Back in October, we launched a nationwide search for six Flora London Marathon hopefuls, in partnership with Lucozade Sport (LS). More than 1,400 of you got in touch, each with a compelling reason for winning the fantastic training package up for grabs.
MEET THE TEAM
Representative of a mix of running backgrounds and lifestyle commitments, our team were aiming for a wide range of target-times, from sub-3:00 to completing the distance for the first time.
Each documented their training highs and lows right here online as they geared up to April 26 with the help of an array of running and sports science experts, giving you a unique (and interactive) insight into the physical and mental demands of preparing to run 26.2 miles.
Unfortunately, after sixteen weeks of tough training schedules - and a wealth of advice from mentors Steve Smythe, Nick Anderson and Liz Yelling - our Lucozade Sport Super Six quickly became a Triumphant Three as illness and injury struck our male marathon hopefuls. Read on to find out how Sue, Meg and Helen fared as they became more determined than ever to finish the Flora London Marathon in style...
On November 23, all six winners travelled to London to meet and run with their mentors, get advice from the Lucozade Sport science team and be fitted out in their new kit. Find out what they had to say about being selected and the challenge ahead in this exclusive video of the meet-and-greet seminar.
MEET THE EXPERTS
RW coach Steve Smythe may need no introduction in the forums, but then neither do the two newest additions to our mentoring team. Join us in welcoming Olympic athlete Liz Yelling and GB Endurance Coach Nick Anderson into the fold – together with Steve, they’ll be helping our team reach their targets on April 26.
||Mentor: Steve Smythe
Steve worked at Runner's World for 10 years and took over the marathon schedules when Bruce Tulloh retired from writing them. Steve has run more than 60 marathons (26 Londons) and as well as holding a PB of 2:29, he has also won a British marathon title in his age group. As far as his coaching record goes, he's helped one runner to British international level over the marathon distance and another to a British age-group record. He also coaches around 30 runners in his running club, whose abilities range from 2:30 to outside five hours.
||Mentor: Liz Yelling
Liz has been competing as a top international athlete for more than 15 years. In 2006, she won the Bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and she has twice represented Great Britain in the Olympics (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008). This year, she also won the British Half-Marathon and Marathon titles, and is a Lucozade Sport Running Ambassador.
||Mentor: Nick Anderson
Nick has been coaching since 1994 and is the current GB Endurance and Cross-Country Coach and a UKA Level 4 Coach. A junior international with a string of County titles to his name, he has coached more than 20 women to sub-3:00 level and many more men inside 2:45 and 2:30, including Olympic marathon hopeful, Toby Lambert. Despite this top-level track record, Nick's real passion is helping runners of all abilities discover how to train correctly and reap the rewards of their efforts. Nick is also a Contributing Editor to Runner's World magazine.
||Sports Scientists: Chris & Matt
Chris McManus and Matt Furber from the Lucozade Sport Science Team (LSST) will be giving out advice on the correct hydration and nutrition strategy our team should adopt in their training. They will not only be answering questions from our Lucozade Sport Super Six, but any other nutrition and hydration queries you might have.
Here's how to be sure you make the most of the activities we’ve got planned for our Lucozade Sport Super Six.
Download a schedule
Each of our team will be using one of our tried and tested Garmin-ready schedules (devised by 1983 London Marathon winner, Mike Gratton) as a basis for their marathon preparations.
Make sure you arm yourself with the appropriate schedule for your target time now (download the file or print out a copy to pop on your fridge door) so that come January 5 (when the schedules start in earnest) you’ll be able to reap the rewards of all the training advice on offer from the mentors.
Don't just monitor the progress of our team from a distance - get stuck in! Each of their threads is an ideal place to meet others targeting the same time, share training tips and post messages of encouragement. Get chatting and before you know it, those hard months of winter training will be well behind you...
Quiz the experts
Although our mentoring team will be focusing their attentions on our six lucky winners, they’ll be doing their best to answer any questions you might have as well, so don’t be afraid to pop on the threads and ask them for guidance if you don’t understand something.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks for news of special forum Q+A sessions with each of our experts too. The sessions will take place on Friday lunchtimes (dates tbc, between 1- 2pm), will tie-in with key themes of your marathon preparation and are the perfect opportunity to pose your puzzlers directly to the mentors and sports scientists.
Missed our live Q+A forum debates? Read the highlights here:
Stay in the loop
Over the course of their marathon preparations, our six winners will be attending two hands-on seminars, led by Liz Yelling (January 24 and March 7). But they won’t be the only ones benefiting from Liz’s top-level experience - sign up to our free, weekly marathon newsletter now to make sure you’re kept up-to-date with details on how you could win the chance to join them.