Running a marathon is not something done on a whim. It takes long-term dedication and practice to get prepared for it. It can take several months or over a year to properly prepare for running that 26.2 mile endurance race.
What do I need to do to train for a marathon?
Start building up your base mileage. To be prepared even to start training for a marathon, you already need to be running long distances on a regular basis. Many experts think running 20 to 30 miles every week for several months is necessary before you start building up for a marathon.
Elevate your base mileage. Once you have reached the 20 to 30 mile goal each week, and have been doing it for several months, you can start elevating your mileage gradually. For four to six months before the marathon, you need to start making incremental increases to your base mileage. Plan on elevating your mileage by 5 to 10 percent each week. The goal is to reach 50 miles per week before the marathon.
Build your single run mileage. Building up to 50 miles per week is only part of the goal for preparing for a marathon. You need to lengthen the mileage you do in a single run. You need to schedule your time to give yourself one long run each week or so. For example, you might do 10 miles a day three times during the week, then plan a 20 mile run sometime over the weekend. However, don't jump to the 20 mile level too quickly. Gradually lengthen your long run out by a mile every week or two.
Add speed work into the mix. Marathons are long-distance endurance races. Adding speed work into your training mix may not seem logical. However, adding some speed work into the mix will build your endurance up faster than only doing the slower runs. It also gives you some variance in your workouts to keep things fresh. Doing speed work once a week on one of your shorter runs is a good place to start.
Rest is an essential part of your marathon training plan. Many first-time marathoners think that running every day will help them do their best on race day. However, the body needs time to recover. Build in two or three days of rest into your marathon training plan. This means no running whatsoever on those days. Also, a couple of weeks before the marathon start tapering off your running schedule. You need to give your body time to rest before the big race.
What is the best way to prepare for a marathon?
Marathons require a long-term commitment. You may be preparing for over a year to run a single 26.2 mile race. Sticking to a training plan can be difficult, even for the most dedicated runner. To help keep you motivated and to help you stay in great shape, you need to get a personal trainer.
Ralph Roberts is just such a personal trainer. Ralph helps clients set personal training goals and work toward achieving them, and recently helped a client enter her first Ironman Triathlon. He can help you get ready for the road race of a lifetime. Contact Ralph today to schedule a free initial personal training session.
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