Runner’s World lists a directory of stores that can assist runners in this process. Based on your test results, a store representative can recommend a specific brand and style of shoe for you.
Other Gear Needed
You should gather specific clothing for different kinds of weather for preventing cold, or get waterproof gear for rainy days. Even a GPS tracker or fitness watch will be helpful in tracking all the exercise you have ahead of you.
Remember, recording your mileage will be instrumental in gauging your progress and preparation. A little notebook or keeping notes on your Smartphone will help you as well.
If you are new to the sport of running, have no fear. You can train yourself and get to a marathon just as much as an experienced runner.
The difference in your preparation is your fitness level and training window. When you start running, you will be able to evaluate your fitness and what mileage you can log.
According to runningcompetitor.com, if you can only run eight miles or less for your longest run in a week, then your first goal should be a half-marathon, then the full marathon a few months later. You need time to train, strengthen, and get into tip-top shape for a run that is 26.2 miles.
If you’re not much of a runner and are new to the sport, then take time to put together a beginner plan to get you running every week.
Matt Fitzgerald at Women’s Running offers an excellent “From Couch to Marathon” training guide for beginners who want to get into the marathon game. This fitness plan provides precise training workouts broken down into five levels with a set goal at the end of each such as:
- Zero to 5K Training Plan
- 5K to 10K Training Plan
- 10K to Half Marathon Training Plan
- Half Marathon-to-Marathon Training Plan
You can print out the plans and follow them daily as a training regimen.
Men can also take this program and modify it based on their level of fitness. The first series “Zero to 5K Training Plan” segments training into intervals of walk/runs with free non-impact cardio training days with a 5K run as the goal at the end of the cycle.
Once you work your way up to the 5-10K plan, days are filled with more running workouts at different levels and so on throughout the series.
Once you start to get in shape as a runner, from there, you can start exploring different ways you like to run.
Do you enjoy running outside all the time, or on the treadmill, or both?
You may want to find some running buddies to tag along with as well and eventually join a running group. Groups are fun and help you to stay motivated, and sites like Meetup have marathon groups.
You will need to work your way up the marathon ladder one run at a time.
If you are hitting 8-10 miles per run, it’s possible to prepare for a marathon in 18-20 weeks. Runners at this level are already doing about 25-35 miles a week.
Matt Fitzgerald, at Women’s Running, also offers a training plan for more experienced runners to follow as well. Men can modify the program to fit their fitness needs. This training plan is 16-weeks for people that are already at optimum fitness and are intermediate runners.
If you are already an experienced runner that has never leaped into the marathon world, what are you waiting for?
You may be closer than you think. According to Running Competitor, most experienced level runners should be able to train for a marathon in 12-16 weeks. Runners at this level should perform long distance runs already at 12-15 miles and average about 40 miles a week.
Running Competitor suggests the following routine for the long runs for experienced runners during the last six weeks of training:
- 20 miles – easy pace
- 18 miles – first 14 miles at easy pace, last 4 miles at goal marathon pace
- 21 miles – easy pace
- 20 miles – first 15 miles at easy pace, last 5 miles at goal marathon pace
- 18 miles – first 10 miles at easy pace, last 8 miles at goal marathon pace
Can’t Prepare For A Marathon Sans Nutrition And Hydration
Running experts at Runner’s World recommend that you learn how to fuel up throughout your training. When you are performing long runs, you should bring along small and healthy carbohydrate snacks and a good sports drink for continued energy.