How to train for a marathon -Beginners’ guide

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Published: July 23, 2019

If you like running, then there’s nothing more challenging than running a full marathon. And indeed, for many people, that’s the ultimate test of skills and endurance. But, running a 40km marathon is no easy feat. It requires a lot of training and preparation. You need both the strength to maintain your pace and endurance to finish the race. It will take months to get in proper shape, especially if you have never run a marathon before. But, with the proper training, you will be able to do it. So, here is a guide on how to properly train for a marathon. And how to finish it without injuring yourself. 

Things to know about how to train for a marathon

There’s probably no better test of personal strength and endurance than to run a full marathon. But all of that comes with a certain amount of risk of injury. Just look at how the marathon came to be. That’s why it’s important not to rush things. It’s important to train slowly and build up your strength

how to train for a marathon and know your limits
Training for a marathon is not easy and you need to know your limits

Know your limit when training for a marathon

You might go out for a run every other day. And that’s great. There are many benefits to running. But running a 40-kilometer marathon is something completely different. That’s why it’s important to know your limit. Both when you train and when you decide to compete. 

It takes a long time to prepare for a marathon

Even though it’s theoretically possible to prepare for a marathon in a month, it’s not advisable. Even highly skilled runners take much longer to prepare. So, it will probably take up to a year to properly prepare yourself for such a long run. Even when you have a freelance personal trainer Dubai, you will have to prepare over time. Slowly increasing your running distance and speed. Otherwise, you risk getting injured. 

Train in stages

It’s also very important not to attempt a whole marathon as your first race. There are many other long-distance running categories like 5K and 10K. That way you can test your training and see what you can do better. And you can slowly climb to that 40K race.

train for a marathon in stages over time
Training for a marathon takes time and needs to be done in stages

How to train for a marathon safely?

There are many aspects of your body that you need to work on before starting to train for a marathon. You need strength and endurance. And you need to be flexible and agile. Something like Crossfit training can help with all of that. But, every marathon training has four distinct segments that need to be addressed separately. 

  1. First, you need to work on your base mileage. Increase the distance that you cover week over week. 
  2. The second one is to do a long run every seven to ten days. That way you can test your skill and endurance. 
  3. Third, you need to work on your speed. It’s easy to run fast for a short distance. But you need to be able to keep it up. 
  4. Fourth and final is to know how and when to rest. And let your body recover.

Base mileage

People who begin training for a marathon takes at least 12 weeks to prepare. And in that time it’s important to build up strength in order to increase the mileage covered. So, the first sting on your list of how to train for a marathon should be to try and get your weekly mileage up. But do it slowly and in stages. Choose a good personal trainer and install one of the best workout apps to help you track your progress. And slowly, week over week, increase the distance that you cover. By the end of your training, you should be able to cover around 80 kilometers per week.

Do a long run when you train for a marathon

Doing a long run is necessary every 7 to 10 days. That way you not only test your strength and endurance. But you also start to adapt your body to longer distances. It will help you better endure the race when you participate. 

Speed is important

While most marathons aren’t run at a high speed, it’s still important. You need to find the right pace and be able to keep up with it. Without losing your stamina. So, start working on it with your Dubai fitness trainer. Track how fast you are and try to slowly increase it. Avoid quick bursts and focus on maintaining a constant running speed. 

Rest and recovery is very important when training for a marathon

After every run, you need to stop and let your body recover from the stress. If you don’t rest enough and overstress your body you run the risk of injury. So, make sure to take some time off exercises after every running training. 

hydration when you train for a marathon
Hydration is very important when training for a marathon.

Hydration is very important when you train for a marathon

Just like you train to run at a constant pace for an extended period of time, you also need to train yourself to stay hydrated. During a marathon race, your body will start to lose water faster and faster. And you need to be able to hydrate yourself. All marathon races include water along the way. But for your training purposes, you should start carrying some water with you. One of the great ways to do it is to buy a hydration belt or pack. And if you plan on bringing it with you to the race, make sure you train with it. That way you will learn how to run with it.

Diet and fueling

Diet is very important both before, during and after a race. You can’t eat heavy food and expect to run at a good pace for a long period of time. So, make sure to balance diet and exercise. Fueling during a marathon is also important. It can last anywhere between around 2 hours (world record) and 6 hours, depending on your condition. And you will certainly start to feel hungry. Many marathon runners experience a hard drop in their strength around a 30-kilometer mark. So, bringing a power bar or a gel pack with you can help you a lot. And you should also include that in your training.



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