If this is your first time running a marathon, only follow the initial five steps. Make the most of the extra time you have if your marathon is more than 16 weeks away; use it to focus on increasing your training mileage. When you begin your exercise program, you should possess the capability of jogging 10-12 miles for your extended run, and covering an average of 25 miles each week.
People who are new to running races should have prior knowledge of competing in a race before they start planning their marathon training. Ideally, you should be experienced in running half marathons and other short races and should have a basic understanding of how to practice, use speed tactics, allow yourself time to rest and adjust to a new pace. I recommend getting expert help so that you can create a program that is both safe and effective.
Before constructing a marathon training program, it is important to take certain factors into account. First, you need a goal time. This may be determined using a prior marathon participation or races of different lengths (take a look here for a helpful table of time determinations). This period of time can be used for varied functions, including running at a marathon speed, deciding your speed for the long distance run, and providing you a benchmark while you’re competing in the race.
Create a chart that extends up to the day of your marathon race. You can either use an Excel spreadsheet or Word document to achieve the same result, or you could opt to use a physical calendar. Put a label on each day of the week from Monday to Sunday and make sure that the dates reach up until the day of your race. If you have any planned races, write them in. Now you’re ready to make your plan.
Steps to Making Your Training Program
Incredibly, it is possible to make a successful and secure exercise regimen if you are an amateur aiming to enhance your time in the second or third marathon, or a proficient runner aiming to remain running at a top-notch level. Follow the steps outlined here to make a 16-week program to prepare for a marathon.
Examine your long-term objectives. Count back three weeks from when your marathon is scheduled to begin and reduce your training intensity to prepare for the race. That will be your longest run. I would recommend at least 20-22 miles. For the initial extended distance, enter your present long-distance running. Work an increasing amount of miles per week, starting by 1-3 miles. Every couple of weeks, take it easy on your body and reduce the length of your long run by a quarter. Attempt to incorporate a minimum of two jogs that measure a distance of at least 20 miles.
Jogs should be done at a relaxed tempo that is one or more minutes behind your preferred paced competition. For runners who have already developed some proficiency in running, during the middle stages of their training they should plan to run around 5 or 6 miles at the Pace they want to run the marathon in somewhere near the latter part of their exercise. This will provide you with a notion of what it is like to run at a racing rate, particularly when your legs are fatigued.
Preferably, the next day after your extended run should be a short, low-intensity jog or a day of taking it easy. A recovery run should be somewhere between 3 and 4 miles long, and the speed should be very slow.
The second workout you should plan is your speed training session (more experienced athletes will have a second difficult workout). Make sure that there is a day of rest between this run and your longest run. Two is even better for beginners. The total mileage will be about 4-8 miles and you can choose from any of these workouts:
- Hill Repeats
- Tempo Workout
- Half Marathon Pace runs: Warm up for about 10 minutes. Run 20-40 minutes at your current half-marathon pace. Cool down for 5-10 minutes.
- Interval Training: Longer intervals of 800-1600 meters, at a pace about 15 seconds per mile slower than your 5k pace.
Try to vary these workouts. If you are aware that your marathon includes several inclines, it could be beneficial to set aside additional time specifically for hill training.
The remaining two to three days can be easy to moderately difficult runs. Cross-training is an option, especially for beginners. On one of those days, gradually increase your distance by one mile until you reach between 8 and 10 miles. Every third week, reduce your distance by approximately 25% to give your body a break.
Beginning after your last lengthy jaunt, 21 days prior to your marathon, you can begin to reduce your mileage and the intensity of your workouts. For the first week, reduce your long run by roughly a third. That is the only change. Two weeks prior to your event, reduce the length of your longest run to approximately half of the longest distance you have previously completed. Approximately 10 days prior to the race, you should also begin decreasing the distance of your additional runs.
In the last week before your marathon, reduce your mileage significantly. Take an extra rest day. Do not do any high-speed running in the last week before the marathon, but you could attempt a 3 mile run at your target marathon time several days before the race. Warm up with a mile jog, then run 2-3 miles at your anticipated marathon speed then cool down with another mile jog. Running the day before the marathon is optional. Known as a “shakeout run,” it is able to help relax the muscles and get rid of some jitters, but the decision is up to you. Try to keep your activities brief, and spend most of the day with your feet up.
Second Speed Workout
If you have completed several marathons and are looking to reduce your completion time, it is recommended that you include a second fast-paced training session during the week. You can pick another option from above.
Don’t schedule your high-intensity runs back to back. This includes your long run. Add a day of light or no running in between your more strenuous runs.
