How To Complete A Marathon Training Schedule

Running a marathon is very much within the reach of most athletes; even those who are just beginning to run. The largest requirement for completing a marathon is to follow a well defined marathon training schedule that systematically progresses through a well defined series of workouts designed to progressively stress your body.

Any good training program for a marathon will have the entire schedule center around a single long run. This is to slowly train a runners legs to deal with the stresses of running such great distances. These long runs are only completed every 7 to 14 days and never exceed 20 miles in length.

I have been a running coach for over 10 years and never have I written a marathon schedule that has a runner completing any single run over twenty miles in length. However, what we do is conduct training that pushes runners to increase weekly mileage by 10% or so until they can comfortably conduct runs of varying lengths. This reduces the risk and tendency of injuries.

In conjunction with long runs most marathon training schedules will have runners doing fast paced sessions of focused speed work. These are done at a pace that is nearly as fast as that of their goal pace for the desired marathon finish time. These specialized training runs can vary in length from a few mile to concentrated sessions of sprinting.

Separating speed running workouts and distance workouts is a fundamental part of marathon training because it trains both the aerobic energy system and the endurance system separately, causing each to function synergistically with the other.

Employing the support and backing of your friends and family is very important when contemplating making the commitment undergoing a training program requires. There are many early mornings and missed dinner parties that a training schedule causes because most runner have to get up and out the door early. Be sure to get the support you need and make sure your family is behind the commitment as well.

Perhaps most importantly is the need to stay healthy and injury free. This is done by building up endurance slowly. It is safe to add only about 5-10% per week to your total training miles. Any more than that and the runner is running the risk of serious injury.

Completing a race of 26 miles is certainly no easy task. By following a well designed program and consulting your health care provider your giving yourself the best possible chance at success.

Visit our running and marathon training site for a sample marathon training schedule

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