Marathon Training FAQ

Marathon Training FAQ – What You Should Know?

How long is a Marathon?

A full marathon is slightly more than 26 miles or 42 kilometers and half marathon is half that distance. There are also ultra marathons for those interested in anything more than 26 miles. Ultra marathons can be 50 or 100 miles and sometimes even longer.

Can anyone run a Marathon?

Yes, as long as your physician has cleared you to do it. Marathon training is demanding both physically and mentally, so good fitness is crucial. Lack of good fitness can lead to injuries.


How often can one run a Marathon?

It depends on several factors such as your goals as a person, level of competition, level of experience, your health status etc. Of all these factors, level of experience carries more weight, so the more marathons you run, the better you get. It is also important to plan for the events you want to participate in. Some of them can be half-marathons or road races. This will not only help you to eliminate burning out, but also motivate you to train for the shorter events on your way to the main marathon event.

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How long should Marathon Training last for before competition?

It really depends on your goals and the type of marathon training plan or program you are using. Some marathon training programs last for as little as few weeks while some go for all year round. The shorter programs are ideal for beginners while the longer ones are more suitable for elite or more advanced marathon runners.


Are all Marathon Training plans or programs the same?

No, actually good marathon training plans are designed to meet the needs of each group or individuals based on factors such as level of experience and training goals. A marathon training program for beginners differs from that of intermediate marathon runners. Elite runners have a more advanced type of training program, usually longer and more challenging than beginner and intermediate runners programs. Good marathon programs should be customizable.


What is the most important goal in Marathon Running?

Goals really vary from individual to individual. So your goal, whatever it may be, is the most important one to you. Remember marathon running goals change over time with experience. There are basically four main goals in marathon running: running to win, running to improve your time, running to finish, and just running for fun or socialization. Other goals may include running to set a new record, running for a course such as fund raising, and for health reasons such as weight loss among other goals.


Is there any recommended age for Marathon Running?

There is no definite age limit to marathon running, however, it is advisable not to start too early due to the impact that marathon training may have on your body. Due to physiological developmental issues, teenagers or youth are not encouraged to run marathons; they can run shorter road races such as 5ks and 10ks until they are into mid 20s.

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Is it safe for women who are still planning to have children to run a Marathon?

As long as you are physically fit and has been cleared by your physician, then there is no problem. However, due to physical demands associated with marathon training; it is advisable to slow down as you approach halfway into your pregnancy for the sake of both the mother and the unborn baby. You can cross train so that you can keep your fitness level up.


Is there any need for speed training in Marathon training?

This depends on your level of experience. But generally, as a beginner you don’t need speed training, but you need more endurance instead. However, for elite marathon runners, there is a place for speed in their marathon training program. Other types of training that are useful when training for marathon are things like fartlek, tempo runs, hill runs, and strength training workouts.


What is the best food for Marathon training?

The short answer is a balanced diet. You need a lot of energy to be able to handle all the demanding training. There is really no right or wrong food here, however, you need enough carbohydrates and protein for energy and recovery. You also need supplements especially during and after training. The amounts of carbohydrates and protein changes based on the training emphasis and where you are in your program. As you taper off in your training your protein intake will reduce while your carbohydrates increase. Hydration is really crucial for performance and recovery. However, you need to stay away from too much caffeine and carbonated drinks such as red bull, they are work against hydration. A well designed marathon training plan or program should include some samples of healthy marathon training food types.

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