Have a look through this page for an need-to-know guide on preparing for a marathon.
- Don't get ahead of yourself
- Dress the part
- 16-Week Programme
- Listen to your body
- Training benefits
- Get others involved!
- Eat like a champion
It's probably best to have a bit of experience before running a full length marathon. Try training for a half marathon or spend 6 months to a 1 year running to a weekly schedule.
|Tuesday||Run (easy)||5 mile|
|Thursday||Run (fast tempo)||3 miles|
|Friday||Run (easy)||4 miles|
|Sunday||Run (steady)||6 - 8 miles|
You need a good pair of running shoes! Support and cushioning are the most important things to keep in mind, as lack of either can lead to injury.
Replace your running shoes after about 450 miles of running, as this is usually when heavy signs of wear appear. Good shoes can be bought from sports shops and department stores, usually at decent prices.
For winter/low temp running, the following are a good idea:
- A lightweight breathable jacket
- Lycra leggings
For summer/higher temp running, the following are a good idea:
- A tshirt
- A hat
- avoiding the mid day sun
- Sun block (one that won't come off with sweating)
- Lots of water before, during and after!
Avoid items that may constrict your breathing or blood flow, such as scarves and tights especially if you are planning to run a longer distance.
Treadmills vs Real World
Treadmills are great when the weather is bad, and most come with display systems that can show you:
- Your speed
- Your heart-rate
However you need to get used to running outside, on different surfaces, and if possible along a set route.
This 16-Week Marathon Training Programme is a guide designed to give you an idea of the kind of training you can do before a marathon.
The aim is to progressively increase distance while building your endurance.
Make sure you take breaks especially for food and drink if you are running longer distances.
Be consistent! Follow a schedule and stick to it, for longer lasting benefits. However don't be scared to take a rest/easy day if you are feeling tired after warm up, you might just need a bit more time to recover.
Warm Up/ Cool Down
Warming up and cooling down are two of the most important things when training. Each should take about 10 minutes
Warm up with a brisk walk, working your way up to training pace. Be sure to warm up for running by walking briskly, increase this to a slow jog and slowly get up to pace. Spend about 10 / 15 minutes warming up. This helps to prevent injury by loosening muscles and joints. Also you will run more comfortable once your warmed up as the cardio vascular system works faster to meet the demands of exercise. Warm down after your session, jog / walk for 5 / 10 minutes.
Try and follow a schedule, and avoid over doing it!
Your body will let you know if you are pushing yourself to hard. Injuries usually build up so look out for early warning signs and do not resume training until your injury has healed. Training before injuries have completely healed can do much more damage than good, so listen to your body!
- Weight loss (body fat)
- Build muscle tone
- Improved immune system
- More energy, more endorphins = feeling happier!
- Sense of achievement
Running with other people can increase your motivation so don't be shy, ask some mates to train with you, join a local running club or train with someone also going through marathon training.
Adding a social aspect to training will make it more enjoyable and it's also safer to run in groups, especially at night.
Training will increase your appetite. No two ways about it, be prepared for this and create an eating plan while you train.
- Drink plenty of water generally, and before during and after long runs
- Sport drinks are great at replacing energy
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Small regular meals are better than large infrequent meals (Try to eat every 2-3 hours)
- Go easy on fast food and processed foods
- Cakes, biscuits, pies, sweets and chocolates are fine... in moderation
- Carbs are your main source of energy! So fill up on pasta, rice, cereal, potatoes and bread, try and have some form of carbohydrate at every meal.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!!