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Training for a Marathon

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Training for a Marathon

You can find books about marathon training and plenty of websites online that provide training programs. Regardless of your level of experience, there are programs that are designed for your ability levels.

Before you begin training, beginners should take a cautious approach and start small. Doing too much too soon is placing more demands on your body that it's capable of handling. Running a marathon should not be taken lightly; finishing one requires dedication and a lot of training. In fact, ideally one should be a runner for at least a year in order to prepare the mind and body for marathon training.

Regardless of where you get a marathon training program, be sure that it's very structured and detailed. It should break down into phases: build-up, taper off, and recovery once the race has been completed. A program should always be followed exactly as it's laid out; each phase plays an important role in getting the best results. Deviating from it in anyway or having a lack of focus during any part of the training could have an impact on the results you get.

The build-up phase is fairly self-explanatory; it involves building up stamina at a steady pace. Dramatic increases in distance should be avoided; the distance you run early on in your training should be consistent for a while. A 10% increase is a good number to shoot for.

Dramatic increase of distance will not give the body ample time to adjust, which could increase the risk of injury. Having a structured program takes the guesswork out of your training and prevents you from doing too much on a given day. You could run short distances during weekdays, and one long run on the weekends.

The shorter distance running throughout the week will give the body a break from the long-distance running.

The next phase of the marathon-training program is the taper period. The month before the race is when your training should be tapering off. It's designed to help the body recover just a little bit so it's not too tired for the race. The rule of thumb is to cut back your mileage by 25% during this time. During the final week, you should be running only a few short distances. You will feel the results of the tapering off during the day of the race when you are flexible, well-rested, and in peak condition.

Once the marathon is over, then the recovery phase begins. This period includes rest so your body can recuperate from all the training and the competition. The success of any marathon training program is measured can ultimately be measured by the level of commitment made by the participant.


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