Marathon Training: How to Train and Run Your Best Marathon
How to Train and Run Your Best Marathon
by Jill Bruyere
If you are a runner with a goal to run your first marathon or run a PR marathon then you no doubt been exposed to your share of advice about the best marathon training schedule. If your years of training and researching about how to train for a marathon or how to improve your marathon PR have resulted in frustration, self-doubt, and confusion, then read on. The next few paragraphs may provide you with what you’ve been looking for.
The Best Training Program to Help Run Your Best Marathon
Training for a marathon does take a lot of time, commitment, and determination. A lot of marathon training programs out there involve at least six days per week of training. This type of program takes up a lot of time and makes it difficult to balance with your work life, family, social time, etc.
However, that many days per week or running is not necessary and only leads to burnout and injury. The good news…..Four quality runs per week over a fourteen to sixteen week period is an appropriate and efficient program that will get you successfully to the finish line.
Keep this in mind: Less is More.
Training and running more will not lead to better results. If anything, it will lead to a break down of the muscles and the mind. Simply stated, this is too much running and the exact reason why runners who run so many days/miles per week experience common injuries such as shin splints, IT Band syndrome, tendinitis, knee pain, etc. To get better and be better, rest days are just as important as running days.
What is the 4-Day Training Week?
A marathon training program that has produced the best results for runners includes four days per week of quality running. Each run has a different focus and varies with pace, distance, and effort level. A combination of these run workouts is an excellent balance of challenging the body to prepare for the 26.2 mile race. Furthermore, the built in rest days allow muscle recovery and injury prevention.
An example of the 4 day training week:
Tues: Speed workout (3-4×1-mile repeats)
Wed: Easy Run (5-10miles)
Fri: Intervals or Hill workout
Sun: Long Run (10-20miles)
Your longest long run should be 20 miles and you will do a training build-up of this distance over the course of sixteen weeks. Three weeks before the marathon race will be a taper, during which you gradually reduce mileage.
Marathon training will be challenging, but should be fun and enjoyable. Following a plan that does not overdo it on the running should help make the experience a pleasant one. Remember, you can successfully train for and finish a marathon.
Believe in yourself and believe in the training program. Once you begin to believe, then you will realize your goal. Finishing a marathon is an accomplishment that less than 1% of people in the world can say they have achieved. You are about to be one of them!