The marathon training plan is a program of exercises to be performed in order to prepare your body if you decide to run a marathon. In this case, the marathon is 42.195 kilometers or 26 miles and 385 yards (26.219 mi).
How to prepare for a marathon?
First of all, it is necessary to determine the pace of the race you want to run. In this regard, some special programs will be required designed specifically for your pace. In general, however, there are available some guidelines that help thousands of athletes around the world. They are as follows:
for a pace of 4 minutes and 30 seconds per kilometer (5-minute mile), it is advisable to train for at least 3 months.
for a pace of 5 minutes per kilometer (6-minute mile) or more, you must plan your training 3-4 months in advance.n
The marathon training plan should include the following types of exercises :
Running sessions, Strenuous Walk, Strenuous run, Sprinting, Interval Training, Strength training. Endurance Training and Flexibility.
Each type of exercise has different characteristics and serves a specific purpose. In the planning should be included one or more exercises from each category, as well as some days of rest to enhance recovery from previous training sessions.
In terms of running sessions, those involving distances greater than 5 kilometers (3 miles) are always better run at a pace equal to your race pace. On the other hand, training involving shorter distances should be performed at a slower pace, since the goal is to burn more calories and improve cardiovascular performance.
When planning workouts of the strenuous walks, it should be taken into account that these are very tiring for the cardiorespiratory system because during this type of exercise heart rate can reach 85% of maximum. Therefore, it is advisable to include only one session per week at this pace, alternating with another training session.
Strenuous run workouts are characterized by increased effort and you should perform them only after the first 3 months of preparation. Also, these sessions must be scheduled carefully not having more than two repetitions in a week.
As for the sprinting sessions, you should do them only in the last month before race day. This type of exercise is very tiring but also beneficial because it allows increasing strength, speed, and resistance. However, there are some precautions that must be taken into account when training at high speeds. For example, it is important to work on your biomechanics, especially if you are new to this type of exercise.
The interval training sessions consist in running for short periods at a pace superior to our race pace, walking, or resting. The intervals can be performed with distances greater than 400 meters (1/4 mile). Interval training provides excellent results when it comes to increasing the aerobic capacity and it can be performed at any stage of marathon preparation.
As for strength training, it is advisable that you perform this type of exercise in the second month of preparation. It consists of exercises designed to increase muscle mass, reduce fatigue and improve coordination. Here are some examples: pushups, squats, abdominal crunches, leg raises, scissor jumps, and lunges.
Endurance training is mostly done by running long distances at an easy pace, which allows us to enhance the resistance of our cardiorespiratory system. If we want to improve endurance and increase mileage without risk of injury, it is advisable to do this type of exercise in the third month of preparation.
Finally, it must be emphasized the importance of doing flexibility exercises, since they are beneficial not only because they reduce the risk of injuries, but also because they allow us to harmoniously develop each exercise throughout our training plan. The various types of stretches are very useful when your body needs to recover from strenuous sessions. They can be performed at any stage of marathon preparation.