Training for a marathon? Here’s what you need to know

Training for a marathon? Here’s what you need to know

by Vanessa Ng 16 Nov 2018

Earning a medal for completing a marathon is certainly a feat worth celebrating. Being able to pound on through all the way towards the finishing line requires a certain amount of grit that can only be attained through consistent and rigorous training. Yet, there's more to training for a marathon than just clocking an endless number of runs. Here are some tips to help keep you on the right track:


Follow a plan

Be it an online training plan or an offline certified coach, committing to a pre-determined workout routine to prep your body is important. Adhere to it as much as possible as deviating from the course can make you lose focus and leave gains on the table. However, if you inadvertently miss a training session, avoid feeling disheartened and get back on your feet as quick as you can.


Sacrifice your social life (for a bit)

Signing up for something as physically and mentally demanding as a marathon means that you will need to make some sacrifices. Since you will be dedicating more time to your training for the next 16 weeks, you'll probably have to rein in your social time as well. Another fact is that sleep and recovery become so much more important during the training season, and you'll want to get as much as possible out of both. As such, mentally prepare yourself for that and let your friends know what your commitments are looking like presently.

Do speed drills

It may seem counter-intuitive to do speed drills when you are training for a (very) long distance run. However, they help you to learn how to run more efficiently and improves overall speed, strength and momentum. Intervals or hill repeats do earn their place in the endurance runner's arsenal!


Slot in strength trainings

Neglecting strength training can lead to injury. Muscular strength is required to push you further and plays an important role in improving endurance. Strong muscles and strong joint are also closely related; you don't want end up dropping out at the halfway mark due to joint pain! Try slotting in a full body strength training session every alternate day, recovery permitting of course.


Have fun

It is easy to start regretting registering for the marathon. After all, if 30km seemed like a torture, whatever will 35km, and 40km do to you? There will definitely be times in which you feel upset, overly pressured or be filled with doubt about your ability to run. Catch some rest when you need it, or try training with a partner!


During training, you may develop blisters, cramps, aches, and all sorts of uncomfortable and sometimes even maddening experiences. Keep reminding yourself why you chose to run, and visualise how rewarding the end results will be. Most importantly, enjoy the journey as you train and be sure to make the most out of the actual day of the race!