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What guidelines should I follow while training for a marathon?

If you are new to running, or have taken a long time off from training first get a physical from a qualified medical professional to ensure you're ready to train. Once cleared you will want to train 4-5 times a week in preparation for your upcoming marathon. The standard formula is to combine 1-2 moderate length runs a week, 1-2 short but very fast runs, and one slower long run a week. For example, you might start with two 4 mile runs a week at a 10 minute mile pace, one 2 mile at a 8 minute mile pace, and one 6 mile run at a 12 minute mile pace. Do not increase the length of runs or increase running pace by more than 10% a week. You will want to start training for your marathon a minimum of 12 weeks before hand if you’re very fit and up to 18-24 weeks ahead if you’re a novice runner. The week before the marathon you should be able to run a 20 mile run in one stretch. For the week before the marathon taper down to only a few miles and rest completely for the 3 days before the run. On the day of the race, the excitement of the race will give you the energy for the extra 6.2 miles. While training for your marathon it’s very important to stretch thoroughly before and after each session and to incorporate some form of core training and strength into your routine a few days a week to help prevent injury. 

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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.