Training for an autumn marathon - Women's Running

Training for an autumn marathon

Author: Holly Taylor

Read Time:   |  March 24, 2020

Spring marathon postponed? Saucony ambassadors share their tips for acing an autumn race

Life is bigger than running. The recent postponement of key spring marathons, including Virgin Money London Marathon, is disappointing for all of you who have been training so consistently and working so hard. COVID-19 is a serious worry for all and we must focus on good hygiene, minimising risk and self-isolation where applicable to keep the vulnerable safe and ourselves.

It’s really important that we continue to closely follow government and WHO guidelines and these will continue to change. However, running outside in the fresh air is healthy and a great way to boost your immune system.

Be sensible with your training, eating well before and after your runs and making sure you are never over-tired. If you begin to feel unwell or start to display any of the Covid-19 symptoms please seek the advice of a medical professional and then begin the process of self-isolating and full rest. Only resume training when healthy and you have given your body enough time to fully recover…but please seek appropriate medical advice first.

England Athletics (the governing body for running in England) have made the following statement “Where possible, athletes and runners at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments.’

Image: Saucony

Image: Saucony

Our advice is simply that you carry on enjoying your running but train alone in open spaces and in the fresh air. We have put together some ideas to guide you through the months ahead below.

March/April 2020 training

  • The training you complete now will make a difference to your autumn fitness and the result in your planned half or full marathon. (Plus, running releases endorphins, reduces stress and will help you to stay happy, healthy and positive during the difficult months ahead.)
  • Try to carry on with your regular training, you may want to reduce your long runs slightly and move them to 90 mins – 2 hours rather than battling through really tough long runs when the race date is now much further away.
  • The day you were scheduled to run your original half or full marathon why not complete your own 10k or a half marathon GPS timed distance effort. A great target and motivation but also closure to this period of training.
  • We would then advise you to take a week or so off or at least complete a very easy week of training. You deserve this mini break before we start our summer training and keep busy in May & June.

May/June 2020 training

  • Switching your focus in May and June to shorter, faster training might be fun and a clever change of stimulus.
  • Following these plans keeps a routine and you could even set yourself a personal time trial using your GPS over 5k or 10k every few weeks. See your fitness, speed and confidence continue to build.
  • Use the lighter early mornings and late evenings to enjoy the parks and countryside when nature is at its best.
  • This 8-week period will boost your speed and help you maintain that spring fitness from earlier in the year.

July/August 2020 training

  • It’s time to start your half/full marathon training again.
  • You don’t need to think about a 16-week training block for this period if you maintained your spring prep and boosted speed in the summer. A simple step back to the last 10-12 weeks of your spring plan will be all that’s needed up to race day.
  • Your long runs will increase again and so will some of the threshold for race specific workouts.
  • If you’re looking to complete a half marathon before your autumn marathon, this would ideally be 4-8 weeks from race day. Get booking and plan this in!
  • If it’s hot in July and August, try to run early in the morning or later in the evenings to avoid the worst of the heat. This is also good practice if we’re still being asked to self-isolate at this stage.
  • Remember to make sure you have had a good breakfast before your longest key training runs and practise good hydration. Start working gels into your training now if you’re going to use them during the race, so your body has ample time to become accustomed to them.

If you have any worries or concerns regarding your training please get in touch by emailing the #RunningWithUs Saucony team on and they will get back to you within 24 – 48 hours.

You can find out more on the #RunningWithUs Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Written by

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor

Currently training for a 2 hour 30 half marathon

Meet the team

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