Running a marathon is a dream for many, you can successfully attain this magical goal once you learn the right way on how to train for a marathon. In order to be successful, you must have the right training, goals and reasons for running.

Training for a Marathon can be tough and challenging, but it can be enjoyable and fun. Getting motivated and developing the proper mindset is the key to enjoy the training and to cross the finish line with a big smile. Perseverance and building mental stamina are essential, it is also very important to stay motivated every single day.

11 Advices on How to Train for a Marathon for Beginners


Start small, finish big

The idea of running 20 miles at a stretch can be pretty intimidating. The best strategy for training is to start with a short stretch and to gradually increase the mileage over time. The ideal pace is to increase your mileage by ten percent every week. This will keep you going and with time you will be able to achieve the goal with ease.


Stay self-aware

Every individual is different. When you start training, it is extremely important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Do not compare yourself with other people. Run at a pace you are comfortable at. Soon, you will see how much better you are doing compared to your own previous performance.

Stay focused and motivated so tired legs are or nasty weather can’t stop you from stepping out of the door.


Base mileage

Most of the training plans last from 12 to 20 weeks. The aim is to build the mileage up to 50 miles/week, in four months' time. You have to build your weekly mileage over time, so running three-to-five times per week.

One of the most common causes of injury is building weekly mileage too soon or too fast. It is always better to start at a relaxed and slow pace.


The long run

The next step on how to train for a marathon list is to build up a weekly long run. Doing these runs will build up your confidence, and your body will get adjusted to longer distances. You should do a long run once every 7 to 10 days. You can extend the long run by 1-2 miles every week. To avoid the risk of injury, it is advisable to scale it down a couple of miles every third week.

The maximum distance covered by the long run in every plan is 20 miles, when your body is well prepared to tackle these twenty miles, the additional six miles will be easy to cover with the additional support of adrenaline.


Speed work

Tempo runs and intervals are the most well-known forms of speed work. Including these in your training plan is optional.

Intervals are short distance, fast paced, repetitions, with slower jogs in between. For instance, 4 one mile repeats with five minutes of jog between them.

Tempo runs are generally longer than intervals, usually 4-10 miles runs at a fast but sustainable pace.

It is very important to warm up and cool down your body with a few easy miles at the beginning and the end of any speed workout. The purpose of these runs is to increase your aerobic capacity and train your body to utilize energy efficiently and to sustain for longer periods of rigorous running.



Cross-training is another form of aerobic exercise that allows you to use slightly different muscles after your long run. The best cross-training exercises are swimming, cycling and walking. You don't have to cross-train the same each weekend. It is also a good choice to combine two or more exercises, like walking and easy jogging or swimming and riding an exercise bike.

Cross-training for an hour on Sunday will help you recover after your weekly long runs.


Strength training

There is no harm in continuing with weight training if you already have a routine. But if you have not been doing intense workouts, this is not the best time to start lifting weights.


Midweek training

It is better to have easy paced shorter runs on weekdays and long runs on weekends. It is a tried and tested training plan and works very well for many people. Generally the week day mileage equals the weekend mileage. With time, both of them increase and towards the end of your training program, you will see how far you have come.


Rest and recovery

The worst enemy of any ambitious marathoners is injury. However, the rest is the best protection that will prevent you from injury. Having rest days without any runs will help your muscles to recover from the wear and tear of the strenuous activity, and will help them to regain their strength. It will also keep you away from mental burn out.


Interactive training

Planning is the key to success, your chances of success double up when you follow a proper training plan. There are many interactive plans available to train for a marathon. You need to find and follow the one that works best for you. An ideal plan will prepare your body and mind to accomplish the desired goal.



The importance of keeping yourself well hydrated during the race cannot be over emphasized. Make sure that you train with the same hydration pack or belt that you are planning to carry on the final day to get accustomed to it. It is not a good idea to try anything new on the big day.

During training, you will not have the water aid stations along the way so it is a good idea to keep your water bottle or hydration pack with you or to stash some water bottles on your route beforehand.

Do keep in mind that the body can only store a limited amount of glycogen that acts as a fuel for running. When these stores are depleted, the muscles can feel heavy and tired. Try different energy gels or chews during training to see what works best for you.

At last, here is also a Beginner Marathon Program for your reference to make your own plan:

Hope you will have fun planning your Marathon training!


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