Choose the Right Distance for Marathon Training

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One of the most difficult things in marathon and running race training is the training itself. People often ask themselves several questions: How often should I run? When should I increase the distance I’m running?

Two things that can help shape your marathon training routine are consistency and listening to your body. Consistency in training, as well as building up a controlled long run is important. A 10% increase in time and/or mileage per week is what is typically recommended.

On average it takes a full 16 weeks prior to your marathon to train if you feel you are already pretty in shape. This of course depends on the level of fitness you have entering your training routine. This is an area where you simply have to listen to your body and train accordingly.

Tips for Marathon Training

  1. Use a running plan to help give you guidance in your training. One of the best running programs out there for beginners is the Couch to 5k program. Other good running plan sites he suggests include:, and
  2. Join a running group or work with a running coach. Running groups are another way you can easily become consistent. Utilizing a group or running coach to motivate you will help you follow the running plan you’ve selected. Your accountability is key because consistency is the most important thing you can do in training.
  3. Don’t underestimate the importance of stretching. Be sure to incorporate a stretching session into your training. Muscle soreness will come and go, but if you are consistently experiencing pain in one area seek medical attention for it.
  4. Maintain your healthy diet. Don’t feel the need to completely change your diet during training. Eating small balanced meals before long runs helps to give your body the energy it needs. Keep hydrated during and after your training.
This article by Malena Morea was originally published by the Louisiana Marathon.

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