Finding a marathon training program that suits you

A marathon training program is a key part of tackling the challenges of marathon running.

A good program should be:

  • tailored to your own demands as an athlete
  • achievable; and
  • build up steadily towards race day.

Realistic marathon preparation

The key thing is to ensure that your marathon training program is realistic.

This means:

  • The starting point should reflect what you are capable of now.
  • It needs to leave plenty of time to allow your running performance to improve, particularly if you are older.
  • The training program should allow enough time for rest and recovery, particularly after strenuous runs.
  • If you have poor flexibility, core strength or other physical problems to overcome, the earlier part of your training program should address these with other forms of exercise such as pilates and stretching.
  • Your training program needs to fit into the other demands of your lifestyle. If you can only find two major training sessions a week then you will almost certainly need to train for a longer period to run in a marathon.
  • Finally, the program should leave enough room for you to taper down the amount of training you do as race day approaches.