How to Prepare for a Marathon: Training and Strategies

Running a marathon is an epic endeavor that requires hard work, discipline, and great dedication. If you are thinking of taking on this breathtaking adventure, as I have done in the past, you are in the right place. In this blog, I will share my notes taken before, during, and often contemplated during my races.


In the world of running, consistent training, discipline, and a passion for running are essential elements to improve your performance and achieve personal goals. However, one often overlooked but vital aspect for track and field enthusiasts is physical health and overall well-being. In running, your body is your primary instrument. Maintaining your body in optimal health is crucial to continue running effectively and safely. This is why regular medical check-ups and having a sports medical certificate are so crucial. A sports medical certificate is a document issued by a doctor confirming your fitness to engage in track and field or any other sports activity. This certificate is required by law in many countries and is necessary to participate in official races. But beyond legal matters, it is a vital tool to ensure your safety and well-being.

Choose the Right Marathon

The first crucial decision to make is choosing the marathon that suits your level of preparation. Not everyone is ready to run a marathon, and that’s perfectly normal. If you’re a beginner, it’s better to start with a shorter race, such as a half marathon. Completing a half marathon will help you build a solid foundation for the future, understand how a race works, and get in touch with the competitive spirit. Once you’ve gained experience and confidence, you can consider signing up for a full marathon.

Create a Training Plan

A marathon requires a structured training plan. There are numerous marathon training programs available online and in books. Choose a program that suits your level of preparation and your needs. Properly preparing for a marathon involves a commitment of at least three workouts a week for at least 10-12 weeks. These programs and the notes you will find here will guide you through weeks of specific training, including long runs, endurance workouts, and speed training. Make sure to choose a realistic program that aligns with your goals. Think big, but be prepared to adjust plans and goals along the way.

Train Consistently

Consistency is the key to success in marathon preparation. You should train regularly to develop the necessary endurance. A good starting point is to run at least three times a week, as I mentioned earlier. During your training program, you’ll need to gradually increase the distance and intensity of your workouts. Work hard but avoid overexertion to prevent injuries. Running tracking applications can come to your aid, and I hope you’ll find some tips here on how to create your perfect training schedule.

Listen to Your Body

During training, it’s crucial to listen to your body. If you experience pain or unusual sensations, don’t ignore them. Stop, rest, and if necessary, consult a healthcare professional. Pushing your body beyond its limits can lead to serious injuries that could jeopardize your goal of running a marathon.


A healthy and balanced diet is essential for optimal performance. Make sure to consume a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods provide the energy and nutrients needed for workouts and recovery. Avoid foods high in saturated fats, added sugars, and alcohol, as they can negatively impact your performance.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is crucial for success in long-distance running. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts. Learn to recognize signs of dehydration, such as thirst and dry lips. During the marathon, take advantage of the hydration stations to replenish fluids and replace lost minerals through sweat.

Rest and Recovery

Sleep is an often overlooked but essential element in marathon preparation. During sleep, the body repairs and regenerates, contributing to muscle recovery and performance improvement. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, especially in the days leading up to the race.

Mental Preparation

A marathon is both a physical and mental challenge. Mental preparation is as important as physical training. Visualize yourself successfully crossing the finish line, imagine the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Maintain a positive mindset and stay focused on your ability to complete the marathon.

Enjoy the Experience

Lastly, remember to enjoy every moment of the marathon experience. Training, the race itself, and the feeling of reaching the finish line are unique and unforgettable. Embrace every phase of the process and be proud of your efforts.

If you follow these tips and commit with dedication and passion, you will be on the right path to successfully complete your first marathon. Remember that the journey to the finish line is just as significant as the destination itself. Happy training!