road, circuit training, running in sand, running into the wind, running in water, running against any kind of resistance! Check out our runstronger section for inspiration and ideas on how to include strength-endurance in your programme and our runfaster section for ideas on speed training. Now that the days are getting longer you may have more chance of finding the right terrain to do this work.

If you need help in planning your programme why not ask our Training Wizard for his advice? All you need to do is tell him the distance you are aiming for, the time you want to do it in, and that you want to develop your strength-endurance or speed-endurance. Consult him each week and let him know whether you want to put in a hard, medium or hard week and he will give you your weekly programme.

You could also start to look for the races that will challenge you, make you stronger and prepare you for your target. Rather than looking for those described as fast and flat, search out the races that are described as tough, challenging and scenic (that often means very hilly!):

Next weekend, you could do the Oakhaven New Forest Spring Half Marathon.It is an off road race, run on gravel tracks and described as undulating. Alternatively, if Lincolnshireis within better striking distance for you, how about the Newton's Fractions Half Marathon. This race features an almost 3 mile section along the Grantham-Nottingham canal towpath and two challenging climbs.

When you feel that you have built up your strength endurance, you may want to start working on speed.

In two week's time you could do the  Mercer Surrey Half Marathon. It has almost sold out of places, though, so if you are keen to take part in this award winning half marathon or the closed-road 5km run (one of the largest of its kind in the UK), you are urged to book your place before 1st March 2017at www.surreyhalfmarathon.co.uk.

For a race sharpener, the week before London, how about the2017 Beaconsfield 5 that is to be held on Easter Monday 17th April, However, this is also getting close to its limit with only 150 places left so book in quickly. Click here to enter.

For more challenges check out our calendar.

Good luck with the training - here's to a stronger, fitter you!