If you’ve decided to accept the challenge of training for a marathon, congratulations! It may seem like a huge undertaking at first; but if you have a solid training program and follow a few key tips, you can go the distance.
If you think you’ll be ready in just a few weeks, think again. Is training for a marathon in 3 months possible? Yes, it is! But be careful if you are a beginner runner.
Two-time Olympic marathon runner, Marius Bakken, has created a unique and proven marathon training plan. If you are thinking about competing in a marathon in the next 3 to 12 months I recommend to check out my review of his 100 Day Marathon Plan. It tells you all about Marius Bakken’s revolutionary and highly effective method to train for a marathon.
Read and learn as much as you can about marathon training and ask others who have completed marathons for their advice. If possible, find a training coach and consult with him on a regular basis.
No matter whether you are a beginning marathon runner, or a seasoned marathoner, you will definitely reap the benefits of reading my 70 tips for marathon training post.
Before you begin training for a marathon, research the different types of training programs and choose one that feels comfortable and best suits your needs. Ideally you should stick with one program instead of jumping back and forth between several.
Before you begin your training program, you should be able to run for at least one hour to one hour and an half without stopping.
Otherwise you simply might not be ready for your marathon in time and have a high chance of not finishing it. Don’t worry about speed or distance right now. You are just getting your body used to running, so be patient with yourself. Make sure to read these first marathon training tips if this is the first time you are training for a marathon.
If you are an experienced runner, you probably include both speed as well as distance sessions in your training program. Speed sessions may help you to become a faster runner. However, the core will always be to build enough endurance to make it those 26.2 miles.
Your Marathon Training Program
A good training program is essential for your success. Having a set schedule will help you avoid procrastination and stay on track. Beginners will likely have three to four days designated for running and two to three days for rest.
Don’t ignore your rest days – recovery is a vital part of training for a marathon. Your body needs to rest between runs so it can recover, otherwise it is more prone to injury and fatigue.
Training is one thing, but the importance of the right nutrition cannot be underestimated. Read my post about marathon training diet fundamentals if you are not sure what food is good for you.
When you’ve built up your mileage and stamina, your coach may recommend you increase to five running days. One day will be set aside for your long run, which will increase in distance each week. Be careful in the last weeks leading up to the marathon and make sure to read about the effects of marathon taper.
Many training programs include a day designated for cross-training activities such as biking or swimming. In my experience, it can be very helpful to have at least one day of cross-training per week. You will enjoy the days of running more. Strength-training is also very beneficial as it helps your body to better handle the stress of running.
Running a marathon can be very rewarding. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel as you cross the finish line will be exhilarating. Training for a marathon may be tough, but if you are consistent and determined, you will go the distance.
Marathon Physiology – Advanced Runners
Marathon training for advanced runners asks for a higher mileage schedule and relatively more high intensity runs. If you have the ambition to run a very fast marathon (< 2:30:00), you need to be blessed with your genetics. Just training for a marathon won't be enough. You want to know whether you have the potential to become a really fast marathoner? Find out whether you have one or more of the following physiological attributes:
Slow-twitch muscle fibers
Relatively more slow-twitch than fast-twitch muscle fibers. Sprinters tend to have more fast-twitch muscle fibers, but successful marathoners need the slow-twitch ones. Unfortunately this is genetically determined.
Excellent running economy: to be able to use oxygen economically at marathon race pace.
Ability to recover quickly from hard training sessions.
High lactate threshold
The lactate threshold is the exercise intensity at which lactate starts to accumulate in the blood stream.
High VO2 Max
Maximum capacity to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise that is far above average.
High glycogen storage
High ability to store glycogen in your muscles and liver.
Efficient fat burning
Well-developed fat utilization so your body can rely more on fat during the marathon race.
Do you feel that you match all the points mentioned? Great, you have the potential to become a great athlete or you are already one!
Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything that I mentioned above or if you just don’t match the profile. Training for a marathon and running a marathon is a great accomplishment, no matter how fast you run!
Read more about this topic on the following pages:
How To Run Faster – Secrets Revealed
Learn how to run faster and become a better runner. Try out the five training methods that made me faster.
Healthy Eating – An Essential Part Of Marathon Training
Healthy eating during your marathon training will give you the boost you need to endure challenging runs and even improve your performance.
Marathon Nutrition – What To Take Before, During And After The Race
Marathon nutrition. Take the right amount of calories and fluid, enjoy your marathon and run faster!
Marathon Taper – For Maximum Performance
Marathon taper in the last three weeks leading up to your marathon. Cut back your training volume for maximum performance.
Your First Marathon And How To Train – 8 Tips To Succeed
Your first marathon is both challenging and special. Read those tips about first marathon training to get ready!
Follow My Marathon Running Tips And Perform Better!
My marathon running tips give you guidance on the actual marathon. You will have less stress on marathon race day and perform better!
Marathon Recovery Plan – How To Get Back Soon
Discover the necessary steps in your marathon recovery plan and get back to running soon.
Why You Really Need A Marathon Training Diet
Your marathon success greatly depends on your marathon training diet. Make sure to read about the marathon training diet fundamentals.