If you are serious about entering a marathon and seeing it through to its finish, then you need to train properly for it. This type of event takes a commitment.
Depending on your level of enthusiasm, you will have different goals that you want to reach. Everyone has their own purpose. Ideally, you may want to set your goals as milestones. Starting with the intent of completing a local marathon of a short distance of 5K. Then the next goal could be the 19K and finally onto the half marathon. From here you can set your sights on a full marathon. It will be much easier to train if you set your goal in increments.
You need to give yourself a chance, and this starts from your first day of training. It is not unusual for newcomers to marathons to need a year of training before they can complete one of these events. Your training goal is to get yourself first into good shape. Then work on your endurance.
Training for a marathon is an intense process. Anyone that is going to do this should first be cleared by their health care provider. It is important to inform this health care professional of your intentions. They need to know that you are going to be pushing your body. You may not realise it yet, but the following are some of the important components of your body that are going to be affected by your training and your marathon participation.
- Circulatory system
- Cardiovascular system
- Respiratory system
Each of these components needs time to adapt to what you are going to be exposing them to. On average, it takes about six weeks for them to adjust.
It won’t be long before you start forgetting about your accomplishments, so you want to keep a record of this. It should include the number of miles that you ran in a session, the run times, and how you feel.
Don’t get overzealous and overdo it. You want to include an increase in your mileage every week and by no more than 10%.
A Partial Break
On the third or fourth weeks, reduce your mileage by a little. This gives your body a bit of a break.
You want to stay consistent, but you should not run any more than three to four days each week. These can vary by speed. Set up a routine for yourself. Where one day is a long run. Then two days are for short runs focusing on speed and durability. Then one day should be easy. Alternate a hard day with an easy day.
A Day Off
Ideally, two days off, a week is the safest approach. You need to allow your body to recover during training.
Heart Rate Monitoring
You want to determine your baseline so you can increase your endurance throughout your training. You should find that your resting pulse rate decreases as you become fitter. If there are spikes in the heart rate, it can mean that you are tiring or not giving the body a chance to recover during sessions.
Remember that there other activities that can be incorporated into your fitness training.