Training for a Marathon

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Jul 192014
 

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Participating in a marathon takes a lot of dedication. But there benefits to running the 26.2 mile trek: confidence to deal with life’s problems; camaraderie with an elite group of runners; solid fitness levels; and, naturally, a real source of pride.

To avoid injury, you have to plan to complete the marathon. This article is a basic guideline for people who are already in basic shape. If you think you’re active and are confident you can handle a marathon, please keep reading, although this article is written for someone who is not a regular runner.

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There are a few things you need before you get started: good shoes (going to a running specialty store for a proper fitting is a great idea), comfortable clothes (dry-fit materials work best), and a good runner’s watch.

First, you need to establish a solid running base. Start by running ten to twenty miles weekly, beginning with low mileage runs (two to five miles, two or three times weekly), then slowly increasing your overall weekly mileage. Eventually you should add one run of eight to twelve miles every week. The entire process should take place over the course of a few months

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Speed should not be a concern. Your focus should be on form, comfort, and racking up the miles. Don’t overexert at this time, either. Rest between running days is very important. You should rest even longer if anything feels out of the ordinary.

This training period is a good time to read about running and decide which marathon you are going to complete first. There are many training programs available. Many free ones can be found online. There are also training apps available for smart phones.

The important thing to remember is this will not be an overnight project. Twelve to eighteen weeks (and maybe even longer) of training are needed to complete a marathon. But, with proper training and a positive mental attitude, you will be able to finish your first marathon.