A guide for runners part 2 training for a marathon in 16 weeks

In part 1 of this series we discussed preparing for the gruelling task of marathon training. Now you are prepared and ready it is time to start. In 16 weeks you should be able to run a marathon but be warned this is not going to be easy.

Ideal starting fitness

The ideal minimum fitness you need to start marathon training is that you should be able to run at least 30 minutes without taking time to stop. It doesn’t matter how far you can go so long as you can keep your body running and get used to the feeling.

If you cannot run yet for 30 minutes straight you soon will be able to as this level of fitness can be easily attained. Try going on long walks interspaced with jogging. They help to ease your body into exercise and minimize risk of injury.

Training for the marathon

The aim of marathon training is now to gradually increase your mileage over the weeks until you hit a total distance in your run of 18-21 miles. Then taper down 2 weeks before the marathon in order to allow your body to recover its strength so you will be fresh for the actual marathon event.
Wk  Monday   Tuesday  Wednesday Thursday  Friday     Saturday    Sunday
1     3 Miles     Rest Day     4 Miles     4 Miles     Rest Day     5 Miles     Rest Day
2     3 Miles     Rest Day     4 Miles     4 Miles     Rest Day     6 Miles     Rest Day
3     3 Miles     Rest Day     4 Miles     4 Miles     Rest Day     7 Miles     Rest Day
4     3 Miles     Rest Day     5 Miles     5 Miles     Rest Day     8 Miles     Rest Day
5     3 Miles     Rest Day     5 Miles     5 Miles     Rest Day     10 Miles     Rest Day
6     3 Miles     Rest Day     5 Miles     5 Miles     Rest Day     12 Miles     Rest Day
7     4 Miles     Rest Day     6 Miles     6 Miles     Rest Day     14 Miles     Rest Day
8     4 Miles     Rest Day     6 Miles     6 Miles     Rest Day     15 Miles     Rest Day
9     4 Miles     Rest Day     6 Miles     6 Miles     Rest Day     16 Miles     Rest Day
10     4 Miles     Rest Day     7 Miles     7 Miles     Rest Day     18 Miles     Rest Day
11     5 Miles     Rest Day     7 Miles     7 Miles     Rest Day     19 Miles     Rest Day
12     5 Miles     Rest Day     7 Miles     7 Miles     Rest Day     20 Miles     Rest Day
13     5 Miles     Rest Day     8 Miles     8 Miles     Rest Day     21 Miles     Rest Day
14     5 Miles     Rest Day     8 Miles     8 Miles     Rest Day     10 Miles     Rest Day
15     3 Miles     Rest Day     4 Miles     4 Miles     Rest Day     8 Miles     Rest Day
16     3 Miles     Rest Day     3 Miles     Walk     Rest Day     26.2 Miles     Rest Day

Marathon tips

Remember at the start of the marathon you will receive a huge amount of adrenaline which will give you a lot of energy but don’t make the mistake of starting too quickly. You don’t want to wipe yourself out at the start. A marathon is an endurance event, keep a steady pace and then towards the end speed up for a champions finish.

This concludes part 2 of this series, in part 3 we will examine further common problems encountered in the race and important tips for racing a marathon in a competitive time.

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