Training Tips for Marathons

The first modern marathon was included in the 1896 Olympics held in Athens. The ancient Olympic games did not include marathons. The marathon traces its roots to a Greek legend involving a messenger running from Marathon to Athens with an announcement about a military victory. A full marathon is 26.2 miles, and a half-marathon is 13.1 miles. With a goal of participating in a half- or full marathon, runners can begin a training and fitness regimen to help ensure a successful run.

Tips for Beginners

With the idea of running a marathon, a beginner can formulate a training program to prepare for the event. It's important to remember that the body adapts gradually, so training should be slow and methodical. Educate yourself about nutrition, hydration, shoes, clothing, mileage recommendations, running schedules, cross-training, and strength training to learn as much as possible about the process. Consider seeing a physician prior to beginning a training program to get a professional assessment of your health.

Half-Marathon Training

A half-marathon can be an achievable goal for many beginners. Many experts suggest a program of at least 16 weeks to allow for gradual building of strength and endurance. A training regimen usually includes days of hard training interspersed with easier days to help the body adjust to physical demands. Training might include one 1.5-hour run each week and several shorter runs of about 40 to 50 minutes. Adequate rest is also important for recovery.

Full Marathon Training

After a successful half-marathon, you might set your sights on the completion of a full marathon. This training should involve running four to six days per week consistently. Good nutrition and careful hydration will be important during training to help the body gain strength and endurance. Listen to your body to avoid overtraining and potential injuries. Fatigue and a slower running pace are signs that you might need to cut back slightly. Consider joining a running group to train with other people preparing for a marathon.