Learning how to train for a marathon from scratch is easy to do, but hard to actually accomplish. A marathon is 26 grueling miles on a hard surface, so you must devote a lot of time to training. Make sure you are eating enough when you train for a marathon from scratch, since you will burn a lot of calories. If you start to experience any leg or lower back pain during training, take a few days off to recover.
- Start your first running session. Since you are going to run a marathon from scratch, even completing five miles will be tough. After you are warmed up, jog a slow first mile to work out the kinks. Keep track of your time using a running watch. Try to run for three to five miles, and do not hesitate to stop and walk if you get winded, and you probably will.
- Take two days off after your first running workout. See how your legs and lower back feel. You may experience pain in your shins from the pounding, which is also called “shin splints.” Stretch every day when you train for a marathon from scratch, even if you are not actually running on a given day.
- Try to run at least five miles the next time you train. If you were only able to cover three miles during your first workout, go for five the next time. Try to add at least one mile each time you run, which will help you get ready for the marathon. Keep track of your time, and try to run at an even pace. Distance training for a marathon from scratch takes time, so be patient with yourself if your progress stalls.
- Once you are accustomed to the pounding of distance running, increase the miles. There is a huge difference between running five to seven miles and running 26 miles. As your body gets used to handling the pain, you will eventually get into a nice groove when you run. Continue to add miles to your workouts, and as you start to pass the 10 mile mark on a regular basis, you will need to stop once in awhile to take a drink.
- When you hit the 20 mile mark, you are close to your goal. Running 26 miles is not much different than 20 as far as your body is concerned. If you can handle the pain and pounding of running 20 miles, you can manage another six. Slow down your pace if necessary, and conserve your energy for the latter stages of the run. Consider taking a snack with you on your long runs, since you will be burning calories at a high rate.
- After you have run a full 26 miles, start to work on lowering your time. While it is quite an accomplishment to run a marathon, you can always get better. Start to train more often, or consider running further than 26 miles if you are able. Incorporate some light weight lifting into your training, which will also help you recover from training for a marathon from scratch.