Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Many Weeks Do You Need to Train Before Running Your First Marathon?

So, we already have established the fact that running a marathon is on your bucket list -- that's great, but have you considered the amount of time that you will need to train prior to the big race?  Well, it's time to get out your calendar... Use the old-fashioned paper calendar, where you can see each day of the month on one page.  

Next question:  have you been running at all over the past eight weeks?  If so, how many miles have you been averaging each week?  I recommend that you have built up to at least 20 miles per week prior to starting your "official" marathon training program.  If you have not been running at all, you should gradually build up to this weekly mileage goal over a period of two to three months.  

Now, for the "official" start to your marathon training program... Before you register for your marathon of choice, take out your calendar and count forward 18 to 20 weeks from this coming Monday.  That is the date when you will be ready to run your big race!  For example, if you actually start your official marathon training program this Monday, March 17th, you can probably toe the starting line on Sunday, July 20th .  Well, according to my Runner's World Calendar, that would be the date of the Rio de Janeiro City Marathon -- are you ready to book your flight to Brazil?

Most of the clients that I have trained live in the Northeast and have chosen a fall marathon as their first, because it is just easier to train through the summer and fall than through the winter.  If you plan to choose a fall marathon (there are so many awesome ones to choose from), you will want to start your official training program in late May or early June.

Check out the following link for a list of 2014-2015 marathons in the United States:
Marathon Guide 2014-2015 List of Races

Some of my personal favorites are:  

  • New York City Marathon
  • Chicago Marathon
  • Philadelphia Marathon
  • Cape Cod Marathon
  • Marine Corps Marathon
  • San Francisco Marathon
  • Richmond Marathon
Okay, let me know what you have decided...  See you at the finish line!