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For many running enthusiasts, even super keen ones, finishing a 26.2 mile marathon can still seem pretty daunting. Well, it may be daunting, but it’s certainly not impossible.

For anyone thinking of beginning marathon training, here are some pointers for first-timers to help you design your program.

Baby Steps

You need to focus on the journey rather than the end goal. Rather than pushing yourself to the brink- or worse, injuring yourself- accept that you need to start small in order to finish big. As the weeks of training build, you will begin to feel more and more confident in your ability to cross the finish line.

Quality Not Quantity

No matter how hard we plan, busy lifestyles make it hard to stay rigid. Over several months of training, if you find you are forced to skip a workout or two, make sure you prioritize. The longer runs are crucial to build endurance, so focus mainly on these. If you have to miss a workout, try to skip one of the easier ones.

Keep it Fun!

The idea of running a marathon is exciting, but the reality of training day in, day out, can be gruelling. Try running in groups, or group workouts like RUN TBC to mix it up, consider developing a mantra to keep you focused or even visualising crossing the finish line to keep your moral high.

Stay Consistent

The key to successful training is consistency. You need to ensure you put in the weekly mileage in order to accustom your body to running for extended periods. When choosing your training plan, be sure to avoid any that increase your volume by more than 10% in week 1 eg if you run 15 miles per week, avoid plans which advise running more than 17 miles in week 1.

Fuel Yourself

What you whilst training has a massive impact on your progress. Too little will deplete your energy resources, and too much will make you feel uncomfortable and sluggish. Be sure to seek professional nutritional advice before undertaking marathon training.

Chill Out

Getting the rest days in is as important as the training. It is crucial to allow your body to recover from the strain of training, and to avoid injury. Make the most of your free time, so that you can come back to your subsequent training session with a fresh mind. Be sure not to over-train, and to get the right amount of sleep.

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