You’ve done it: your registration for the Brighton Half Marathon has gone through! You begin telling people that you are running the half marathon when all of a sudden, you realise you seriously need to train…Where do you start!? Whether this is a bucket list one-off, you are running for a charity or you are a seasoned pro looking to achieve a PB, who can help you train for what will inevitably be a hugely tough challenge?
The answer to this question is slightly more complex than you think and fully depends on your personal situation. As a Personal Trainer with 10 years in the industry and founder of The Fitness Movement, a local Fitness-based education provider, it may surprise you that I would not necessarily advocate hiring a Personal Trainer to help you prepare.
That is, if you are an experienced marathon runner, perhaps chasing your personal best time and looking to arrive at this year’s starting line in a more conditioned state, a Personal Trainer is probably not for you. In such circumstances, you would benefit more from specialist support – with either a Run Coach, a Strength and Conditioning Specialist or a Nutritionist. You may even want to combine all three depending on your budget and competitive standard. Try looking for a local run club, or visiting the UK Strength and Conditioning Association’s Find a Coach section on their website or searching on the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register for a qualified Nutritionist.
Who would benefit from a Personal Trainer?
However, if you are a relative beginner to running or entering on a less competitive basis, then working with a Personal Trainer may be the best thing you could do. Aside from providing general support and structure to your training, two key areas where a Personal Trainer could excel are general overall fitness and fat loss.
At the start of your training journey, you may feel not only as though you are lacking the fitness required to run a half marathon (which let’s face it, is no mean feat), but daunted or even entirely overwhelmed at the challenge of getting to the finish line. Knowing where to begin in structuring a programme that will take you from your current state to a position of feeling fitter and, most importantly, confident in your ability to run for a sustained period of time is very important. A Personal Trainer could certainly offer you this: 12 weeks of structured programming to follow which is progressive towards your goal and the accountability to keep you on track alongside it.
Lose excess body fat
The second key focus which could aid your pending marathon success is losing any excess body fat*. Carrying excess body fat is not only bad for our health and demanding on our bodies, but essentially corresponds to carrying extra weight whilst running! Consider it this way: imagine wearing a weighted 10kg backpack for your next run – not only would your run feel much tougher, but this could place a lot more pressure on your knees. Take that backpack off again however, and you would find your run a lot easier.
*Remember we are talking about excess body fat. If you are already at a healthy body fat percentage (again, something a Personal Trainer could assist you in determining) then ignore this – and remember fat is also the primary source of fuel for long duration activity!
In conclusion, if you are relatively new to marathon running, do not know where to start, need some kind of structure to your training, want to improve fitness and/or possibly lose some body fat then a Personal Trainer would be a great option.
What to look for in a PT
You can expect to pay anywhere from £30-£50 per session for Personal Training, but make sure whoever you choose has a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training as a minimum and is fully insured. Included in your session price should be a progressive programme tailored especially to your goals and current fitness level. Don’t feel afraid to question any trainers you approach on their experience and discuss how they would set about helping you – if you are looking to invest in a trainer, it is important to make the right choice.
Remember that having a training partner can also be a great way to keep motivated and stay accountable. This could involve training with your run buddy, or even asking a Personal Trainer if they would be willing to offer a deal for two people training together. This could be a more cost-effective way to get professional help without breaking the bank.
Finally, enjoy the process and do not forget to book in that post-race massage – you will most definitely have earnt it.
If you need any further help with anything discussed in this article, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to help.
The Fitness Movement are a fitness education provider based in Brighton and Hove offering Level 2 Gym Instructor and Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications. Visit them at: www.thefitnessmovement.co.uk.