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A Guide to Running a Marathon

Updated on April 6, 2013

Learn About Running A Marathon

Running a Marathon is far more than just putting on a pair of shorts and running shoes and running. It is even more than signing up and paying your fee to enter the local marathon.

I admit that there are hundreds of people every week that do the above and enter marathons, just to say they have. There are shorter versions like the 5K races, 10K races and half marathons.

When I speak of running a Marathon, I am speaking of doing it to truly succeed. To train for the distance you want to enter and then being able to give it your all.

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Marathon Training

Here you will find 5 easy steps to train for a Marathon.

These steps will apply to half marathons - 10K races - 5K races or any other form of racing including just increasing your recreational running.

Training for a Marathon - step 1

Achieve a basic fitness level

Can you walk, run or bike or any other aerobic activity for a period of 30 minutes or more?

If your answer is no!, then you need to work up to this before considering entering a marathon or even a half marathon.

I would recommend that you be able to achieve this goal for a period of 1 hour.

Training for a Marathon - step 2

Being Committed

If you are planing to enter a marathon, you will need to be committed to a daily training routine. These are not always easy to keep, so here is a tip:

Commit to a future marathon or half marathon: Perhaps one scheduled for six months to 1 year in the future. At the earliest possible date, sign up and pay the entrance fee. This will give you a specific date and the added commitment of the money spent.

Find one or more people to join you in this commitment and you will help keep each other on schedule.

Training for a Marathon - step 3

Pick your training plan

There are a number of great training plans online: You will want to find one that fits you and your schedule. These training plans will be based on 3 days per week to 7 days per week and ask different goal levels.

You need to find one that begins where you currently are and will allow you to reach your goal in the time frame you have committed for.

Your Free Marathon Training Schedule

Every person that intends to enter a marathon - half marathon - 10K or 5k race needs to set a training schedule. I want to direct you to a fabulous training schedule opportunity. This is presented by the Marine Corp Marathon in Fredricksburg, Virginia.

What you will get:

Marathon Training Schedule:

26 Week Training Plans by Coach Jeff Galloway to get you ready for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 28, 2007. There are several training schedules to choose from. Choose your time goal using the Magic Mile Race Predictor, then pick your program. After selecting a schedule, emails will be sent to the listed account either daily or weekly, detailing the runs and offering tips and training advice from the MCM.

Training Log & Analysis:

Log your daily workouts and compare your progress to Coach Jeff Galloway's recommended training regimen.

Bulletin Boards:

Communicate with other runners. Share your experiences, ask advice and stay informed about the trends and happenings in the running community.

Helpful Tips:

Quick motivational and informative messages to keep you going throughout the week.

Here is the best part: This is Free -

just click here and then sign up.

The Marathon Method: - The 16-Week Training Program that Prepares You to Finish a Full or Half Marathon in Your Best Time

A complete guide to training for a half or full marathon in sixteen weeks, this book follows the format of Tom's previous book The 12-Week Triathlete with simply the best advice on how to run your fastest race while staying injury-free. Whether you are a first-time marathoner, trying to set a new "PR" or looking to qualify for Boston, this book is for you.

The Marathon Method: The 16-Week Training Program that Prepares You to Finish a Full or Half Marathon in Your Best Time
The Marathon Method: The 16-Week Training Program that Prepares You to Finish a Full or Half Marathon in Your Best Time

The Marathon Method provides you with everything you need to know including:Easy-to-understand advice on nutrition, hydration, and gearCustomized training plans for beginner, intermediate, and advanced runnersAdvice on the mental side of running and how to make your mind go that extra mileStrategies to avoid hitting the infamous 'wall'Tips on pacing, injury prevention, strength training, flexibility, and much more!


Training for a Marathon - step 4

follow your training plan

Training for a marathon is a long, slow process that at times seems monotonous. You may have time when you just can not run because of injury, sickness or some other commmittment. The main thing is you get back out there as quickly as possible and follow you training as closely as you can.

Training for a Marathon - step 5

Have fun and enjoy the marathon

Those final miles are going to hurt. Know how to pace yourself, going slow, really slow the first half and pick up the pace the second half if you feel you have the energy reserve to do it. You have trained long and trained hard for this marathon and you owe it to yourself to enjoy it. Remember: This Is Your Day!

Marathon Training Tips and Random Advice

Marathon training takes time.

Invest in a good pair of shoes (or two).

If you're training like a marathoner, you should eat like one too. Carbs, protein, calcium, iron, and other vitamins are all essential for you

It's also important to get proper nutrition during the marathon.

