Gary Thwaites Marathon Training Blog

For me, the first part of training is respecting the physical and mental toll from past challenges. Completing a marathon is hard, pushing for a goal time is harder and I know exactly what training involves. I don’t have the luxury of ignorance and as a V50 my body doesn’t always want to do what I’d like it to, but luckily my target of a 2025 London marathon Good For Age place got a little easier once I creaked over 50.

My last race (Dragon's Back 380km ultra) now seems like a lifetime ago, but my body is still in recovery. My feet look okay, my legs feel okay, but under the surface, something is definitely not right. I’m still eating all the food; sleep can happen in an instant and I’ve been keeping tight hold of a cold ever since I left Cardiff. I had to miss a few runs and races because I just wasn’t ready. This wound me up, but I needed to be kind to myself. Eventually, I won the battle with Pink Jammies from Greggs. Yum Yum’s are a work in progress, but I started to run again. Nothing fancy, just very short runs with my dog Rex. Luckily my target marathon is Manchester so no rush to train with any purpose just yet. However, I am mindful that I should start forming good habits sooner rather than later.

The next layer is to add some strength and mobility work. I have no energy to go to the gym, but I can motivate myself to roll around on the carpet and follow some YouTube routines. I like to remove as much friction as possible when I’m struggling and the thought of going to a gym was enough to put me off doing any strength work at all.

So, a couple of weeks passed, and I found myself running regularly again, eating better, and throwing in some strength and conditioning too. I track my Heart Rate Variability It’s just what my Garmin Fenix measures, but it does seem spookily accurate. Anyway, it took a while, but I have had a full week of being in the green and I’m feeling fresh too! I know I’m getting better because I’m not begging for a downhill and I don’t have to walk all the climbs too.

Going back to my first sentence. Have I physically and mentally recovered? Well…

Physically Recovered from Dragon’s Back Race - 60%
Mentally Recovered from Dragon’s Back Race - 85%
Motivation - 90%

That’s good enough for me. I think I’m ready to go back to the well.

Even though I’m not doing any workouts I do still fuel and hydrate. I keep my electrolytes topped up, I carry chews with me on my activities and I love a hot recovery drink after a chilly autumn run. I’ll update again in a few weeks. Pretty sure I’ll have some workouts to share with you.

How To Use Active Root During Your Training Or Racing

After working out what you need, the next thing is to think about how and whether it's possible to take it with you. For instance, if you're running a marathon, you won't be able to rely upon 6x 500ml Active Root bottles. You'd probably take one bottle and a couple of 150ml gel soft flasks and a packet of chews.

The golden rule when it comes to nutrition is 'try before race day', multiple times if you can. All Active Root products are light tasting and easy to digest. The last thing you want is to hate the taste of the fuel that you're going to be using for the next 3 hours, or not be able to get your soft flask out of your waist belt without stopping and taking it off!

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