Lee Ryan21 Sep 2016 AT 03:19 PM

How to train to run a marathon

"If you go out for a meal, get back on track the next day"
Lee Ryan21 Sep 2016 AT 03:19 PM
Marathon, Running, Fitness, Tips, Shortlister, Sport
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Lee Ryan
Lee Ryan

UAE-based endurance athlete Lee Ryan gives the first of a series of insights.

There are probably a few of you who, for whatever reason, decided that signing up for the Dubai Marathon was a good idea. Well, if you haven’t begun training already, you might want to think about starting. Like, now.

We asked local endurance athlete Lee Ryan to provide some hints to get you up and, well, running. In the first of these, he talks about what to do before you even get your running shoes on.


Right now, I am focusing on my next race, the Berlin Marathon on September 25. I am the type of person who needs direction in my training; I need to focus on a single big challenge and sit down and write down everything I need to do to ensure sure that it happens.

To do this, I’ll add some small races into my training to get race ready; staying mentally strong for such a long time is a huge factor to consider. Running a marathon is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical.


Goal setting is always the starting point. Set your challenge – and make sure you know exactly why you are doing it.

You can make your reason as personal as you want as you will need that reason to remind yourself of why you are waking up at 5am on the weekend to fit in long training runs.

An easy mistake is using someone else’s goal and trying to make it work because you think it “sounds fun”. Is this your approach? You’ll fail. Trust me.

Sometimes it is not about the destination it is about the journey. If you can get to the start line, look back and say “I gave everything I could”, it is a huge accomplishment in itself. 


Don’t let people around you dissuade you from your journey.

You will need to find the right balance to fit in work, family life and training. Be flexible.

Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t place too much pressure on yourself. If you go out for a nice meal, get back on track with your diet the next day.

When in doubt, remind yourself why you started, #FindFocus and get back in the zone!

Lee helped Adidas Athletics launch the ZNE Hoodie, designed to help athletes focus before a performance.

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