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How many times per week should I train for a marathon?

The number of days you spend training for a marathon  depends on your goals and fitness level.  If you are just starting off, you might need to train every other day.  As your fitness level improves, training six days a week is effective if done correctly.  This means you need to vary the distance and intensity of each workout. You also need to add some cross training several times a week.  A balanced week includes one day that that is reserved for long distance running.  This is the day you can spend more time running, and each week you add miles until you reach about twenty to twenty-two miles. Another day can includer shorter runs at a higher intensity, using intervals to increase your race pace and anaerobic threshold.  The remaining days should be a mixture of race pace runs and low-intensity recovery days. Some of these low-intensity workouts should be done on low-impact cardio equipment, such as a bike or elliptical, to reduce the stress on the legs.  If you have time, you can add weight training to several of these days or use some circuit training to get both the strength and cardiovascular benefits in one session. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.