Could you run a marathon?

running woman
Prepare for your big race

If you're thinking about running a marathon, before you even sign up, consider the realities of what you are letting yourself in for. It's the best way to ensure you keep yourself fit and healthy physically and mentally in the journey to your 26.2 mile challenge.

Take this advice from Running a Marathon for Dummies:

Running a Marathon for Dummies
Buy the book, run your marathon

1. Balance training with recovery:

All the adaptations you make that enable you to run farther and faster occur when you're not running, so take recovery as seriously as you take your training.

2. Mix up your paces:

If you run slow all the time, you'll just become a slow runner. Train using the whole continuum of paces, from very slow to very fast, to enhance both your endurance and your speed.

The expert guide to fartlek training

3. Respect the distance:

Twenty-six miles is a long way to run. Respect the distance by preparing adequately for it. Don't take a nonchalent approach to the marathon. Confidence comes from being prepared, so prepare yourself.

4. Run a lot:

There's no way round the fact that running a marathon requires a lot of preparation. Although you don't have to run more than 100 miles a week like the best marathon runners in the world, you still have to run a lot.

Training is the key to running your marathon successfully. You must run at least a few times during the week in addition to your long run at the weekend.

5. Run long:

You need to do many long runs to prepare for the marathon. Your longest run should fall somewhere between 20 and 24 miles, or three to three and a half hours, whichever comes first.

If you're an advanced runner, you may run longer than 24 miles before the marathon.

Running a Marathon for Dummies, by Jason R. Karp, RRP £12.99