How to Train for a Marathon: A Guide for Beginners

One of the best ways to get fit these days is to run. It doesn’t cost much—you don’t need a gym membership. It’s good for the heart. It’s the best way to release the pent-up stress of your everyday life. But once you start running, you’ll also begin to look at some races. Whether you want to join a local 5K or a 10K, you’ll need to train for it and ready your body for the run.

Invite a Friend

You can invite a friend to help you train for the marathon. You can purchase a stalker radar gun to monitor your speed. This will let you know how fast you are running and how likely you can finish the race. Running is also more fun when you get to spend it with someone you’re comfortable to get sweaty with. Whether it’s an old friend or your partner, training for a marathon is a great bonding experience.

Pick a Race

Picking a race will set the date when you will participate in an actual marathon. With a date on the horizon, it is easier for you to stay focused and follow the schedule. Instead of making excuses, the date looming in will be a constant reminder that you have a goal to reach. You can pick any race or marathon that you want to participate in. No marathon is solely for the experienced runners. You can finish a race as long as you train hard for it.

Stay True to Your Running Form

Man running outdoors during sunset

How do you walk? Do you put pressure on your heel, or do you lead with your toes? This is probably the same way you are going to run. There is no use to changing the way you run now when you’re in your 20s or 30s and about to join a marathon. There is no right and wrong here. The important thing is to maintain your natural stride.

Find a Training Formula

There are several training plans online. Some of your friends may give their two cents about your training schedule. Here is the basic schedule of training for a marathon: Take long walk-breaks every day, rest or cross-train during your rest days, train three to four days a week, run longer during the weekend, and try to run at least 20 to 30 minutes two to three days a week.

Stick to the Plan

If you want to finish your 5K or 10K goal, you have to stick to your training plan. That means that even if your coworkers decide to grab a drink after working hours and you have a training program scheduled, you have to stick to the plan. You can grab a drink after running for 30 minutes, but you’re going to tire yourself out. The next morning, your body might not be ready to run again.

You can start slowly—a 5K run is for beginners—before starting to work your way upward. Short races are less intimidating, and you will be more encouraged to finish a short race rather than a 10K race that seems like such a long way for a beginner. Of course, nothing should stop you from setting a loftier goal, so choosing which marathon to join in is completely up to you.

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