How to train for a marathon (or any other long race)


Marathon season is once again almost upon us.  With the warmer weather and longer  days approaching, people all across the country will begin attempting the ultimate feat of endurance.  Successfully completing a marathon is going to require a lot more than just “toughing it out”.  Sustained exercise for that long takes a serious toll on the body, and unless it is conditioned properly you are going to be hard pressed to finish with any respectable time.

The below training chart is a good way to begin training for a marathon.  If you are a beginner, you will need roughly 7 months to properly train.  Intermediate runners can begin training with Schedule II (link below).

Mileage Buildup Schedule (Schedule I)

Week# Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Total
1 4 Rest 3 Rest 4 Rest 3 14
2 4 Rest 4 Rest 4 Rest 3 15
3 5 Rest 4 Rest 4 Rest 3 16
4 3 Rest 3 Rest 3 Rest 3 12
5 5 Rest 3 3 3 Rest 3 17
6 6 Rest 3 3 3 Rest 3 18
7 6 Rest 3 4 3 Rest 4 20
8 3 Rest 4 Rest 3 Rest 3 13
9 7 Rest 3 5 4 Rest 3 22
10 7 Rest 4 5 4 Rest 4 24
11 8 Rest 4 6 4 Rest 4 26
12 4 Rest 3 Rest 4 Rest 4 15
13 8 Rest 5 6 5 Rest 4 28
14 9 Rest 5 6 6 Rest 4 30
15 9 Rest 5 7 6 Rest 5 32
16 5 Rest 4 Rest 4 Rest 4 17
17 10 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 4 34
18 10 Rest 6 8 7 Rest 4 35
19 6 Rest 4 Rest 5 Rest 4 19

Intermediate runners and those who have completed the above 19 weeks of training proceed to Schedule II.

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