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EDINBURGH MARATHON TRAINING WITH OLYMPIAN & SCOTTISH ATHLETE

Andrew Butchart

13   February 2024

 

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is a firm fixture in the city’s event calendar on May 26, 2024, with a host of events from the kids’ kilometre to the full marathon and 5 and 10km races in between. We caught up with two-time GB Olympian, three-time Scottish record holder and current Park Run World Record holder, Andrew Butchart, to learn about him and his tips for preparing for any marathon.

 

Hi Andrew, we’re sure much of your life is consumed by training, but what does a day in the life of Andrew Butchart look like?

I’m extremely lucky to have Lynsey as my wife. As a professional athlete, she understands the lifestyle you need to lead and knows what it takes to be one of the best in the world. It’s not a ‘normal’ job. It usually starts with a morning family walk with our dog, Bowie. I train twice a day most days, so if it was an easy day it would be 12 miles in the morning followed by five miles in the evening. If I have a heavy training day I’ll likely go to the track and a session could be 12 x 1k at a 10km goal pace. I also do gym sessions and then my usual evening five miles. In between the training sessions, I spend as much time with Lynsey and Max as possible. I try to eat well at home and, if we are lucky, maybe the grandparents can put Max to bed so Lynsey and I can go out for a nice meal locally.

What does a day off from training look like for you?

When I do get to have a day off, I’ll spend the whole day with my family. We love going to the beach so if the weather allows it, we would drive over to the east coast of Scotland and spend the day there.

 

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival – have you taken part in the event?

Sadly, I’ve never raced on the streets of Edinburgh – but it’s in the plan for the future now that I’m focussing on the road and longer distances. That said, I’ve taken part in many city road races, and they are always a joy. The packed streets and support all the way help you get through when the going gets tough.

 

Could you give us your hints and tips for training?

I think the main thing is to have a plan set out and stick to it. You want to know what you need to do to achieve those goals. Consistency will always get you the best result and training with a group is a very good way to keep motivated especially in the cold wet winter months. Depending on the time you have, I’d recommend the following, but everyone trains differently:
Months 1 & 2 – Consistency in your training and building mileage very slowly. Set yourself a good routine and don’t make excuses for missing training.
Months 3 & 4 – This should be all about looking at your pace and how fast you are running and adding a few more miles per week.
Months 5 & 6 – Build on the mileage and pace, making sure not to push too hard. In the last 10 days start to reduce your mileage and make sure to be as fresh as possible for race day.
And when it comes to that race day, keep relaxed and try to enjoy it as much as you can. The reward when you finish is well worth all the hard work you’ve put in.

 

And should nutrition be a key part of the build-up to any race?

Nutrition is very important when training for a half or full marathon, I can’t stress that enough. Making sure you are fuelled enough to get through every run and keeping on top of hydration is key. In terms of actual diet, I always go with what my body is used to and knows. Porridge most mornings, a simple light lunch, and then a carb-based dinner with plenty of pasta or rice, meat, and vegetables.

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