Beginners Marathon Training Guide

So you have entered your first marathon..

What now? It is time for some training.

Marathon training for beginners is all about getting fit enough to complete the course. 26.2 miles is a long way and you need to make sure that your body is prepared to run comfortably all the way. It is sensible to not worry about the amount of the time you are taking for your runs, but to aim to cover the distance required. However, at Momentum Sports, when we set training in our Online Coaching we may set times for your training as a guide, but for marathon runners these are almost always at a very controlled pace.

Your marathon training will involve a large amount of endurance work where you need to be "on your feet" for significant amounts of time to ensure your body can "do the time".

You will need to take your current level of fitness into account when starting to build any schedule and gradually increase the distance you are covering.

Debut Marathon Schedule

A simple schedule can be put together for beginners whereby you aim to run 3-4 times a week (ideally 4) with a gradual increase (no more than 10% in total distance, or longest run) each week. The idea would be to build up to a peak of about 40 miles a week and a single longest run of 20 miles - about 4 weeks prior to the race.

You would then look to reduce this distance by about 25% a week so you are fully prepared and rested for the race day.

To reach this kind of high mileage can take some time if you are unfit at the start, so we would recommend beginners try to start preparing 4-6 months in advance of race day.

How can I get ready for the Marathon?

So, what are the factors that you should take into account when putting together a schedule for the first marathon that you are going to run.

  1. What mileage should I do?
  2. How should I set up a weekly Schedule?
  3. What should I do on Race Day?
  4. What Clothing and Shoes do I need?
  5. How far should my Long Runs be?
  6. What else can I do to help my Marathon Training?
  7. What should I eat?

Remember, if this all seems a bit daunting, we can put together a schedule prepared specifically for you from our team of experienced coaches with our Online Coaching.



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