There’s no getting around it – training for a marathon requires a lot of discipline and commitment. It’s the training schedule, not the race itself, that will really impact on your everyday life. It’s not just physically demanding – it can also place a strain on your spare time and social life.
Even a schedule for a runner aiming to do the marathon in five hours requires that they build up to training five times a week, with long runs of two to three hours on three weekends out of four.
The good news is that once you’ve adjusted to the idea of the hard work required, you’ll stick with it and put in a performance to be proud of. If you’re not sure that you’ll have the time or dedication at this stage, it might be better to focus on a shorter race distance (such as a 10K or half marathon) for the time being and postpone your marathon goal for now.
Race experience over shorter distances will help you to build confidence and assess how effective various training methods are for you.
Most marathon training plans range from 12 to 20 weeks. Beginning marathoners should aim to build their weekly mileage up to 80km over the four months leading up to race day. Three-to-five runs per week are sufficient. The vast majority of these runs should be done at a relaxed pace.
Below are some of beginner-friendly marathon training program anyone can follow
- 16 Week Marathon Training program by Women’s Running
- Beginner Training program by Cool Running
- 20-Week Foolproof Beginners Marathon Training Programme
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. –Mark Twain