Marathons are an incredible feat of endurance and physical prowess. Getting up to the starting line can be a bit daunting for beginners. Marathons are a great way to challenge yourself and see just how far you can go. However, many people worry that they may not be able to complete a marathon due to their lack of experience with endurance running. Being in good physical shape is only part of the equation; you must also know how to train properly for this race before it starts. And while a marathon is one of the most grueling races to train for, you can rest easy and know that you’ve done everything in your power to get ready:


1. Plan to Begin Training About 6 Months Before Your Marathon

Ample time will be needed to build your endurance and strength for this race. This will allow you to start slow and work up to a more intense routine over time. Unfortunately, many people who have just begun running will often try too much too soon, hurting their ability to run longer distances in the long run.

You can avoid injuries and make the most out of your marathon training sessions by taking things at a slower pace. The farther in advance you will begin your training, the more time you will have to prepare for the race. You will run for about 2 hours per day, five days per week. This allows your body to adjust to the extra mileage and enough time to repair any damage that may have occurred from the long-distance running. In addition, incorporate strength training into your routine, as this will help to build your muscles and keep your body in top form.

2. Build up Your Mileage Over Time ~ 3-5x Per Week

This is to help build up a gradual resistance in your body and allow you to adjust to the increasing mileage. To progress to successful marathon completion, you must be in the proper physical shape. It is recommended that you start running at least 3-5 times per week, depending on how much time you have. You can start slowly and add a few more runs as your body becomes used to the exercise and then progress to longer distances at a slower pace.

3. Do Long Runs Once a Week

It would be best if you did distance running on top of your usual running routine. A good long run should last at least 60-90 minutes. You will set out steadily and gradually increase your speed throughout the run.

Be warned that this type of workout can sometimes be difficult for the body to adjust to, so be sure to listen closely to what your body is telling you during the run. Long runs are key to building up your mileage every day. Although this may be the longest run that you will do, it will help greatly in your endurance by increasing your lung capacity.

4. Variate Your Tempo Runs and Intervals

This is a great addition to your running routine. A tempo run will be slower than your normal, non-interval workouts, while an interval workout involves you alternately performing bursts of speed and a slower pace. It is a great way to increase the amount of work your body does during one run, but it requires you to increase the intensity of the run with each passing week.

Although this is not crucial to completing your marathon, it is recommended that you work on increasing the speed of your runs at a comfortable pace. This can help build up leg strength and get your legs used to running faster than normal.

5. Hydrate While You Run

It is a commonly known fact that dehydration can inhibit endurance training and lead to injury. Drinking water throughout your run helps to maintain water balance in the body, which helps you recover from hard runs. For this reason, it is recommended that you drink a minimum of 16 ounces (2 cups) of fluid per hour while running. This is especially important if you are running in the heat, as it can help to keep your body from overheating. Drink water about 30-45 minutes before, during, and after your run. This will help your body adjust to the extra sweat and will also help in the increase of your distance.

6. Invest in Proper Equipment and Clothing, Especially Good Shoes

Most people will start with a pair of running shoes that are okay but not ideal for the long-distance running that you will be doing. This can lead to overuse injuries and increase your chance of injury despite careful training. The key is getting a pair of shoes specifically designed for running; these shoes may cost more, but they are worth it in the long run.

Proper running shoes can help to prevent injury and keep you in good running form. You should purchase your shoes when you begin training so that they are broken in before your run. Many people new to running start out with a pair of old athletic shoes that they never wore again, but this is where much of the pain and injury comes from; do not make this mistake!

7. Rest Plenty

It is important to have scheduled days off to do nothing but prioritize your muscle recovery. A great way to take a break from running is to choose an exercise like swimming or cycling. This can give your body a chance to relax but does not allow the same level of exertion and strain as running does.

Before your marathon, you must give your body enough time to recover from the last run and prepare for the final push. Long runs take a toll on the body and must be taken seriously. Taking time off from running can help you recover and give you the energy needed for race day.

