Long distance running requires commitment. To run a marathon you have to train. And for successful marathon training, you’re going to have to run. In most cases, to be good at any sport you have to practice that sport… a lot. It’s sport specific workouts, right?
The exception is someone like Lance Armstrong. As you know, he’s an endurance athlete in cycling. However, with very little additional marathon training he was able to complete his first marathon in less than 3 hours.
The Tour de France and the New York Marathon both involve distance and endurance, and Lance Armstrong is, well, Lance Armstrong so he already has the status and fitness level of an elite athlete under his spandex… so he can do that.
To run a marathon and train smart you need commitment and support
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you’re not Lance Armstrong… even though you might be in decent shape. So just know that in order to run and finish the marathon you must be willing to make the commitment in time, effort, and nutritional education in order to get ‘er done.
As Juma Ikangaa said, “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
So for starters, you should be able to run. And many marathon training guides suggest that before you start training for a marathon, you should be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping. Others say that having a year of consistent running on your running resume will help you to train, and run, with a smaller chance of injury.
Either way, a safe marathon training schedule usually looks at 16 weeks minimum with the exception being someone who has run a marathon before, recently.
Marathon Training Has Various Styles and Goals
In many of the marathon training programs you will find a mixture of short runs, distant runs, speedwork, and rest days. Most all of them have you taper off your training before race day to give your muscles time to recover before the marathon.
The question many people have is whether one marathon training program is better than the other.
And, some of you won’t be satisfied with the answer of “it depends.” But that’s the answer. The reason is because it depends on what your goals are for the race.
A program that is intended to help you improve your finishing time is going to be different in structure than a program that will help you just complete the race. So, if you intend to have a faster time, but follow a marathon training program that simply helps people cross the finish line with no specific time goals in mind, then you are probably going to be disappointed.
Additionally, everyone is starting at a different level of fitness. You could be someone who is completely comfortable with running. Or, you could be someone who plays a lot of soccer so you do a lot of quick, strong running in short spurts.
You may be generally in great shape, but have just been active in a different sport so have to adjust your training for a marathon.
And then, some people are just freaks of nature and can easily run without any major effort!
Dietary Supplement and Nutritional Support for Marathon Training
Finally, to be successful in any sport even if you’re a novice, you must have the right kinds of food and the best dietary supplement support. When training for a marathon you are asking your body, your mind and your muscles to give you the best. So, it only makes sense that you give your body the best support through food you eat and extra nutritional support.
Yes, this means carbs. But there are also other vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements and protein sources that are important to support your cardiovascular health. Even when you look healthy on the outside, you have to manage your internal systems so they don’t get overloaded and quit on you too soon.