Training for a marathon is a race against time

In the second chapter of 26.2 Miles: The Runners' Story, our new video series with On, we enter the lives of all four marathon entrants and hear how exercise affects their wellbeing and creativity. As training goes up a gear, the team are pushed to their limits, leading to a huge decision to make.

Getting ready for an endurance event is full of time trials, long before the stopwatch goes at the starting line. Training takes up hours of your week, and as you speed up, your increased distances mean you have to make more room in your routine. Sure, if you’re a professional runner, repulsively rich or retired you can dedicate your entire day to training; but if you’re hustling full time and creating work at all hours, it’s a challenge.

The first chapter of our new series, created with sleek running brand On and directed by Jon E Price, saw four creatives – Corbin Shaw, Hélène Selam Kleih, Novelist and Jordss – sign up for the London Marathon, start their training and discuss how exercise moves them. For Chapter Two, as pressures heighten, we see the strain that comes from a no pain, no gain attitude, entering their creative spaces to hear how they’re finding the time to set their best one.

With just 125 days to go, the team reflects on the synergy between mental health, creativity and exercise as they continue their training at premium workout centre Barry’s. For Corbin, it was exercise as much as his artwork that helped him open up and talk about his emotions, noting that running helped me to have that conversation with myself”. He’s confident about his efforts so far but hasn’t got complacent: Nothing prepares you for what it’s like past that eighteenth or nineteenth mile.”

I find that when I’m running, jogging and skating, more musical ideas come to me”


Hélène, on the other hand, has a more complex relationship with running, discussing her struggles with an eating disorder in the past and the triggering effect of exercising again. I was worried about using sport for weight loss and I didn’t want to get into that,” she says. Her outlook, though, is optimistic: You can’t refrain from doing something forever because you’re scared of relapsing, because I think there is a real freedom in running and exercise.”

Trying to fit in training amid a hectic schedule of performances (and the odd roller skating session), Novelist finds that his mental strength fortifies his physical ability. Your mind has to be the fuel for the engine,” he says. Due to his turbulent schedule” he’s putting in maximum focus, noting that musical ideas come to him while running, making it time well spent when it comes to creative reflection.

Jordss – facing both a physical and emotional uphill struggle – reflects on the cardiac arrest that changed her life and ultimately led to her seizing the opportunity to run the London Marathon. Before my heart surgery, I was just like your average 20-something DJ,” she says. “[Now] I feel like a completely different person.”

By the end of Chapter Two, one of the four runners faces whether they can continue or not. Is it best to cut your losses and avoid investing more time, or better to race on and run the risk of more pressure?

Watch Chapter Two above now, and get ready for the runners to hit the halfway mark in Chapter Three.

DIRECTOR Jon E Price CREATIVE DIRECTORS Clara Goodger & Jenn Byrne EXEC PRODUCERS Rosanna Gouldman & Rose Darkins PRODUCERS Jack Filtness & Scarlett Anderson DOP Luke C Harper STYLIST Hollie Williamson GROOMER Maya Man EDITOR Kit Wells STORY EDITOR Ellen Evans SOCIAL EDITOR Millie Gray MUSIC COMPOSITION Father GRADE ETC SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER Victoria De Zanche PRODUCTION COMPANY Riffraff

All of the runners taking part in this series are raising money for a charity of their choice. You can donate below.

Corbin – Stonewall
Hélène – Crisis
Novelist – VICTA
Jordss – Heart Research UK

The best of THE FACE. Straight to your inbox. 

00:00 / 00:00