Once you’ve decided which event(s) to enter – you’ll need to start working on your training plan. The 26.2 miles of a marathon course is no easy feat – even the most experienced runners require a careful build-up and a lot of training.
It all starts with preconditioning. The first phase in your marathon training schedule: this will prepare you for the heavier training as the race draws near.
The aim is to start slowly and build up. It gets your muscles ready for longer distances and can help you avoid injury later on in your training.
Planning Your Runs
Unless you’re a seasoned marathon runner, it’s unlikely you’ll know exactly when you’re ready to move from preconditioning to full training.
So try to plan your marathon training long in advance and follow a plan so you’ll peak around 4 weeks before the big race.
This is when you should be doing your longest runs, so make sure you plan those into your schedule.
If you can, try to make use of online tools like the Runkeeper™ app. These online tools help you plan your training with different distances and paces for each of your runs to make sure you’re in great shape on the start line.
Battling the Weather
Starting your marathon training plan in the winter is never easy. As well as cold, dark mornings which can often leave you with little motivation, there are days when the weather will stop you from hitting the road altogether.
But that doesn’t mean you need to stop training. Here are a few ways to make sure you stay on track if you can’t fit in your training runs:
- Head to the gym – doing weights exercises is a great way to build strength. There’s also the treadmill, so you can keep on running
- Go swimming at your local pool – it’s a great way to keep fit and there’s very little risk of injury
- If you live in an area where the climate is good for cross-country skiing, this is a great form of exercise and the winter weather usually supplies the perfect conditions
Getting the Right Running Gear
Of course, if you’re getting started in the winter months you’ll also need to think carefully about what to wear.
You’ll need something that keeps you warm, but doesn’t allow sweat to build up on the skin. This can be very uncomfortable when you’re running, so try to choose a base layer which wicks moisture away from the skin.
Explore the full range of ASICS running clothing: