How To Train For A Marathon In 6 Months | PR NOW

Are you seeking how to train for a marathon in 6 months? Welcome to I am glad you have made it here. 

how to train for a half marathon in 6 months

The Sub 4 Hour Marathon Mastery course is a training program for marathon runners seeking to run below 9.09 per mile pace for 26.2 miles

Are you one of the those runners? Is your goal to run below 4 hours? Perhaps your goal is to run a marathon under 3 hours.

You’ve come to the right website.

Runners seeking to break the 3 or 4 hour marathon barriers simply need to change up their training. Is your goal to break 2 hours and 30 minutes. There are courses and training plans here for you to help.

Is 6 Months Enough Time to Train for a Marathon?

Yes, 6 months is most definitely enough time to train for a marathon. In fact, it is the optimal time frame to prepare for a marathon race. I always tell runners to train for a minimum of 16 and preferably between 20 to 24 weeks. Remember, it takes between 21 days to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load being placed on it.

I would highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 to ensure that I am running at the proper paces during my tempo runs. In addition, maintaining the proper efforts during my long runs and during easy runs.

You cannot rely on your talent and expect to make big leaps in this sport. Talent is not enough. In fact, talent that does not work will get beat by work ethic that does.

Talent that does not work will get humbled by the athlete with little but works hard.

Some of our best marathoners ever here in the United States were not stand out runners in high school or in college.

Brian Sell is a great example. Brian went on to run 2:10 for the marathon at the Boston marathon and made the 2008 USA Olympic Marathon Team.

Your goal may not be to be an Olympian but an effective training guide can help you get results.

Can You Go from Couch to Marathon in 6 Months?

Yes, you can go from couch to marathon in 24 weeks. Again, 6 months is sufficient time to train properly for the marathon distance. I would focus first on running easy, aerobic mileage for at least 4 weeks. There are many runners who start doing faster workouts too soon. So, be patient with yourself. Again, it takes about a month to train adequately for the marathon.

Make sure to check out our resources here. I have created running courses and training plans to help runners seeking to run faster. In fact, our training plans are for runners focused on the mile all the way to the 50k distance.

How to train for a marathon in 6 months is going to come down to your long-term plan. I would also recommend doing at least 1, vo2 max workout per week. We train between 95 to 100% of your max heart rate at this intensity. Faster, anaerobic workouts will help to make your goal marathon race pace to feel easier. The result is you will be able to sustain pace longer. In addition, you will teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up.

How Long Does it Take to Get in Shape for a Marathon?

I always recommend to runner to focus on a minimum of 12 weeks. The optimal time frame is 20 to 24 weeks for the distance. Remember, the longer your build up the more time you will provide yourself to adapt to the stresses. What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past training for your marathons?

4 miles? 5 miles? I would focus on extending that out to between 8 to 12 miles. A common mistake many runners make is their tempo runs are still too short. We run between 85 to 89% of our maximum heart rate running at this intensity.

Again, faster running will help us to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these we can recruit the more efficient we will run. In addition, you will be able to sustain your goal race pace longer. Lastly, have a less likelihood of slowing down.

Is 7 Months Enough Time to Train for a Marathon?

Yes. I would focus first on an easy, 4 week build up of relaxed mileage. I would then start a 24 week marathon training plan. A common mistake man runners make is trying to cram their training into a short 4 to 8 weeks. Of course, you can get into significant shape in that amount of time.

That being said, it is too short of amount of time to get into superior shape. Again, this race is 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers, not a 5k or 10k. So, it will take time and patience to adapt to the workouts that you are doing. I would recommend not running slow and easy every single weekend for your long runs. I do faster, varied paced long runs. In fact, I used this tactic to lower my marathon best from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35.

So, I know that it works. You can also visit the testimonial page to read what other runners are saying.

1. Running too slow

It does you no good to run 100 mile weeks and 99% of your miles are run above your goal half-marathon race pace.

You are running high volume for high volume sake and not getting closer but farther away from your half marathon goal.

Runners have the talent and ability to run a fast marathon. That being said, they do need to adjust how they are training.

How Long Does it Take to Go from Couch to Marathon?

I think a minimum of 4 and preferably 6 months. How much time are you devoting to mental training? I ask that because the majority of runners focus only on physical training. Remember, the world’s top runners focus on both these areas of training.

