Training For A Marathon

Training for a Marathon. How does one begin the process of training for a marathon? How soon should one start training for a marathon? Is there a lot of mental work involved in training for a marathon?

How does one begin the process of training for a marathon?

You definitely need to incorporate both running and weight training or full body workouts. Start off running just a mile and then build up your distance. Once you feel confident in that, start your weight training.

How soon should one start to train for a marathon?

I'd say anywhere from four to five months if you are starting from scratch. I started in mid-October for a race in February, but I already had a regular running schedule.

Is there a training guide to follow?

No, there's nothing strict. Basically the rule is you have to build up your distance, build up your speed, and make sure you mix in decent weight training.

How often should one train?

I'd say four, five or six times a week.

Is there a lot of mental work involved in training for a marathon?

Yes, you've got to believe and know you can do it: "I've done 20 miles, I can do 22, I can do a marathon". If you don't know you can do it, you're not going to be able to.

You have to work up to a certain amount of miles per day and then add to it, correct?

Yes, you slowly build up. The typical training schedule is to start out with a long distance. Maybe start on the weekend and then a medium distance two days later and then a shorter one and then build back up to an even longer distance one week later - maybe seven, five, four, six and then in the next week eight, six, five, seven. Your running days should be mixed with swimming and weight training on your off days.

Is weight training necessary to prepare for a marathon?

Weight training is very important because it increases your energy, and also because when you're spending that much time running certain muscles in your legs get more developed than others and you need to even that out with weight training. I also recommend weight training for your upper body, basically for energy.

Should you train with a group or partner when preparing for a marathon?

There is a marathon team at the University of Texas at Austin that I trained with initially, but once I finished my first 10K race I started going off on my own a lot. I still go with them for long runs and maybe a few speed workouts, but mostly I do it on my own.

Does one need to be physically fit in order to do a marathon?

To receive a good time, yes. You need to be in good cardiovascular shape to have a decent time. To qualify for the Boston Marathon you have to log something like seven minutes, 15 seconds per mile for 26 miles.

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