Article in collaboration with Bruce West
Paula Radcliffe’s last London Marathon was emotional to say the least. Running with the masses, and recording a time of two hours 36 minutes and 55 seconds to complete the 26.2 mile course, just three years after surgery on a serious foot injury, it was evident throughout that she was battling to keep her own emotions in check.
“It was just amazing the whole way round,” said Radcliffe, who still holds the world record.
“I wore the sunglasses to keep a lid on my emotions and they definitely hid some tears along the way.
“I came into this race unprepared and hoped the magic of the London Marathon would help me and I’m sure it did,” she said.
“Down the last mile I thought ‘I don’t care about the time’, I just wanted to thank as many people as I could,” she continued.
“I knew it would be emotional and it was so emotional. I nearly lost it at Birdcage Walk but the crowds bowled me over, I wanted it to last forever. It was so special, I’m really going to miss it.
“I was looking to finish holding hands with someone. I always wanted to run with my dad but never managed it so I did it in spirit instead.”
Interestingly, the three time London Marathon winner’s latest time would still have been good enough to secure a place in the UK team for the next championships, with a wide selection of odds available at Bookies.com should you want to compare all the best prices.
Elite London Marathon
Prior to this, in the men’s competitive race, there was a Kenyan one-two-three, with Eliud Kipchoge coming in front of compatriots Wilson Kipsang, who won in 2012 and 2014, and world record holder Dennis Kimetto, who finished second and third respectively.
Meanwhile, in the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa produced a sprint finish to win with a time of 2:23:22, 18 seconds in front of Mary Keitany of Kenya who has won the London Marathon two times.
How to train for the London Marathon
Running a marathon takes a lot of time, training, concentration and dedication. However, starting is usually the hardest part, because many people get the tactics wrong, burn out quickly, get frustrated and ultimately lose motivation.
It is often best to begin by giving yourself a year to train and establishing a level of fitness first before going for big-distances. That doesn’t mean going out for 10km runs straight away, three times a week, but to build up gradually.
Over a two to four-week period, go for three 2km jogs each week, which will acclimatise your muscles anaerobically and get your heartbeat up to cope with the demands of distance running.
Forget about times, expectations, pushing yourself hard, or sprint finishes, but just know that the work that goes into the start will build up a level of fitness.
Also, in between these jogs, vary your exercise. A gentle, relaxing swim in between each run will ease your muscles, and prepare yourself for the next stage of your training.
From then on, your body will usually be ready to cope with the demands of longer runs at a faster pace, with a variety of exercises throughout the year.
Ultimately, with the London Marathon being one of the biggest in the world, though, it is often the pure adrenaline of the occasion that gets people around the course, however that does not mean you shouldn’t train!