How Should You Train for a Marathon? (For Beginners)

11 October 2019

At we work closely with runners, striving to ensure top quality running gear is available on our online marketplace. One of the topics we get asked most about is how you should train for a marathon.

Being a global top bucket list challenge, many have discovered the blisters, pain and tears of a marathon. But along with that comes satisfaction like no other, so we thought we would give our top training tips for anyone excited and/or dreading the prospect! To start with, lets cover some basics:

How Long is a Marathon?

26.2 miles.

What is the Average Time for a Marathon?

4 hours, 40 minutes. This has increased by 25 minutes over the last 20 years which can be attributed to an increase in runners globally, but an unwritten benchmark achievement is to pass the finish line in 4 hours.

And Now… How Should I Train for a Marathon?

  1. Be realistic and honest with yourself about your level of fitness and runner you are. Whether your usual evening contains Netflix and crisps or you do some general exercise through the week, we still recommend giving yourself plenty time to train as a beginner. While seasoned marathon runners can train in 12-16 weeks, beginners should stretch that out to 10-12 months to ensure you are ready. This seems like forever, but the last thing you want is to injure yourself before you even start the race!

    Find a good running plan online, and slowly work your way up. The app ‘couch to 5K’ is a great way to get started for those who have done no running before at all.
  2. Choose the right Marathon for you. You can check out Marathon guides like this one to find out what is on near you, or when the big ones are. However, most popular marathons use a lottery system to decide who gets to participate, so have a back up if you are wanting to do one that you don’t get picked for!
  3. Find the best clothes for you, and grow to love them! You’ll end up with so many different tops, leggings shorts… and you will spend a lot of time wearing them! Below are some of our best sellers on Fairwayrock:

    Women’s Running Leggings
    Men’s Running Leggings 
    Women’s Running Top 
    Men’s Running Top 

    Also remember – even if it is cold when you run the marathon, you’re going to be a hot and sweaty mess. Don’t wrap up.
  4. Get good running trainers. We have a whole range for men and women on the site here, and we also recommend going into a shop and trying some on to make sure they are comfortable. You can then often purchase them at a better price through Fairwayrock. Spend money on them and get new ones when you need to – we cannot stress the importance of this enough.
  5. Eat foods which help your body! Eat something high-carb and low-fibre before you do any 60 minute+ run, and give your body 4 hours to digest if possible. During any runs lasting over 60 minutes, have between 30-60 grams of carbs for every hour, spreading it across the time-frame. Energy gels and sports drinks, or sweets and honey can help. Your own body will benefit from different amounts which you will figure out as you train. Then 30-60 minutes after your run, make sure to have a good carb-heavy meal to help you recover!
  6. Stay hydrated. Before you run, have 6-8oz of water or sports drink. While you are running, especially in hot months, drink as you need, as even 2% dehydration can effect your performance!
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