Elite athletes warm up for the London Marathon




Five Ways to Stay Motivated During Marathon Training

And, crucially, avoid burnout.

In this series of ‘how to’ features, the team from our Official Training App Coopah is sharing its tips for the most common questions asked by its community of runners. This one is all about how to stay motivated during marathon training. 

As much as we love running, sometimes it can be tough to stay motivated throughout your training. Life is busy, and it can be hard to get the balance right and find time to fit it all in, and this is when we usually find that motivation starts to dip.

So, here are our five top tips to stay motivated.

1. Run with others

Sometimes the best way to stay motivated is to get others involved in your training. If you promise to run with a friend, it can be a lot easier to get yourself out of the door and get the miles in – plus time always goes a bit quicker when you are chatting away and not focusing on your watch.  

And don’t forget to go for a post-run coffee and cake (refuelling is very important remember!). Of course, it’s not always possible to run with others, so here are some other options you can try: 

  • If you have older children, get them to come out on their bike with you
  • If you have a young child, go for a buggy run
  • Set up a lunchtime run club at your office  

2. Switch up your route

We can all be guilty of just running around areas we know, but when you are marathon training, it can get a bit tedious running the same routes over and over again. Use this time to explore your local area and find some new routes – this will help to keep your runs interesting and will hopefully make the miles go by quicker, as you enjoy new surroundings.

If you do decide to run in a new area, here are a few things you can do to keep safe: 

  • Always make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time 
  • Switch on ‘Find my friends’ or tracking on your phone 
  • Always take your phone and make sure it’s fully charged 
  • Plan your route using a route planner app 
  • Make sure you take enough water and fuel with you for the miles you plan to cover 
  • Make sure you have your card or money with you in case you need to get public transport or a taxi home 

3. Make a playlist

The power of music can make a huge difference to your run! Coopah’s Head Coach Jordan takes her music playlists very seriously and rarely runs without her headphones. 

When I am starting a marathon training block, I always create a new playlist for my long runs. Of course, there are songs that feature on every single playlist, but I love listening to new music and I find it really motivating listening to new songs and not knowing what’s coming next.” 

If music isn’t your thing, then perhaps try a podcast, or an audiobook. That way you can just plug in and switch off as the miles tick by. 

4. Find organised events

As mentioned earlier, running with others can be a great way to stay motivated during marathon training, and this also extends to races and other organised events.

parkrun is a completely free weekly 5K that takes place every Saturday morning all over the world (click here to find one in your local area) and can be a really great way to get your training in, socialise with other runners and also give you that extra push if you have a harder run planned. If parkrun isn’t your thing, you could also look to enter some target races during your training block. Check out our other events now 

5. Prioritise rest and recovery

This may not seem like an obvious one, but if you aren’t getting enough rest (this includes sleep and rest days!), fuelling well enough, and even drinking enough water, this can have a really negative impact on your training.  

If you always feel tired, or you’re really struggling to get yourself out for a run, it could be a sign that you are overdoing it. It’s important to remember that your rest days are just as important as all of your other training days, so make sure you respect them and schedule in at least one full rest day per week to allow your body to adapt to your training. 

Coopah wants to take all the stress out of your marathon training and make life easier for you, which is why its app was created. It delivers: 

  • A fully personalised training plan built around your availability and goals 
  • Unlimited coaching support 24/7 
  • Streaks and incentives to keep you motivated 
  • Access to Coopah’s community of other runners, physios and mental health experts to give you support and advice up to event day 
  • Track your progress and your weekly/monthly mileage 


Coopah x TCS London Marathon training plans

We’ve teamed up with the experts at Coopah to create training plans that are fully personalised for you and only you, helping you reach your PB goals.

Coopah is your new, always-there running coach. Coopah’s training plans update as you sync your activities from your fitness tracker or directly on the app – and if you need a bit more help along the way, you’ve got 24/7 access to a real-life Coopah coach.

Coopah offers you the freedom to train whenever you want and makes it easy for you to find an exercise that fits your busy life. You can choose what days you want to train and how often you want to run.

Offering over 500 different workouts, Coopah keeps you motivated and makes running fun for everyone!

If you're ready to get started, download the Coopah app now.

Two people running and graphics showing the Coopah app