Marathon Challenge at Low Wood Club – Training Diary Part 1

Emma Robinson, Fitness Instructor at Low Wood Club tells us about her latest challenge to run a marathon and how she is going about training for it… 


 Working towards a Marathon

running picture for blog
Emma in 2014 competition

At the end of last year I decided that I wanted to run a marathon as I like to have something to work towards. So, very recently I signed up to take part in the Coniston Marathon that will take place on 6th June. I’ve always enjoyed running and have taken part in events such as the 13 mile Great Cumbrian Run in Carlisle and the Super Ten weekend at Total Warrior but have yet to run a marathon.

I attend the gym most days and enjoy taking part in classes other than my own when I can including Spinning. However I had no idea where to start regarding a marathon training programme. The last time that I ran over 10 miles I ended up damaging all the ligaments in my right knee so I was feeling a little apprehensive about the run whilst also looking forward to training. I have learnt that over the last year my knees don’t take very well to running on road which is one of the main reasons I chose to enter the Coniston Marathon which takes in fells and softer surfaces.

Training Programme

After signing up for the event I researched marathon training programmes. There were so many different ones online that I struggled to write my own. I approached Jo Wood, Low Wood Club’s personal trainer, and asked for her advice. Jo was really helpful and created a 3 month programme leading up to the marathon.

So I now have something to follow and also something I would be able to fit around my working hours and classes. The programme consists of stretching, swimming, gym workouts (targeting specific muscle groups) and last but not least, running. Each run is set at a different mileage and speed. Some runs are at a fast pace and some a more normal pace. Before a run of 3 miles or less I must have a good warm up on the cross trainer. On runs of 5 miles or over I have been advised to spend 15-30 mins on the bike afterwards targeting the same muscle groups I have just used.

Week 1

Week beginning 2nd March is the first week of my training plan – so far so good.

As well as teaching my Zumba and Circuit classes I have started to include more swimming into my training programme as well as a few runs. The total miles for the week are 18. Here’s what my training plan looked like …


Taught Circuit and Zumba classes al Low Wood Bay and also worked on shoulders alongside some cardio in the gym.

Classes at Low Wood Bay
Classes at Low Wood Bay


Complete rest day.


Ran 13 miles from Kendal to the Low Wood in 2 hours 9 mins. Pretty good for a first long distance attempt run I think!



Swim, Stretch, and worked on upper body including abdominals in the gym as legs were very sore from previous run the day before.

Low Wood Club Swimming Pool
Low Wood Club Swimming Pool


One hour of spinning in the morning followed by some leg work. In the evening ran 5k (3miles) in 30 minutes, 12 seconds. I did aim to be less than 30 mins but pace and speed not bad. Then swam 40 lengths, had a good stretch and did some abdominal work in the gym.

Spinning at Low Wood Club
Spinning at Low Wood Club


Rest day from running but completed a short gym workout after my shift.

Fitness Studio at Low Wood Bay
Fitness Studio at Low Wood Bay


3 mile run through Ambleside and taught a circuit class during my shift.  Finish with a swim and stretch.

Sticking to the Training

If I’m honest I struggled to stick to the training plan this first week. I still did a lot of running and exercise but changed things around a little.  Next week I am going to try to stick to the plan a lot better and not change the days around. On Wednesday I ran 13 miles when the plan stated 3 miles!  Definitely overdid it on that day as my body wasn’t used to such a long distance and I ended up straining a few muscles and putting too much pressure on my knee! I just threw myself into it and to be honest was quite impressed with my time and pace. However, sticking to the plan that Jo has given me will ensure an efficient training regime and will make sure I don’t peak too soon!

Ready for week 2…

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