Get marathon fit with your smartphone: the half / full marathon

Free, iOS and Android

Get marathon fit with your smartphone

3. Get the right fuel in your tank

It sounds obvious to say, but training and running a marathon is a whole different ball game to trotting out a 10k. You can't underestimate that. It means looking at what you eat to fuel your training, help you recover and actually power you on race day.


A lot of people take up running to lose weight and see marathon training as the perfect motivation to drop a few pounds. However, it's vital that you're getting the right fuel for your training.

Myfitnesspal is a fantastic app that lets you track your daily intake, with detailed information on the main nutrient groups so you can ensure you're getting enough carbs, vitamins and all the vital fats. You can connect it with running apps like Endomondo to help make sure your calorie intake is at the right level, while the barcode scanner makes it a doddle to record almost any food.

Free, iOS and Android

Nom Nom Paleo

If you can get to the start line with more lean muscle mass and less of the blubbery stuff you'll run a better marathon. One popular eating plan for endurance runners is the Paleo diet that focuses on protein and getting your carbs from healthy vegetables rather than the gluten and wheat-filled pasta and bread.

The Nom Nom Paleo app gives you hundreds of fitness friendly Paleo recipes, taking the fuss out of fuelling your body with plenty to the right stuff.

£3.99, iOS

Get marathon fit with your smartphone

4. Motivation to make your journey social

We all know those people, the ones who constantly brag about their workouts and fitness. It's time to become one of them. Sharing your running progress on social networks is proven to keep you on the straight and narrow with your training.

Once your network of friends, family, colleagues and exes know you've signed up for a marathon, there's nowhere to hide. Failure is not an option. Plus you'll get some welcome pep talks along the way.

Blogging your journey is also a great way to stay motivated. It lets you track all the hard work you're putting in, helps you access advice from fellow marathoners and it brings the whole challenge to life. There are a few simple tools to make it easy to document your journey to marathon greatness.

Look up the Runblrs on Tumblr

Tumblr is a brilliantly easy blogging tool. Choose a URl, select from hundreds of free instant templates and with a few clicks you've got your own super-social website where you can add words, photos, video, quotes and links.

There's also a huge existing community you can tap into on #runblr or #fitblr, with thousands of runners and fitness types already sharing tips, keeping each other motivated and celebrating successes. It's like having a team of virtual running coaches, supporters and nutritionists.


You're going to be putting in a lot of miles in a loads of new locations. En route you'll see things that amaze and confuse you in equal measure. Stopping to snap them not only offers a little breather from the run, but it's brilliant Instagram fodder.

You'll be able to show those lazy people still in bed at 6am on a Sunday morning what a beautiful sunrise over your local park looks like. Oh, and that cat with its head stuck in a bucket.

Get marathon fit with your smartphone

Essential Reading: Motivational e-reads to help you through the hard times

Running with the Kenyans

If you want to run faster, further and with better form, then why not learn from the undisputed world leaders? That's what runner and author, Adharanand Finn, decided to do.

This book tells his story as he heads to Kenyan running Mecca Iten for a slightly terrifying, intensive, six month training session with some of the world's fastest long distance athletes. Great tales, magical insights and the odd running secret are revealed.

What I talk about when I talk about running

Japanese novelist Haurki Murakami has been a lifelong runner. It's so much a part of his life that he has built the daily miles into his creative process, intrinsically linked to his ability to write.

This gripping and inspiring read follows this concept as Murakami discusses what it means to be a runner and push yourself beyond your limits.