So, start spending at least 10 to 15 minutes daily visualizing yourself crossing that finish line with your goal marathon time. Our goals have to start in the mind before they will ever become reality. Also, continue to develop your leg speed. You should be doing at least 1, vo2 max workout per week.

We train between 95 to 100% of our max heart rate at this intensity. Again, training at this pace will help to make your goal marathon race pace to feel easier. Examples of vo2 max workouts are hill repetitions, speed intervals and fartlek run workouts.

2. Training at goal race pace too often.

Let’s say you have as your goal to run a marathon under 3 hours.

What does that entail?

You must be able to sustain 6.52 per mile pace for 26.2 miles. No breaks or recoveries in between. How will doing 20 mile runs at 8.30 pace help?

The trick is running at or below goal pace with equal focus on recovery. Remember, the results come within the rest, not the workout itself.

Focus Your Pace

Renato Canova, one of the world’s top distance running coaches said it best,

It is better to do 16 miles at goal race pace then to go out and slog through a 24-mile long run that does nothing to get you closer to your goal

It took me from 2002 to 2007 to fully understand the above statement.

I spent the majority of my training and time running at paces that were not conducive to the goals I had.

It wasn’t until I started to focus on training specifically to run fast that I started to improve.

Quality over Quantity

Am I doing what I need to do in order to run the way I truly want to run?

If you have any hesitation or doubt that you are not doing everything then read on.

A training program for marathon runners must point runners into a new direction, a new way of training.

You need to train at the pace you want to race at. In addition, practice it often enough so that you adapt sufficiently.

Remember, the better you can equip yourself to handle race pace the easier and more controlled you are going to feel in the race.

Is 40 miles a Week Enough for Marathon Training?

Yes, 40 miles a week is enough for most runners to prepare well for a marathon. Again, quality matters more than quantity. The world’s top runners are running between 35 to 40% of their weekly mileage at or below their lactate threshold. We are running between 85 to 89% of our max heart rate running at these speeds.

So, of course, they make it look easy. Remember, if you run too slow too often all you will be is a superior long, slow distance runner. I am sure you have a specific time you are aiming to run for the marathon. The faster we aim to cover this distance the more strategy is involved. Yes, many runners can run easy but it is an art form to run fast for long periods of time.

3. Exceed goal half-marathon race pace.

Think how more manageable your race pace will be if you training faster

What is goal marathon race pace going to feel like then?

Learn to do more workouts at sprint speeds.

This is running at speeds at 100-107% of your maximal effort.

Run Faster Then Goal Pace

Examples of workouts like this would be doing 2×3 miles at 10 seconds per mile faster than your goal marathon pace.

My current best for the half-marathon is 1.07.06 (5:07 mile pace).

A common workout example for me would be 2×3 miles on the road (or track) at 4:57 pace with 800m jog recovery.

I always like to lengthen the duration of the time spent running fast.

Additionally, my aim is to lengthen this workout to 2×6 miles at goal half-marathon race pace. What does that give me?

12 miles run at 4.57 mile pace. This is why the top runners make it look so easy. They have spent large amounts of time running faster than they plan on running in the race.

Remember, quality over quantity.

You can’t just sit back and wonder about your attack plan. It would be like wanting to go to a big city yet not even looking at the map to figure out how to get there.

Athlete Consulting

You have to have a coach that cares, a route of successful entry that is going to get you closer to your goal.

The best runners in the world have sport consultants and mentors. Professional coaches will guide you on how to run a marathon in 6 months.

Your focus should be to gradually extend the amount of time you are spending at or below your goal half-marathon pace.

In addition to that, your potential is endless as a runner. The trick is spending more time practicing at the paces you want to race at.

Don’t self-sabotage yourself into believing you don’t have any genetic gifts. How often are you sharpening your skills?

It takes long, endless, monotonous hard work to run the half marathon fast.

It is about using the talent you do have to the utmost of your ability.

Closing Thoughts

Running slow too often is not going to bring out the best in you and it will not produce the confidence you need in a training program for marathon runners.

If you want to know how to run a marathon in 6 months start with your end goal. What is the time you want to run the race in? Is it running under the 4 hour barrier? You certainly have some options with the manifesto mentioned in this post.

Are you more of an advanced-level athlete? Invest in one of our 5K to marathon training plans or courses.

I hope this post on how to train for a half marathon in 6 months has been helpful to you. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new content there each week to help runners like you get to the next level in their training and racing.

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