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Athletes running marathon

How to Train for a Marathon in a Year

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The running of a marathon may seem to be an impossibility to other people but the reality is that you can make it if you have the right tools and you train well. You can cross the finishing line confidently. Training to be a solid marathon runner needs dedication and perseverance. Whether you have been doing casual training or you are beginning from scratch, an effective training schedule is necessary. The training schedule will help you to achieve your goals and keep you on track as you train.

The Proper Type of Gear

Training for a marathon is not an easy task especially for beginners, but if you are committed, it is a possibility. Nowadays, marathons are no longer for the elite, but for all people who are doing it for the benefit of their wellbeing. Hopefully, you have already been doing some form of cardio vascular exercises as a head start. This can include going to the gym, running, or even home exercise bikes (find our choice for the best stationary bike for getting in shape here).

For your training to be successful, you need to gear up properly. Make an investment in buying clothes that keep you cool and dry while you are running. You should do away with cotton shirts and put your focus on Merino wool and rayon. Avoid clothes that will distract you while you are running and buy clothes that fit your body snugly. Ensure you avoid clothes that are too tight or too loose because they will make you uncomfortable.

The types of shoes you wear are also a very important part of your running gear. Invest in a stable pair of shoes that will help your body to better balance when you go long distance running. For instance, if you have a regular training workout, make sure that you have a pair of shoes that can take on the surface and terrain of the road.

Running gear for training

Hydration and Diet

Training requires you to fuel your body correctly to better withstand the rigors of training for a marathon. You should have a balanced diet like complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins. If you feel tired anytime you run, then you should examine your current diet and determine where improvements can be made to increase stamina. Hydration also plays an important role in your running exercise. Water will help your body to function well. You need to consume two to three liters of water a day. This includes foods that contain water.

Aspects of Training

There are different aspects of training you should pay special attention to as a marathoner. Training for a whole year is essential because you are given an adequate amount of time to better prepare for the event. If you are a beginner, then you should run about three to four times a week. This means you need to have one long run a week and the other are for short and medium running. In between running days, it is essential to continue with your training by utilizing some low impact exercises to reduce risk of injury. If you’re interested in learning about the benefits of stationary bikes in regards to strengthening your legs, read this article.

Short Runs

Short runs are for helping you to recover from long runs. For beginners, it is advisable to interchange running with walking because this will help your body to have control of your breathing.

Medium Runs

Medium runs help you to prepare for longer distances and improve muscle responsiveness.

Long Runs

This is your big day of running. It gives you strength while you are preparing to run for the marathon. You are supposed to run for about 10 to 26 miles. Long runs require you to have water available throughout the run. Remember…hydration is important.

Cross Training on Down Days

There are days when you want to maintain your fitness, but not necessarily concentrate on your marathon goal. Cross training happens when you want to maintain the fitness of your body without putting too much pressure on it. These activities are often low impact exercises intended to reduce stress on the body. Cross training involves hiking, swimming, and strength training. This exercise will make your body to feel rejuvenated and ready for your next run. You can view a few of our favorite outdoor exercises you can do without equipment here.

Day of Racing

This is your big day running for the marathon. You should avoid overworking prior to the day of the race. Give your body enough rest and be mindful of the type of food to take because a bad meal can break your good race. Carry water with you during the race because…again…hydration is important.

Black and white marathon picture

52 Week Training Schedule

Training for the whole year means dividing the year into four segments with each having three months. The following are the phases of training schedule you can follow to stay on track:

Acclimation Phase (Phase 1)

This training takes place between the first and third month of the year. This training helps you become accustomed to the demands of running for long periods of time. In your schedule, set aside days for running, cross-training and resting. For instance, you can set four days to run, two days to cross train and one day to rest. On running days, you can alternate walking and jogging until you become more accustomed to your new activities. Over time, you will need to walk less and less. Each day should focus on building your stamina so that you can have the ability to jog for 40 minutes without stopping. All you need is to have consistency in running to be successful.

Building-up Phase (Phase 2)

This is training from the fourth month to the sixth month and is focused on building up strength. You should build your mileage by running at least four times a week. Keep alternating between the weeks that you consider slightly challenging and easier weeks. You should able to run for at least 10 miles by the end of the sixth month. Each week you should increase the speed of running. Keep the focus on the core strength of your cross training because it will help you by reducing injury risk. If you are experiencing some pain, you need to rest and make a modification in your mileage.

Overall Preparation Phase (Phase 3)

This training occurs between the seventh month and the ninth month. You need to increase your speed and your endurance in this phase. Continue to stretch the distance of your runs and focus on increasing your speed. Doing this is helpful to ensure your body has enough speed to better compete as you run.

Special Preparation Phase (Phase 4)

This is month 10 through 12 of training. During the final phase, you are continuing to push your limits. You are in the home stretch and the race is almost here. Stretch your distances and you should be reaching your distance goals on a regular basis. These final weeks are essential to your body because it needs strength to endure and finish the marathon.

Training requires strength, balance and consistently building up the distance of your runs to finish your marathon. In learning how to train for a marathon in a year, you will find there are several methods that you can choose. You should choose the best approach that you think works for your schedule, lifestyle, and goals. The schedule discussed above can help you to improve your performance, increase your distance, and give you an idea of how to best prepare.