Whether you are new to the marathon or a seasoned marathoner searching for a new personal best, being prepared for the training to come is essential. For some preparing for a marathon will simply mean increasing your mileage to prepare for the 42.2km on race day. While for others it will mean increasing mileage further than you’ve ever run and this may seem daunting. Here are three tips to do prior to your marathon training beginning to give you the best chance at a successful marathon training load.
1. Prepare to adjust your mileage
Whether you regularly run marathons or are preparing or your first you are likely to not be regularly doing marathon specific training. Being prepared to increase your mileage is important.
Is your body ready to cope with more mileage? With most coaches and runners structuring a 14-16 week marathon program you can use the 2-4 weeks before this begins to assess where your mileage is and begin to increase. Try and understand whether you are ready to increase your mileage. If you aren’t be mindful for the first half of the program and be cautious with every week that the total mileage or the long run gets significantly longer. The old rule of not increasing weekly mileage by more than 10% still applies and can be used to monitor. The weeks before the program begins are ideal weeks to set small goals to ensure you are prepared for your marathon preparation to start.
How will your life cope with an increase in mileage? Another aspect of preparing for a marathon is that you will likely spend more time running. Are your family and work life ready for the increase and how will you fit the extra time in
2. Prepare for your training paces
This tip is for those looking to run their best time in a marathon. In the weeks leading up to a marathon preparation to gauge where your fitness is currently and then prepare your interval or tempo workout goal paces around this current fitness levels.
In the weeks before your marathon preparation starts you can run a time trial over whatever distance you feel comfortable with 3-5km is perfect to gauge your fitness. From here you can use this time to enter into one of the many running calculators on the internet and gauge your times. In our opinion the McMillan Running calculator is the best available as it will give you individual training paces specific to your goal.
Using this information can be a great place to assess where your fitness is and what you need to do to do your best in your marathon.
3.Figure out your schedule
Whether you are accessing a quality running coach or self structuring your training having a schedule that fits into your life is crucial. To give you the best chance at your marathon fitting in the key workouts is important.
Scheduling how many days you plan to run and which days you will do your key workouts will give you the best shot at success. Making sure you have a plan in place for when you will run your long run and harder sessions each week. And also having a plan to reschedule if life or weather or other factors get in the way. Committing to and completing these sessions each week should be part of the schedule.
Figuring out your schedule is a vital piece of the puzzle to get you ready to run your best marathon.
There are many other things that form the pieces of a marathon preparation, these are just three that you can do prior to your scheduled training starting.
If you have any questions or comments on your own marathon training leave a comment.