Here are the four primary practices for marathon training that will transform you from an average runner to a reliable marathon athlete who always finishes his or her races.

Building Mileage

Marathon training usually spans over 13 to 21 weeks and those starting out must always begin by building mileage. This means start with say, 50 miles over a week for one entire month or maybe even couple of months before you increase mileage to 100 miles per week. This helps get your body acclimatized to running long distances gradually over a period of time. Also, try and distribute the running days to three or five days a week. Practice these runs at a relaxed pace such that it is not too fast to tire you out quickly neither too slow that you can have a conversation.

When increasing mileage remember to increase by a factor of 10 per week and no more.

The Long Run

Next up is the long run per week. This is best done in intervals of 10 to 14 days. You can increase the run distance every other event too. But always do these type of runes in 10 days minimum where the distance is greater than your weekly mileage and approach these runs with slower pace to first finish them with confidence. As your body gets used to such longer runs, you can gradually increase the speed.

Your objective is to train till you can easily handle 20 miles. The last 6 miles your conditioning and the crowd on the day of the event will help you overcome.


Not necessary but if you desire you can include speed workout. This helps improve aerobic abilities and also gain pace throughout your training. Remember however not to overdo speed workouts and always alternate it with long distance running.


The days meant for rest literally means no running or exertion of any kind. These are the days your muscles recuperate from all the work you have been putting them through. Remember that the biggest enemy for any marathoner is simply, Injury. The best way to prevent injury therefore is to rest a lot.