Do you want to enjoy summer and have lazy beach days? Not if you signed up for a marathon or a half marathon in the fall!
Some fall marathons start as early as the first week of September. Runner’s World recommends at least 10 weeks of training for a half marathon and 16 weeks for a marathon, which means your time is now. Whether you’re running 26.2 miles or 13.1 miles, it’s important to start training early so you can avoid running injuries and perform at your best.
Start Building Your Mileage
If you’re a beginner, start your marathon training by building up your mileage. Start your first week running 2 – 3 miles per day at a slow pace. For every 3 days, take a day off to rest your muscles. Run slower than your natural pace to prepare your legs for longer miles. Add in an extra mile to your slow run each week until you build up to a weekly mileage of 50 miles.
Have One Weekly Long Run
Every weekend, do a long-distance run starting at 6 miles. You should extend the weekend long run by 1 – 2 miles every week. However, scale back the miles every 3 weeks to avoid straining your body. Take these long runs at a slow pace and allow your body to adjust to running long distances. Usually, the long runs would peak at 20 – 22 miles during a full marathon training because you’d only max out your potential on the race day. On the big day, take advantage of all the training you’ve been doing and the race atmosphere to finish off the full 26.2 miles.
Alternate Your Running Speed
If you wish to increase your overall running speed, you can incorporate some speed training into your schedule. Replace one of your daily slow runs with an interval training where you alternate between fast and slow running. Run a mile as fast as you can, and then slowly jog or even walk for a few minutes between the miles.
Take Proper Rest
Never skip your rest days. You can schedule 2 – 3 rest days each week when you simply let your body rest and recover. No running! Throw in a massage visit in between to help relax your sore muscles. Every 4th week, you can take a recovery week and only do shorter runs at a slow pace. In the last few weeks before your marathon, make sure to go easy on your mileage and let your body have enough rest for the big day.
Carry Water and Replenishment
Although marathons have pit stops where you can drink water and refuel, you might want to carry your own water and some snacks. Get a hydration backpack or belt and wear it throughout your training so you’re used to the weight. Check out where the water fountains are so you can plan for water refills during your long runs.
For a long course, glucose gels or energy bars will save your body from running out of energy. Make sure you consume 30 – 60 grams of carbohydrate every hour. You should also load up your body with proper carbohydrates few days before your big race. Oatmeal, banana, bagel, and yogurt are all good options. On the morning of your race day, eat a high-carbohydrate breakfast 3 hours before the start.
Now get your marathon training started if you haven’t already. Don’t forget to check out our marathon jewelry collection to celebrate your commitment. Best of luck to all of you!