If you are determined to achieve a personal best time or qualify for the Boston Marathon, you must run more. Try to jog or sprint at least five times each week, and six times if possible. Ning should not push through pain or ignore signs of overtraining. Take breaks as needed, but for optimal performance, it is important to rack up running miles.
Implement these ideas and you can develop a customized marathon instruction regimen which will be ideal for you! It can be incorporated into your timetable, advance in accordance with your speed, and take you to your desired destination.
How to Select Your Marathon Training Plan
Selecting an appropriate marathon exercise program to help you get ready for your forthcoming marathon is a very important step to make certain that you succeed.
Although you may not stay on track with the schedule you’ve decided, beginning your marathon training regimen that isn’t designed to your criteria could result in letdown further into your progression.
Let’s take a moment to look at what we need to take into account:
Beginners Marathon Plan: What Should You Look For?
It is possible to find a vast array of no-cost marathon training schedules on the web, a lot of which are tailored particularly towards individuals taking on their initial marathon. In deciding which might best suit you, a good place to start would be to ask yourself the following questions:
- What has your average weekly running mileage been for the last two months?
- How many times per week have you been running on average in the last two months?
- What’s the longest run you’ve completed in the last two months?
- What’s your ultimate goal for this first marathon? More on goal setting in a moment!
By responding to these queries, you will have a better understanding of your current training status, making it easier to assess it realistically.
Injured runners participating in their first marathon often have conditions like shin splints due to an abrupt increase in the amount of time spent running, the length of their runs, or the number of times they run within a week, or a combination of these. It is critical to select an exercise regimen that begins with a level of strain your body can endure and slowly progresses as you go along.
On a frigid winter evening, determination derived from setting a lofty aim is the key to motivating oneself to go running for marathon training, so forming purposeful objectives is extremely vital.
Rather than focusing on when your first marathon should be completed, focus on the process of running it and the steps you take to get there. Outcome based goals are not as important when it comes to your first marathon. If you concentrate on completing each of the long runs for the week during practice, and make sure you stay on track with your nourishment and pacing on race day, the result will take care of itself.
The sole aim for a first-time marathon runner should be to finish the event with pride, feeling content enough to think to themselves afterwards, “yes, I’d like to do that again!”.
How Long Does It Take to Train for a Marathon?
The majority of habitual runners can prepare for a marathon in a time frame of three to four and a half months. It is likely that you observed that there exist programs to prepare for a marathon that range in duration. The program I connected to earlier has a time frame of sixteen weeks, though other plans last for twelve or eighteen weeks. The amount of time it takes to get ready for your first marathon is determined by your current running abilities.
It is crucial that certain conditions are fulfilled before taking part in the sixteen-week intensive preparation for the marathons that is encompassed in my novice marathon training design.
If you already have the essential running conditioning, then you are guaranteed to be prepared for your inaugural marathon after sixteen weeks of adhering to the running plan. If it takes you 3-4 weeks to get your running up to speed, then the 16 week marathon plan could potentially turn into 20 weeks.
Time or Distance-Based Marathon Plans?
When you search for different marathon training plans, I highly advise that you look at a few before deciding to commit one. You will find that some initiate exact lengths of time for running each day, whilst others go for a time-based strategy.
Both types of program work, and have their benefits. If you think of yourself as a slow runner, it might be a good idea for you to focus on how much time you spend on your long runs, rather than measuring them by distance.
When running long distances, there comes a stage when additional activity yields less and less results. For different runners, that point comes at different times. For some, completing a three-hour run may take its toll, whereas others can endure and bounce back from a three and a half hour run.
Going beyond that benchmark, you are more likely to acquire an injury and your body will feel a higher level of strain than necessary, making it more difficult to recuperate afterward.
Only through personal experience can one know how much their body can handle. My experience from the past 10 years of helping thousands of runners suggests that it is a good idea for those beginning to train for a marathon to limit their longest run to a maximum of 3 and a half hours or 18 miles, whichever comes first.
For a runner going at 11:45 minutes per mile or slower, the key factor to take into account should be the time spent running, not the distance covered. Progressively increasing the program to a 3 and a half hour-long run will function effectively.
Jack Daniels, a renowned running mentor, clearly explains this concept in the accompanying video. I understand why some of the slower runners would find it difficult to limit their long runs to two and a half hours, since it most likely means that the race time will be twice that amount.
The mental side can’t be overlooked. It’s a fine balance!
A good way to reduce the overall distance and boost the toughness of your legs and the amount of time you spend running is to do big training over the weekend – for example 10 to 12 miles on Saturday and 18 miles on Sunday. running for a longer period of time on fatigued legs copies the needs of a more extended running session while potentially cutting down the likelihood of getting injured.