Nell McAndrew’s Marathon tips

She’s run it in under three hours – the model-turned-fitness-guru tells us how she gears up for the 26-mile endurance test

What are your tips for those feeling overwhelmed at their marathon training schedule?

Take it a day at a time. I used to jot what I needed to do for the day then tick it off. I used to keep glancing at what kind of mileage I needed to do that week, so I could work it into my days. Just remember that if you put the work in you’ll enjoy the race day itself so much more. It's a good feeling starting the marathon knowing that you’ve done all your training rather than wishing you’d done more.

How did you run your 2.54 marathon?

I train throughout the year but from Christmas I start a 12-week period countdown. My son’s at school full time, which helped me squeeze in a lot of training. I wanted to improve on previous marathon times [her previous PB was 3:08]. I didn’t have much of a social life, but that had gone on the back burner thanks to having a young family, anyway.

What are your favourite bootcamp-style moves?

I love things like flipping big tyres and doing pull ups. I can only do five or six at the best of times but it feels so good.

What advice would you give to marathon runners who are struggling with injury?

Reduce your mileage and take a few rest days. If possible, have a sports massage, which will help to locate the exact problem and you’ll also get some good advice. It’s much better to start the marathon without any niggling injuries, otherwise halfway around, they are likely to come back to haunt you, get worse, and maybe even ruin your chance of finishing the race.

What do you think of the barefoot running craze?

I quite like my cushioned trainers – I like feeling bouncy on my feet and don’t fancy running without that.

I hear you have a Marathon training dvd out...

Yes, it’s good to break up your training, add different things in. There is a lot of running in my DVD, as well as moves like squat thrusts, jumping lunges, jumping squats and a good core section, so all running-relevant. I think it’s nice to be led through a class as well, so you can just relax and focus on the training without thinking about what exercises you need to do and what order to do them in. Alternatively, you could go for your run then pop the DVD on to do the arms, abs and core section, so you’re giving your body a great overall workout.

Do you think fitness DVDS really provide a viable exercise routine?

Yes, if the content’s right and they’re down to earth. In an ideal world I think it’s good to mix DVDs with other forms of exercise. I think variety’s essential for working all muscle groups in a variety of ways.

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