Alamo 180 Marathon Training Program
Unlike most fitness activities, training for a marathon and 1/2 marathon is serious business. Fail to train properly, and you not only risk not finishing the race, you also risk seriously injuring yourself. The marathon is not a race you decide to do a few weeks before the event. It is something you train and prepare for over a several month period. But, that doesn’t mean that training for a marathon shouldn’t be fun – because it is!
The biggest question most beginner, and many experience marathoners have is: “How long should my training runs be and how many times per week should I run?”
The answer, of course, varies for the individual person and their goals, but there are some general rules and suggestions to follow. While an elite marathoner might run two workouts per day and over 100 miles per week while training for a marathon, the body of most mortals could not take such pounding (and who can find that time anyway?). The important components in a marathon training program for most people are these:
- Gradually increase the overall weekly distance until two to three weeks before the marathon.
- Include two long runs spread across the week, one midweek, the other on the weekend.
- Include one day of faster running and/or integrate strides into your regular runs.
- Try to run six days per week.
- The runs between your long runs do not need to be any longer than 3-6 miles.
The point is this: Your body won’t get used to running long distances, unless it has run those distances on a regular basis. So you need to make your run workouts a priority and stay focused. More importantly, the body needs rest between those runs, which is why we suggest no more than two long runs per week and moderate distance on the other days. Our philosophy is “hard day/easy day/hard day/easy day/etc…” At the beginning of your training program, those long runs could be 6 miles each. Then, as the weeks go by, gradually increase them. Perhaps week two would see the long runs as 6 & 8 miles, week three 7 & 9, week four: 7 & 10, etc. At this point you have built an good, strong base of miles and your body will be prepared for the marathon event. You can even through in some strength workouts in the form of Boot Camp or weight training at your local gym to build additional muscular endurance. It’s all about patience, hard work and determination. Grab a partner and enjoy the marathon journey!