How to Train for a Marathon: The Best Running Tips for Beginners

You’ve signed up for your first ever marathon and now you’re wondering how to train for a marathon. Whether you’re a complete beginner, an experienced runner looking to take on a new challenge or anything in between, training for a marathon is not something to be taken lightly. It takes commitment and dedication but if you are willing to put in the work, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Training for any race requires dedication and planning, as well as some specific training programs. If you have never run more than 5km before, tackling a full marathon will require some special preparation. Luckily, there are plenty of different ways that you can train and get ready to complete 26.2 miles in one go. Here are some running tips for beginners.

running marathon tips

Calculate your target finish time

Before you do anything else, you should figure out how long you want to take to complete the race. This will be completely dependent on your current fitness level, so make sure you are realistic with your target finish time. If you want to finish in less than 5 hours, you’ll need to run at least 10 minutes per mile. If you’re aiming for an 8-hour finish, you’ll need to run at least 11.5 minutes per mile. If you want to run a sub-4-hour marathon, you need to run at a pace of 6 minutes per mile. This means that if you have never run a full marathon before, you need to build up your endurance and speed slowly.

Build up your endurance

To start with, you’ll need to build up your endurance. You’ll only be able to run for a small amount of time at first, so you won’t be able to run the entire marathon distance at once just yet. Start off by doing some shorter runs at a lower intensity. This will help you build up your endurance and also get used to the feeling of running. Be patient with yourself, and don’t push yourself too hard too soon. It’s better to run for an hour at a slow pace and get used to the idea of running than to push yourself too hard and risk injury.

Create a training schedule

Once you’re used to running for a few hours, it’s time to create a training schedule. This will help you plan out exactly how your training will look. There are a ton of marathon training programs out there and you can choose one based on your current fitness level. – Beginner – If you’re a complete beginner, it’s best to start of with a 3-month training program. This is a great way to ease yourself into running and get used to the idea of running for long distances. – Intermediate – If you’ve been running for a few years and want to challenge yourself further, you can try out some of these intermediate training programs. These are designed for runners who have completed at least one marathon before. – Advanced – If you’re a seasoned marathoner and want to take it down a notch, you can try out some advanced marathon training programs. These are designed for runners who have completed a few marathons before. – There are also some marathon training programs for weight loss and for beginners who are new to running.

Incorporate strength training

Once you’ve built up your endurance and created a training schedule, it’s time to incorporate strength training into your marathon training. You’ll need to make sure that you are fully prepared for the impact of running for such a long distance. You’ll be putting your body through a lot, so you’ll want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your body. One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating some strength training into your routine. You can do this at the gym with free weights and machines, or at home with some simple exercises. It’s best to incorporate this into your routine a few months before the race. This will give you enough time to notice the difference it makes to your body and it will help prevent injury. Some muscles you may want to focus on include your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.

Add in some speed work

Another way to train for a marathon is to add in some speed work. This is done with shorter, faster and harder running at the beginning of your training program. This is a great way to build up your endurance and really push yourself. However, you’ll need to be careful not to overdo it. If you’ve never run a marathon before, it’s best to ease into this type of running and then go back to your slower, longer runs. Some good things to try include short hill sprints, short track running sessions or running intervals on the treadmill. This will help increase your speed and get you used to running at a faster pace for longer amounts of time.

Try out different types of runs

Once you’ve built up your endurance, incorporated some strength training and added in some speed work, you can try out different types of runs. This will help you prepare for any eventualities on the day. You never know what the weather will be like or what type of terrain you’ll have to run on, so it’s best to be prepared for anything. – Hills – This will help get your legs and lungs used to hills, which can be found at many marathons. – Trails – If your race takes place on trails, you’ll want to try out some trails runs to get used to the different type of terrain. – Tempo runs – These are short but intense runs that help build up your endurance and prepare you for the long marathon distance. – Interval training – This is another great way to build up your endurance and get used to running at a faster pace.


A marathon is a huge challenge and it’s important that you train properly. Start by calculating your target finish time, building up your endurance and creating a training schedule. Then incorporate strength training, add in some speed work and try out different types of runs to prepare for any eventualities on the day. With enough dedication, you’ll soon be crossing the finish line of your first ever marathon. Do you have any more running tips for beginners with people training for a marathon?

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