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How do I start training for a marathon?

May 11, 2012

...where is a good place to start if I've never run a marathon and would like to start training?

A: Having trained for and completed four marathons, I must say that the experience of crossing the finish line of a marathon is well worth the grueling training and personal sacrifice involved in preparing both mind and body for this extraordinary accomplishment. Kudos to you for having the courage to make this commitment!

The best place to start training for a marathon is a year away from the date of the race. Start training the body with short runs, on an almost daily basis. Six months out from race day you should be able to log in at least 25 miles of running in a week, comfortably. At this point (6 months from race day), I would highly encourage you to join a running club or a charity organization that trains its runners to complete marathons such as Team In Training, the organization that raises funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma. A set training program with knowledgeable leaders will help you to safely and gradually increase your endurance and give you lots of training and nutrition tips that should make your first marathon an event that you will forever cherish. Good luck and best wishes . . . and remember, the goal is to cross that finish line with a smile on your face, regardless of your finish time.

Posted by Dr. Janet Brill