13 Nov

Marcothon to save our sanity in December 2019

Marcothon runners in branded T-shirts

Marcothon has been a favourite running challenge since 2009 when Marco Consani's wife Debbie (the pair are top class ultra runners) coined the term to define the 31-stage 'run every day' test in December. Since then what was essentially a homemade concept, to help sustain motivation during the darkest month, has become an international phenomenon.

Run streaks (running every day for extended periods) can be controversial. Running experts highlight the dangers of injury and suggest caution. But it didn't stop Ron Hill. For 50 years! However minimum requirements (running or jogging 3 miles or 25 minutes whichever comes first) and the benefits of maintaining exercise amidst a sea of Christmas pudding and Prosecco, boxes of Roses and box sets makes Marcothon on balance, a good thing.

There's an extra incentive to attempt Marcothon in 2019 and that is due to a big UK-wide event planned for 12 December. More than ever you'll need a regular run to maintain your sanity as fake news and false promises stack up like last week's blackened snow.

Marcothon rules are simple:

  • Run every day in December;
  • Run for a minimum of 3 miles or 25 minutes;
  • If you think you're cheating you probably are so disqualify yourself!

Every year thousands of runners start out on 1 December full of optimism that they will be completing the 31-day test on the final day of the month however the majority succumb to the many classic Marcothon obstacles including colds and flus, festive excess and shortage of stamina (physical and mental).

Check out runABC's Marcothon for Dummies guide below. And good luck!

10 Top Tips For A Successful Marcothon

1. Rest up in November
Have a very easy week up to 30 November so you have lots of petrol in the tank at the start of December.

2. Pace yourself
Run the minimum distance/time for a few days (even the first few weeks) to get warmed up.

3. Plan in advance
December with office parties, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve can be busy socially so highlight the problematic days in advance and plan to run early or before you go out.

4. Tried and trusted
Don't break in new shoes or try out new kit during Marcothon - stay with tried and trusted to avoid problems.

5. Phone a friend
Rope in a buddy (better still a few) to do the challenge - you'll keep each other motivated.

6. Beat the weather
December can sometimes throw up some nasty weather - have a Plan B if pavements are icy – treadmill, local park, traction aids etc or if it buckets down - waterproof jacket, hot bath waiting at home.

7. Run for charity
Add extra motivation by running for a good cause. It could keep you going when you want to chuck around Day 20.

8. Think about an amazing New Year's Eve
If you make it to the end, you'll have the best New Year's party ever. Keep that thought in mind.

9. Don't be a hero
If you do the minimum 3 miles it still means a weekly 20/25 mileage. Don't enter a half marathon on 17 December. Save that for January when you'll be in great shape.

10. Don't be silly
If you do fall ill or pick-up an injury, end the challenge. There's always 2020.

Plus a bonus tip:

11. Join the Marcothon Facebook group and be inspired by some amazing stories - flying 80 somethings, health comeback stars. There's also a Strava group.