How to run a marathon faster – with Jordan Foster

As part of my “How to run a marathon faster series” I am pleased to welcome Jordan Foster. Jordan is better known as Projectmarathongirl and her improvements over the last few years makes her an ideal person to talk with about running a marathon faster.

Jordan smashing sub 3

Jordan is a Sub 3 Marathon runner and recently finished the Swiss City Marathon in 2.58.37 and took the podium as 3rd female. This is something that is my ultimate goal, so she talks from experience of the hard work and dedication to reach sub 3. With this result Jordan has qualified for the 2019 London Marathon as a Championship Entry. Jordan has also recently set up PMGCoaching – ready to launch in December 2018.

I asked Jordan how she began running?

I have flitted in and out of running since I was at school, it was something I used to enjoy, but I was never committed to it, nor took it seriously until 2014.

My first real experience of running was actually a ‘mud run’! Some friends asked me if I wanted to take part, and although I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, I love a challenge, so I said yes! The race was 10km so I thought it was probably a good idea to get some training runs in! There was a park local to me which was about a 1km lap, so that’s how I started… I headed there most days and just started running laps, and trying to run further each time. I was really enjoying getting into running, as every time I went out the runs started to feel easier and I felt like I could push myself more. The race came and went, and it was safe to say I was hooked, but I was already looking for the next challenge. There was a half marathon where I lived every year, and although I had only ever ran 10km before, I plucked up the courage and signed up, without having any real idea of how to train for it! I completed my first half marathon in 1.51, and by now I well and truly had the bug for running. I continued to run more and more, and by the end of 2015 I had a couple more half marathons & lots of 5ks under my belt, and it was then I started toying with the idea of a marathon, and of course, like most people there was only one I wanted to do – LONDON!

London 2016, achieving 3:39

What is your current marathon PB?

My current PB is 2.58.37 which I achieved at the 2018 Swiss City Marathon

Have you always been fast, tell me about your first marathon?

When I found out I got my place for the 2016 London Marathon, I set myself the goal that I wanted a Good For Age time (3.45) I had no idea if this was realistic or not, and had no idea if I was capable, but I knew I would give it my best shot! I followed my training plan to the letter and really worked hard on the weeks leading up to the race, and it paid off! I got 3.39.49 and was over the moon! The race didn’t go perfectly (but what first marathon does?!) but I was hooked! I knew I wanted to run more marathons, but in all seriousness at the time I couldn’t imagine EVER being able to run any quicker!

What did you do to improve your marathon time?

After the highs of London 2016, I was so excited to run the following year, but unfortunately towards the end of 2016 & the majority of 2017 my running seemed to go backwards, I wasn’t focused, my training was all over the place, my diet was poor – and it showed! I ran London in 2017 and had a terrible race, the time wasn’t a bad time, but for me I knew I hadn’t worked hard enough for it. But now, I am SO glad that it happened, as it almost switched something in me and I knew I didn’t want to feel like that again. Towards the end of 2017 I completely turned it around. I started training consistently, I improved my diet, I started including strength training, and have made a lot of progress in the space of 12 months. This year I have ran 3 marathons, London, Berlin & Swiss City Marathon and have set a PB at each one!

Putting in the hard work at Berlin

Tell me your top tips to running a marathon faster?

I get asked quite a lot ‘what my secret is’ – and the truth is, there is no secret! There is no quick fix. There is no magic training plan that is going to get you the time you want. It really has to come from you. I am extremely goal orientated, and that’s what keeps me motivated to train & push myself to get where I want to be. Consistency really is key, and so is patience. If you really want to improve, or to get your dream time, you need to be prepared to put the work in, you need to be prepared for some set backs along the way and you need to be prepared that it might not happen within 6 months, it could take years! But if you want it badly enough, it will be worth the wait!

You can find Jordan here:

Instagram – @projectmarathongirl & @pmgcoaching
Twitter – @projectmaragirl
Jordan with a PB at London

Jordan has continued to improve, and I don’t think we have seen the best of her yet. What I’m taking away from this is the need for a good diet, strengthening and dedication. Three areas I’ve not given much attention over the last few years, but something that makes all the difference.

Thank you Jordan for your thoughts have now to run a marathon faster. Look out for the next instalment.


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