Up next in How to Run a Marathon (8 videos)
Go the distance with the marathon training tips in these Howcast videos.
You Will Need
- Appropriate running gear
- A calendar
- A healthy diet
- Water and sports drinks
- Time to train
- A running buddy or club
Assess your fitness level
Consider your fitness level. Are you hitting the gym regularly, or is your only exercise lifting the remote? Be honest with yourself.
Gather information. Magazines, books, and online sources will give you an idea of the commitment, mental preparation, gear, and nutritional requirements you’ll need, and what you can expect from an overall training regimen.
Find a training schedule
Find a training program that’s right for you. Your preparation will likely last 18 to 26 weeks, and will involve some combination of weight training, building mileage, and tapering (or reducing the length and intensity of your workouts as the race date draws near).
Pick a race
Set a goal. Pick a race to train for by consulting a race calendar. Plot out your schedule and when you plan to complete your regimen on a calendar at home.
Adjust your diet
Eat a well-balanced diet, complete with raw vegetables, whole grains, good fats, and lean proteins. In the weeks and days before the race, you’ll need to increase your complex carbohydrate intake.
Always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. When doing runs longer than an hour, use sports drinks instead of water to keep your carbohydrate, calorie, and salt levels up.
Friction points on your body—like feet, armpits, and nipples— may get uncomfortable. If hot spots develop, use a body lubricant to avoid chafing.
Work with a buddy
You may find it easier to stay on course if you train with a buddy or a local runners’ club, which you can find online.
Don't overdo it
Don’t overtrain. If you push too hard, you could wind up injuring yourself. Listen to your body and keep pace with your schedule, and you’ll be right on track for the big day.