Consider joining a training group.

Try running in shorter races first. Starting with distances like 5k, 10k and a half-marathon.

When running in a marathon it is the goal of all runners to complete the run even if they know they will not win. Do not stop running just because you are far behind

Why I run Boston?

The Best Shoe for Marathon Training

There are ways to choose a good running shoe but there is no such thing as a best shoe for marathon training. There are shoes that are best for you, that shoe might not be best for me. Some of the top manufacturers of running shoes are New Balance, Addidas, Mizuno, Saucony, Brooks, Asics and others.

You need to go to a good specialty store for running shoes. Find an experienced sales person that runs marathons and have them help you. They should measure your foot, find out what distances you run and help you find the perfect shoe for you. When trying on the shoes ask yourself a few questions:

How much room is there for my toes?

Does the shoe rub anywhere?

Is the sole flexible or stiff?

The sad but true fact on running shoes: You will probably need a couple different types for different types and distances of running. A pair that is perfect for the Marathon may not be the perfect pair for your training sessions. Rule: Do not wear new shoes for the marathon. Make sure they are broke in before race day!!

The Competitive Runner's Handbook

For both runners entering that first neighborhood race and elite marathoners, trainers Bob and Shelly-lynn Florence Glover's completely revised guide is the book on training to compete.

Offer all the latest information needed to design basic training programs; special workouts to increase strength, endurance, and power; schedules and worksheets to develop individual goals; and specifics on preparing for all kinds of races with an emphasis on the 10K and the marathon.

Informed by their over thirty years of coaching experience, the Glovers give winning tips on alternative training, footwear and diet, and common injuries and illnesses, as well as sensible advice on balancing running with work and home life.

The Competitive Runner's Handbook: The Bestselling Guide to Running 5Ks through Marathons
The Competitive Runner's Handbook: The Bestselling Guide to Running 5Ks through Marathons

In this book, runners are divided into categories by their race times. By indentifying your level, you can structure your own training program. The categories are used to establish guidelines for weekly mileage, long runs, and speed workouts. Sample training schedules for specific race distances, from the 5K to the marathon, are included for each category. Use the categories as a goal: Train to move up to the next category for the various race distances.


Runners Poll

What is Your Current Marathon Level

See results

The current Olympic Marathon has its roots set firmly in myth.

From the earliest days of Greece to the Current history of the Boston Marathon, the history of this event is exciting both in fact and fantasy.

To find out more click the picture

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Sign in and let us know what you think of this lens. any suggestions for making it better? Just want to say a quick hello? What ever makes your heart beat a little faster!!

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens! I have managed to run a couple of half marathons so far but never a full marathon, really useful info here!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A training log is a useful tool for anyone running a marathon. I love the one you can get at the running log site:http://www.running-log.orgYou can get a personalized cover for the log book and get your marathon schedule printed right on the daily log pages.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I would love to be able to run a marathon, great info.

    • youthministry profile image

      Paul Turner 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      I have run one 5k but I am thinking about doing more. Thanks for the good info.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      got to be in better shape for this

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I run regularly 10k races, I found the information in this lens very valuable. I hope I will be able to run at least a half marathon, and why not a marathon!running tights

    • DanMoriarity LM profile image

      DanMoriarity LM 

      8 years ago

      Nice lens with some good resources for runners.

    • squid-janices7 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great tips and thanks for the link to the free training schedule. My husband keeps saying he wants to run a marathon so I'm passing this info along to him.

    • LotusMalas profile image


      8 years ago

      Whoo - I don't think I could ever do it!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice idea for a lens. Very informative. Gave you a quick thumbs up.

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      8 years ago

      I have started thinking of running a half-marathon, good info!

    • hankasawat profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks. There is some good basic information here.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have run 5K's, 10K's and Half Marathon's, but never a full marathon. It is one of the things I want to do someday.

    • PeopleLive LM profile image

      PeopleLive LM 

      10 years ago

      Great lens, I love the video "Why Boston", I plan to qualify this year.

    • coachbriany lm profile image

      coachbriany lm 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for the tips, I have added you to my lensroll. Coachbriany

    • LABELSTONE profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens with great info. Please visit my lens about St. Patrick's Day at:

    • Nara White Owl profile image

      Nara White Owl 

      10 years ago

      I like this squidoo page. At first I was going to vote for eating worms,but after read this with all the help I thing maybe someday I may just do a marathon.


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