How to Train for a Marathon – Everything You Need to Know

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How to Train for a Marathon – Everything You Need to Know

No matter if this is your first marathon or you want to improve on previous performances, training plans are key for marathon success. A steady mileage progression and three to five runs each week will put you on track for race day success.

Yoga, gentle stretching, icing and restorative sleep practices are just as crucial to your training regimen as they will help prevent injuries and ensure you perform at your peak during race day.

Start Slow

First and foremost, you must accept that training may cause discomfort or even suffering – an expected and healthy sign that you’re pushing your body beyond its limit. Secondarily, Fitzgerald advises to focus on external goals like catching the runner ahead of you or maintaining a certain pace rhythm or running to a fire hydrant as opposed to internal thoughts like how your body feels during training sessions.

Setting realistic goals is also key. Pushing too hard too soon could result in injury and burnout, so try progressing slowly at first and keeping mileage low at first. A good training plan should gradually build distance over time while including recovery weeks as well as tapering weeks leading up to race day.

Do not be afraid to take a break from running; taking one or two weeks off could save your body from more serious injury if it already suffers from chronic running injuries.

Once you’ve determined a plan and started increasing your distance, add in workouts designed to boost your speed. Intervals provide an effective way of increasing endurance by running short bursts at maximum intensity followed by easy recovery miles; hill workouts help build strength over distance while improving speed over shorter routes.

Build Up

A marathon requires considerable investment of time, energy and money – an undertaking which should not be undertaken without first creating a consistent base mileage base – often for at least 12 weeks prior to beginning formal marathon training programs.

At this stage, it is crucial to keep motivation high by acknowledging small achievements. Each week, focus on finding two or three good experiences – such as a good long run, successful workout or progress with nutrition – that went well; this keeps both mind and body happy while helping prevent injuries.

A comprehensive marathon training plan should combine low-impact aerobic exercise such as cycling, swimming and the elliptical machine with high-intensity strength training workouts that focus on core stability and balance training workouts to help minimize joint impact while protecting new runners from injuries that often arise during marathon training.

At the same time, it is equally essential that you ensure you’re getting enough rest during training. Not getting enough rest can significantly hamper both running and the other workouts in your marathon training plan, negatively affecting both recovery time and mood during runs. Achieve this balance is also key to increasing performance during runs.


Marathon running can be an daunting, yet achievable goal. A successful training plan will get you to the starting line healthy and strong; but marathon training is far from linear: workouts don’t always go according to plan, races don’t feel great and runs may need to be cut short or rescheduled; so keeping focused on what went well this week, races that felt easier or improvements in nutrition or strength training will give you confidence for taking on such a monumental challenge as running a marathon!

Your final weeks of training should include preparations for your taper. Aiming for a three-week taper period.

At this stage of training for your marathon, it is time to develop and practice your fuelling strategy and manage carbs properly – including how and when you consume pre-race meals and use gels. Also remember to decrease cross-training and recovery practices during these final weeks in order to save all your energy for race day!

Marathons may not be for everyone – the physical demands can be immense and require serious commitment – but with the right mental attitude and plan in place you could stand on that starting line in 2019 and achieve such a milestone – and become hooked!

Preparing for the Race

As race day draws nearer, your training plan should transition into its taper phase. This means that long and weekly runs should diminish significantly for two weeks prior to race day in order to provide ample recovery and replenishment time before starting the marathon itself.

As part of your training runs, long training runs offer an ideal time for testing out different kinds of running fuel and tailoring it specifically to you. See which combination works best.

On marathon day, one important aspect to keep in mind is your body can only store so much glycogen (used for energy during running a marathon), so once it runs out it can lead to fatigue and lack of mental clarity. That is why being well prepared with pre-race meals that include carb-rich carbohydrate fuel can ensure optimal performance on race day.

Be sure to spend enough time researching the marathon course you are running. Learn about its elevation changes, any significant hills along the route or water stations along its course. Finally, it is crucial to get enough rest the nights leading up to and on race day morning – adults require seven or more hours of sleep every night in order to maintain optimal health and fitness.