If you're running an autumn marathon, you'll be getting into your training and probably following a training plan. The trouble with standard plans is they might not suit you or your lifestyle. Simply grinding out increasingly more miles as the weeks go by could lead to injuries and fatigue, rather than a glorious pb!

Quality not just quantity is what we need! I like the 'three magic bullets' approach described by marathon and Ironman coach, Don Fink.  For full details and guidance check out his books, but put simply each week you run three sessions:

  1. High intensity repeats, e.g. reps at 5k - 10k pace or hill repeats
  2. Marathon pacing session, increasing proportion of your run at target marathon pace
  3. Long run, considerably slower than your target marathon pace

My ageing legs are happy running only three times a week, and I've run London and Boston good for age times on this level of training. I do regular core conditioning, strength and flexibility work, such as yoga and Pilates, and specific exercises from my physio. 

Final tip - don't leave it to the last minute to think about hydration and nutrition. Make drinks and gels - and how you're going to carry them on the day - part of your training.