Before choosing a marathon training plan and start planning for your next marathon, there are a few things to consider.
1, Base Mileage
Have you been running consistently for several months and have a solid base to start your marathon training? It’s important especially for beginner marathoners to have put in consistent mileage over a few month. Marathon training requires a lot of time running and increased mileage for your body to adopt to it. Having a strong base will help you ease into training and reduce injury risk.
2, Setting a Specific Goal Based on Experience
Are you a beginner marathoner or an experienced one? Is your goal just to finish a marathon or to achieve a new personal best? Your training will differ in a lot of ways depending on your goal and experience.
You should ultimately choose a plan that works best for you. You may have a demanding lifestyle such as working long hours or taking care of small children at home. It’s important that your training plan will fit around your life and will give you enough rest and recovery.
It’s also important along with base mileage to be realistic about your current fitness. It’s almost always best to stick with a training plan that seems a little too easy for your current fitness level. A lot can happen during training such as minor injury, sickness and burnout. With increased mileage, you are going to feel more tired. Rather than starting a training plan you can’t stick with, it’s better to choose one that seems a little too easy and be able to finish all the workouts with confidence. You can always tweak a few of your workouts and make them more challenging later on.
5, Your Training Plan
First-time marathoners can definitely benefit from beginners training plans from Runners World magazine and other websites. If you’ve run a few marathons and are going to use one of them, you can modify it to fit your lifestyle and fitness level. You can also make your own training plan. I’ve tried both approaches before and I’ve come to the conclusion that the latter works better for me. The bottom line is that everybody’s body is different and adopts to different training specifics. And it’s always better that you are slightly undertrained than overtrained.