8. Eat Well

In addition to proper running and rest, you must take care of your diet. First, you should always aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet. After all, running is one of the most physically demanding exercises humans can do, so you must have a system in place to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to perform at its peak.

Before running, try to eat a healthy meal that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. This can help to provide your body with energy for the run. If you are planning on running for an extended time, it is also recommended that you eat a snack beforehand; this will provide your body with quick-digesting calories for energy. However, it would be best if you didn’t eat too much before you train, as this can increase your chance of injury or other harmful side effects.

Week Before

1. Drink Lots of Water During the Week Before the Race

The day before your run, drink 16 ounces of water (2 cups) every 20-30 minutes. This will help to keep your body hydrated, which will help prevent blisters and chafing from the long run. In addition, you must give yourself time to adjust to steady running and build up your endurance. This will help prevent muscle and blood fatigue because you are running at the same pace for longer.

2. Eat a Diet Rich in Complex Carbohydrates

It’s recommended that, before running, you eat a high-protein breakfast such as eggs, meat, or cheese. This will give you the energy needed to complete the final push of your marathon. Consuming easily digestible carbohydrates allows your body the energy to keep going for long periods. Simple sugars are not as effective in providing energy and can lead to fatigue later on in the run. It is important to vary what you eat and how much so that your body can adjust and properly deal with different levels of food.

3. Don’t Experiment With New Foods During the Week Before

It is always a good rule of thumb to only change one thing at a time; this should be no exception when training. If you are beginning to run or planning on running for your first marathon, it can be easy to overeat or try something new and get sick from the lack of energy you would normally receive from a healthy diet. Stomach upsets can easily be avoided with a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, which should be your primary energy source. This will leave your body ready to run hard and fast on race day.

4. Lay Out Your Clothing the Night Before/Be Prepared for Anything

It is important to have your race gear, shoes, and liquids ready to go the day before. This will give you more time to get ready and avoid last-minute mistakes. Lay out everything and put it in an area where it can easily be accessed; this will keep you from rushing in the morning and making mistakes that can hold up your progress.

Running gear is especially important for long races. Make sure that there is something to keep you warm, something to keep you dry, and something to wear after the race. Your tights/shorts should be comfortable and relatively small, as this will help you move easily down the course and not get tired during the race. Good shorts can also be helpful to prevent blisters if you are running trails or pavement for a long period.

5. Map Out the Course and Know Your Race Details

Knowing what to expect and where to go will help you have a better time overall and prevent the chance of getting lost or injured in the process. If you are running with others, it might be helpful to bring along a large banner or flag to alert fellow runners and spectators that you are part of a group. This can be especially true for new runners or those who have previously gotten lost.

A good way to ensure you are doing a good job of finding your way is by using a trail map. Bringing one with you may seem overkill, but they can help get you through the long run so you can run your best on race day.

6. Check the Weather and Dress/Plan Accordingly

Temperature, wind, and rain can all play a part in the quality of your run. Therefore, it is important to check the weather before you leave home to make sure that you have proper clothing and shoes on hand. If you live in an area prone to frequent rain, it might be a good idea to change into some dryer clothing once you get to the start line. This can also help prevent blisters before they happen.

In colder weather, you may want to consider wearing some extra sweatshirts or other warm clothes. Running a marathon in the rain or snow can be a little more difficult than running on a nice sunny day. There are different precautions you will have to take and items you will need to carry to ensure that you remain safe. Your clothing should be appropriate for the weather.

Keep in Mind

Marathons can be very dangerous and should never be taken lightly. Training for one is a large time commitment and requires much preparation. These tips are designed to help you have a more enjoyable and less stressful time training for the event. Remember that everyone has different levels of physical ability, and what may work for one runner may not work for another. It is always important to listen to your body during training because it will tell you when you are doing too much or if something is wrong. However, if you put in the hard work, you’ll be running smoothly and hopefully crossing the finish line soon. So get started with your training plan, remember to have fun, and enjoy the race!