5 Tips for First Marathon Training

Ra First Marathon Training Blog 01

Running a mile each day is a great way to incorporate a daily exercise routine and build up endurance. Even if you’re just starting a daily routine of walking, every step you take counts towards your goal. Ready for more? Training for your first marathon can be one of the most exciting fitness challenges you’ll ever experience.   

If running a marathon is one of your long-term goals, here are five tips to keep in mind as you begin training.  

  1. Assess your current running ability. If you’re not already running consistently, start building up a base mileage – or, the number of miles you can run at a comfortable pace – at least a year before starting marathon training.
  2. Choose the right marathon. While it’s easy to get excited about the prospect of running in a well-known race, in places like Boston or New York City, choose a marathon that's right for you and will help you succeed. For example, a marathon location that has the right weather at the time of the race can impact your finish time. Ideal running weather includes overcast skies, no wind, low humidity and temperatures in the upper thirties to low forties.
  3. Start training at least 16 to 20 weeks before the marathon. It’s important to build up to the 26.2 mile race as painlessly as possible. Start your training with enough time so that you can run 20 miles at least once before the actual marathon.
  4. Pick the right training method. There is no one way to train for a marathon. It’s important that you spend time researching different methods and selecting the one that matches your abilities.
    • Long runs will be the most important in building your endurance. Each plan will have a different idea of how many long runs to complete and the distances to strive for.
    • Frequency is another factor that differentiates training methods. Some may have you running five to six days a week, while others will allow you to use other forms of exercise for cross training.
    • Speedwork is the part of training that will help you to run faster and know at what points during the race that you need to pick up your pace.
  5. Consult your doctor. As with any new fitness or weight loss program, you should always consult with your physician to ensure you’re using one that is the safest option for you.

Running a marathon takes time, dedication, and perseverance; but, with the proper planning, training and focus you can do it. Good luck!

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