With over 500 marathons held around the world each year, there are upwards of 13,000 miles you can choose to run.

So, let’s chat & chew over training for a MARATHON.

Personally speaking, 26.2 miles seems like an impossible task right now.  I’m hopeful that this is how everyone feels before they run their first marathon!  For all those first-time marathon runners like myself, let’s break this down step-by-step.

  • Get Motivated: You know the old saying, “It’s all mental”? Well, the idea of running 26 miles can be very daunting on the mind.  So, first things first—build your mental stamina.  Like with any new hobby, it’s refreshing the first couple days, but then the excitement wears off.
  • Set your Goals: Whether you’re running just to cross the finish line, for weight loss purposes, or simply because you LOVE running—establish a goal and own it.  If you have nothing to work towards, it’s harder to keep coming back each day.
  • Lace Up: While marathons are not a black-tie event, it’s important to wear the right gear.  More importantly, make sure you have the proper footwear.  You may find yourself purchasing multiple pairs of shoes while you train, so make sure you find the glass slippers of all running sneakers to get you through!
  • Learn to Love Carbs: To run a marathon, you need carbs—65% of your total calorie intake to be exact. Protein should account for 10% (0.5-0.7 grams/lb. of body weight), and 20-25% should come from unsaturated fats.
  • Hydration is Key: If you’re planning on running for over an hour, bring fluids.  Drink 6-8 oz. every 20 minutes.

Okay, time to set your training schedule.  For first time runners, click here for a 16-week training program (compliments of  Remember, your mileage should increase gradually each week, with your longest run tapering off between 18-20 miles.  During the weeks leading up to the marathon, make sure to cut back on your training and give your body ample time to rest and recover.

Here’s a list of the remaining 2014 US Marathons to help you get started.

Don’t get caught up in the mileage—if you want to run a marathon, start mapping out your training today!

2 thoughts on “IT’S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT.

  1. Marathons are no joke. Lots of training and more importantly smart training. I did my first marathon last year and didn’t train properly which caused some injuries. Doing a marathon was a ‘bucket-list’ item for me. I am doing another one this year – running can become addicting. My advice for anyone striving to do a marathon is to train slowly. Plan out a year of races: start with a 5k – I did a Turkey Trot, then a 10k – I did a New Years Eve race, then a 10 miler – I did Cherry Blossom, then a 20k – I did the Leesburg race, then a half marathon then onto the full marathon.
    If I can do it, ANYONE can…
    Good luck and enjoy the experience.

  2. Sherri – Thank you for your comment. Your insight and encouragement is greatly appreciated! Although I’m not a marathon runner, it’s certainly on my bucket-list as well. If you have any advice for first time runners, please feel free to share!

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