If you are planning on running a marathon in the fall there are some key things that you should consider with marathon preparation. The very first thing is selecting a marathon. Select the marathon you will be doing and registar as soon as possible. Do not wait for the last minute to sign up. The next thing to do is make sure you have your hotel reservations planned quickly. Most places book up really fast for the big marathons.
Now that you have signed up for the marathon and planned for you marathon weekend. You need to make sure that you have good comfortable running shoes. I suggest that you get two pairs of running shoes because you can alternate them on each run. Another benefit to this is that you will get a longer shoe life as well. I would suggest going to a running specialty store. They often have better knowledge of running. Most often at these types of stores you will find the employees are runners themselves.
If you are going to be running a marathon you will need a timing device to monitor your time. I suggest you get the Garmin 205. It is an inexpensive gps that does the job real well. It is very easy to use. This is a must have if your planning on tracking progress.
Now that you have been fitted for your shoes you will need to start running. There are some important stages in running that are key for your running and completing a marathon.
First, if you do not have a running base. I suggest that you start off on a tred. Build up your milage there. You want to make sure that you are consistant with your training. So I would suggest running six days on and one day off. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the day.
Once you have a base of about ten miles a week this is where you need to start ramping up but you must incorporate these phases into your running to make some significant progress. It will make your weekly long run much better.
I would then suggest you run a 5k as hard can. the day before I would suggest only running one mile very easy. Once you have that time now we can start working on actual marathon training.
Then once you have your 5k time you want to go online and find the mcmillian running calculator. Then you want to punch in your 5k time. You will need to look all the way to the right and this will tell you what your projected marathon time will be. Down below you will see a bunch of numbers with times on them. Here are the phases that you need to concentrate on for your training.
The easy run is just what it is easy. You want to run this pace when your not running hard. To really know that your in your easy phase you should be able to hold a conversation with someone as you are running. You should see your Easy Run phase on the right hand side.
Speedwork can be broken down into two subsections. Short speed and long speed are typically how you want to brake your speedwork up. Typically long speed is anything that is over 800M. Start slow with 3 800M repeats with 3 mins rest. The next week you might want to add another one. For Long speed you want to be dead tired. This should be one of your hardest workouts for the week. Short speed is 100, 200, 400M and you can take a longer rest on these. However you should make sure that you are concentrating on proper form. I would start with 4 x 400M repeats. The chart (Mcmillian running calculator) will show you where you should be. I would suggest that you do speed work on Tuesday or Thursday
Tempo Runs are one of the most important parts of marathon training. This seperates the men from the boys. This should be done once every week. I would look at mcmillian and do at least a 15 min tempo run. Then you want to build from there up to 45 mins. Note: Never go over 45 mins for tempo. If you do not hit your mcmillian projected tempo pace window. Repeat it again the following week. I would suggest doing speed and tempo on a level (track).
Double days are a key component of marathon training. You have to do at least two a week. It is suggested that you do at least 30 mins in the am and 30 in the afternoon. You will find that it is best to use your easy runs as the doubles.
The long run is the culmination of your week. This phase combines all the phases together. Always run in your window. Never run outside of your window for the first half of your run. In fact it would be better to run at the bottom of your mcmillian long run window for the first half.
Missing any one of these phases will cause you trouble in the marathon. No matter what you will hit a wall in a marathon but it is just how soon that wall will come. Using this plan I qualified for the Boston Marathon in my first training season. I went from a 4:29:50 marathoner to a 3:20:30 marathon in a 6 month training period. It takes commitment but whatever your goal you can do it. Good luck and have a great ride. There is nothing like finishing a marathon. You will be proud.