How To Train To Run A Marathon
Here are instructions for how to train to run a marathon. When a person begins to train to run a marathon, a million questions come to mind. How can you train your body to survive the grueling miles of running? How can you develop good enough cardiovascular endurance to make it to the end of that immense marathon? Before you cross the finish line with the song “Chariots of Fire” roaring through your head, here are some things a marathon runner must accomplish.
- Be an experienced runner. It is better if you have been running for at least a year before attempting to train for a marathon. The goal to shoot for is running three to six miles comfortably. It is also recommended you already train three to five days per week as well. The better your fitness level prior to training, the more prepared your body is for this training regimen.
- Set up a running schedule and stick to it. You need to train five days a week for a minimum of eighteen weeks to properly prepare your body for running a marathon. The workouts will alternate distance running with long runs and cross-training. It is important to stick to this training schedule religiously because if you can’t commit to the full workout, how can you expect to complete a marathon? The long runs will start off low, 5 to 6 miles, and gradually increase until you hit your peak twenty mile run. The last three weeks of the training you will need to slow down drastically to let your body rest in preparation for the marathon.
- Run slow during training. You always need to run at a slightly slower pace when training then when running a marathon. The most important part of the training is to build your stamina and run the distance you set for yourself. This is not a race and it is better to run too slow during training for a marathon then running too fast and wearing out early.
- Take walking breaks during long runs. Walking breaks is a great way to finish a marathon and it is something you need to focus on in training as well. One rule of thumb is to stop and walk at aid stations. If you are running in a park with drinking fountains, stop to walk when reaching one of these fountains. You need to keep hydrated so stopping for walk breaks when you need water is a great way to keep your body healthy on long runs.
- Spend one day each week cross-training. Pick one day during training, preferably the day after completing a long run, to work on cross-training. Mix up your cross-training methods to add a fun variety to your training. Try to avoid sports because starting and stopping can lead to injuries for marathon runners. Choose something like swimming, cycling or gym machines like treadmills and ellipticals. These exercises help train other muscles while letting your body rest from the hard training the day before.
- Rest your body to avoid muscle break down. Resting is the most important part of most workout schedules. For weight lifters, the rest days allow muscles to rebuild and strengthen. For marathon runners, rest between training sessions allows the body to rejuvenate. If a runner’s body is tired, he can’t run at full capacity. Two days of rest is a good number to shoot for, especially if you are training for your first marathon.