Jessica Hepburn 2017 finisher!




Got a 2025 TCS London Marathon place? Here's what to do next

Congratulations! You’re running the 2025 TCS London Marathon. Are you feeling nervous, excited? It’s probably hard to tell which is which right now and you may also be thinking, ‘Where do I start?’

Here to guide you on your marathon journey is Jessica Hepburn, who ran in 2017 and raised more than £5,000 for Fertility Network UK.

Jessica Hepburn just about to finish the London Marathon!

It's fair to say she knows a thing or two about endurance and mental resilience, even though she calls herself the ‘unlikely athlete’. She conquered the English Channel and Mount Everest, and became the second woman and 14th person in history to complete the Pond to Peak following her Everest triumph two years ago. Having gone on to run the 2017 London Marathon, Jessica says she is the first woman in the world to complete what she calls the 'Sea, Street, Summit Challenge’.

Her mission is to get people to live big and brave, especially when life doesn’t go to plan. 

Here are Jessica’s four guiding principles as you embark on your TCS London Marathon journey.

1. If you’re worried and think you can’t run 26.2 miles, that’s not necessarily a bad thing

It’s OK, you may have entered the ballot thinking you’ll never get a place, but you did and now the reality is sinking in. This is how many great marathon journeys start. You might not think you can run 26.2 miles, and Jessica says: ‘just think of it as if you’re going on an adventure – and an adventure whatever the outcome will always change your life for the better ’. Her three key ingredients to a great adventure are:

1. Doing something new
2. Doing something that requires effort (for you)
3. Doing something where the outcome is unknown

If you have a role model who has made you want to take this challenge on that’s fabulous inspiration. But if you don’t see someone like you doing what you want to achieve don’t let that put you off – remember that the world is full of people who proved their doubters wrong!

Jessica says: “Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926. They didn’t think women could do it, but she did, and she swam it faster than the men.”

In fact, Daisy Ridley has just played Ederle in Young Woman and the Sea.

2. Leave your ego at the door

First of all, pick one of our Training Plans or download our Official Training App, Coopah.

During training you’ll discover what you’re good at and what you need to work on, and you’ll learn how to dig deep when it gets tough. 

You’re not always going to love the process. Jessica says endurance events are as much a test of your mental as well as your physical ability, and your ego. “You have to work at the things you are weakest at,” she explains.

“Running is physical and mental. I know I am good at the mental side, but I really struggled with the physical, especially interval training,” says Jessica. “Interval sets get you faster, but I’m not so good at speed. Running for five minutes and getting my heart rate up is harder for me than running for four hours.”

The biggest thing is finding what works for you. You might want to run alone, or you might find joining a running club is more your style. RunTogether allows you to search for your local club here.

You can even enlist a trainer, which is what Jessica did. She turned to Lazy Girl Running Coach, Laura Fountain. Or you might just find that a bakery stop is the way to incentivise those longer runs! 

3. Don’t fixate on the outcome

Everyone has a why for taking on a challenge. If you don’t have one yet, Coopah co-founder Pete Cooper explains how your why will inspire you even on the toughest training days here.

For Jessica, endurance challenges are a way of turning heartbreaking life experiences into positive, profound moments. At 43, she set her sights on swimming the English Channel, but this wasn’t the start of the journey. What came before was 11 rounds of IVF and multiple miscarriages. The Channel was the moment she decided she needed to pursue something completely different. Jessica has also used these challenges to raise awareness around fertility and went on to co-found Fertility Fest, the first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility, and the science of making babies. 

Endurance challenges are a lot more than Event Day. It means training, perhaps even fundraising, building up long runs, and treating yourself to some great food, and fancy new kit. It’s a whole journey. And if you’re doing it correctly, trust us, those around you will know you are running a marathon as it can take over your life, but Jessica says you should lean into this and enjoy the whole process.

She says: “train your body to run, and your brain to think I am going out there to get to the Finish Line AND have fun.

“And if you get injured or you don’t feel well, try not to worry as there’s always another year. The London Marathon is always there for you.”

She wishes from her own personal experience that she hadn’t fixated on a time, either. The achievement of completing the TCS London Marathon is enough in itself.

“Whatever time it takes you, it’s part of the richness of your life experience,” says Jessica.

You don’t need a charity place to fundraise, either, simply head here to see which charities would love your support.

4. Master the art of listening to your body

It’s not all pain and no gain. Jessica says: I’m doing these challenges to embellish my life and they’ve released a lot of emotional pain and they’ve had all sorts of positive by-products on my mental and physical health. 

But she also says ‘I’ve never overtrained and I’ve never got injured. Rest and recovery are important parts of the process as your body adapts to the training, and tapering is one of the most important parts of your Training Plan. 

Tapering can increase your performance by 5 per cent, and you can read more about it here.

You can read more about Jessica’s marathon journey in her latest book, Save Me from the Waves – an adventure from sea to summit, fully soundtracked -which is out now.