How To Prepare For A Marathon

How To Prepare For A Marathon

how to prepare for a marathon

One of the most common questions I have been asked over the years is how to prepare for a marathon.

The best advice I can provide to my readers and folks visiting this site for the first time is to be patient.

At the end of the day life is more than how fast we run and what accolades we achieve.

It is very easy to get caught up with this during the time in your life when you are training as hard as you can.

I understand cause I was there once in my life.

My long term goal was to break the sub-2:22:00 marathon barrier.

In 2007 that time was a USA Track and Field Olympic Trials “B” standard time.

I lived that dream breaking not only the “B” time but dipping under the “A” standard time of 2:20:00.

It was the 2007 California International Marathon on a cool morning in Sacramento that I finished in 4th place, top American and with a time of 2:19:35.

I led much of the race running with Kenyan men that were far better than me.

I also want to write that you have to believe in your goals in your mind first before they become reality.

I had a PR of 2:40:02 prior to that morning in Sacramento. Breaking 2:20:00 was not a shock to me. It was just getting the marathon right that was the biggest obstacle.

It is not uncommon for people around the world to drop several minutes off their marathon bests.

What Is Required?

Heart and commitment.

There is no substitute to this.

If you want to succeed at the marathon distance you have to have razor sharp focus and far more patience then the average man or woman.

Far too many runners give up far too soon.

I knew far too many athletes over the years that were much better than I ever was who never ran near a sub-2:20:00 marathon.

That being said, everyone has different dreams and goals.

A large part of my life all I could think about was running.

The best was I can answer how to prepare for a marathon is simply sharing my story.

I had to deal with many failures at the distance before I got it right in 2007.

The marathon is not the 5K to 10K so you have to remind yourself of this when you get discouraged.

It is 26.2 miles and a lot can go wrong in a race of this length.

The best runners in the world drop out or run several minutes slower than their objective routinely.

This happens to gold medalists to world champions.

It happens to joggers, regional competitors to world-class athletes.

I’ve run a 2:19:35 marathon but I’ve also run a 3:06 marathon (the slowest time I ever ran)  and have DNF’d a few times.

This is part of the process.

Every loves success but how many can deal with and overcome failure?

If you want to know the honest answer of how to prepare for a marathon it is how to handle stress and disappointment.

Purchase A RunDreamAchieve Training Schedule Today

How To Prepare For A Marathon

Outside of sharing advice I can share a few tips that I have implemented in RunDreamAchieve training plans that I have created and sell here at RDA.

  1. Keep the end goal in mind

Success in this event does not take days, weeks or even months but years.

Your best running is ahead of you and perhaps decades away.

If you are a veteran it doesn’t necessarily mean your best running is in your past. You can still run to the best of your ability by changing up the way you prepare for races.

2. Train and prepare in a new, specific and targeted to prepare for the marathon

This means train at or below your goal race pace. This is one significant hurdle I had to overcome to break the 2:20:00 marathon barrier.

To do it you need to hold 5:20 per mile pace or faster. 5:20 pace is the bare minimum and we know that is not a slow pace for even 1 mile.

I had to get away from conducting my long runs at 6:45 to 7:00 mile pace and get accustomed to running them at 5:30-5:55 mile pace.

That change was the reason I eventually ran under 2:20:00.

3. Don’t get discouraged.

There is more to life than running and trust me, at the end of your career, no one is going to care how fast you ran.

The relationships and networking you do along the way will matter the most.

Expect some failures and expect success.

Everyone, regardless of discipline, has had to accept that success and achievement comes with it another factor that not enough runners want to accept.


It is part of the equation and the far too often overlooked component of running a competitive marathon; even finishing a marathon.

You may be seeking to run your first marathon or you may be a seasoned veteran.

Don’t let a bad race end your excitement.

Have a bad race? Write down what aspects of your race you can work on and factor in these in your preparation for your next race.

4. Purchase A RunDreamAchieve Training schedule.

I have lost count of the investment I have put into myself over the years.

The training plans I created here at RunDreamAchieve are easily downloadable.

They give athletes a week by week roadmap to get them to their objective.

They also focus on race pace strategy and factor in the importance of recovery and de-stressing on the days you don’t need to run fast on.

All plans are affordably priced and are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

What makes them different is everything I learned from the world-class coaches that coached me are contained within them.

They are created to get results but they also take your willingness to do the work.

Let’s face it, to finish a marathon is a to prepare for a marathon

If you have as a goal to sustain a specific mile pace for the entire distance and are not currently getting the results you would like you have to change your strategy.

How to prepare for a marathon is doing the little things the masses overlook.

Running easy every day will burn calories and get you fit but will it get you to your goal if you want to a hold a specific pace per mile?

For example, say you desire to hold 7:00 mile pace for the 26.2 mile distance.

Will running at 9:00 mile pace every day get you to that goal?

The likelihood is slim because you have to train anaerobically.

The Secret is….

Training the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in the body.

How is that done?

Faster running.

You also have to be just as strict when taking it easy on recovery days.

Throw away the watch on a recovery day, jog, forget pace.

It is an easy day for a reason.

There will be plenty of hard days ahead to prepare so relish the easy days to re-charge, talk to friends on the run.

In fact, focus on something completely different than the race.

Keep the end goal in mind which, for you, may be a month, a year or twenty years away.

It took me 18 years to break the 2:20:00 marathon looking back now.

How to prepare for a marathon? Think long-term and be patient with yourself.

Purchase A RunDreamAchieve Training Schedule Today

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