Regardless of your age and ability, successful marathon training takes careful planning and preparation.
How much preparation?
Whether your goal is to run sub 3 hours or ‘just’ to finish, ideally you need to give yourself at least 18 weeks prior to the event…
And that assumes you have a solid running base to start with – currently averaging 20 plus miles per week.
But even for experienced marathon runners, allowing enough time and putting in the miles isn’t enough. Unless you follow some key principles of training there’s a good chance you’ll hit that wall – or at the very least log a time that doesn’t inspire you.
Below you’ll find several half-marathon and full marathon training schedules – classed as beginner, intermediate and advanced…
If you’re a complete novice (i.e. with little or no recent running experience), ideally you need allow a good 6 months to slowly build up your mileage.
The Intermediate and Advanced programs are shorter but assume you have a solid running base to begin with.
Additional articles will cover other important issues – choosing the right running shoes, re-hydration and nutrition and so on. These are as applicable to the 2:30 runner as they are to the first-timer.