3 Lessons I Learned Training For a Sub-3 Hour Marathon

July 14, 2022

Nick Hancock

Welcome to our insightful blog post where we share three invaluable lessons learned from training for a sub 3-hour marathon. Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or preparing for your first race or flat marathon attempt, these tips for running a marathon will empower you to reach your ambitious goals. Embark on a journey of discovery as we delve into the strategies, techniques, and mindset shifts that can make a significant difference in your marathon performance. Get ready to take your running to the next level with these actionable insights and propel yourself towards marathon success.

LESSONS LEARNED 🧐 Sub 3-hour marathon

1. look after your immunity when running a marathon

When the mileage gets high, look after your immunity ✅ I slipped into some bad habits with food in the final weeks, mostly thinking I could eat all the Oreos on planet earth because I was running so much! Wrong! Training for a sub-3 (or any) marathon is really quite taxing and we need to eat really good quality food to fuel our training, not just eat “whatever we want because we will outrun it and need the carbs”!! 🤦🏼 Checkout my runners cookbook for more info on what to eat.

2. The importance of strength training and sleep for a marathon

Strength training and sleep is more important than doing more mileage 💪🏻 Of course, mileage needs to be high enough, with the right mix of intensity, to gain adaptations needed, but sleep and strength work are so important for such a taxing distance and time to train for

3. Pick the right marathon for you!

Pick a race that’s not just a good course, but also one that is interesting/emotionally attached for you too. I got bored with the course I did… no crowds, boring country lanes and was running alone for the final 6 miles, so I lost interest a bit and with that a few minutes

4. Bonus Tip!

Following a marathon training plan is essential for successfully running a marathon as it provides structure, gradual progression, and helps prevent injuries. It ensures that runners build the necessary endurance, strength, and stamina needed to complete the 26.2-mile distance, setting them up for a rewarding and fulfilling race day experience.


As I reflect on my journey towards achieving a sub 3-hour marathon, I can't help but feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude. However, this is not the end of the road for me. While my focus now shifts towards ultra training, I know there's still more to explore and achieve in the realm of marathon running. As I continue to grow as a runner, I also direct my attention to the incredible individuals I coach, who are embarking on their own marathon journeys, including four dedicated individuals preparing for the iconic London Marathon. Remember, with the right mindset, training approach, and implementation of the valuable tips for running a marathon, incredible achievements await. It's an ongoing adventure, and I eagerly look forward to returning to the marathon distance one day. Stay inspired, keep pushing your limits, and embrace the transformative power of marathon running. Be sure to also read out guide on general tips for long distance running by following the link.

Author: Nick Hancock is a UESCA Certified Ultrarunning coach and UK Athletics Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) and has coached many busy professionals and parents to achieve finishes, top-10s and podiums in events such as London Marathon, Manchester Marathon, Amsterdam Marathon, UTMB, UTS, Centurion events, Endure24, Backyards and many more. Host of the Maximum Mileage Running Podcast and author of the Ultimate Cookbook for Runners

He can be found on Instagram @runwithnick

Now go run hard! And remember, if you ever want to talk about the potential you can reach by taking on the services of a running coach then do get in touch by hitting that enquiry button

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