One of the most common questions I receive about running is, “how long does it take to prepare marathon?”. The answer is, “…it depends”. There no straightforward answer because there are so many factors and variations to be considered. In other words, there isn’t a magic formula. You need to examine where you’re starting from and what your ending marathon goal is. If that goal is to simply finish the marathon, get the medal to hang on your wall at home or check off one of your “lifetime goal boxex”, here are some thoughts on timelines.
- Beginners someone that still needs to take that first running step - If your starting place for running a marathon is the couch you’ll need a full year to reach your goal. You’ll have to be dedicated, deliberate and reorganise your life, but it can be done.
- Occasional Runner with big dreams - You have no problem going for a quick run on the weekend or joining friends in a 5km fun run. Sometimes after a friendly football game with friends and drinking a beer there will be talk about running a marathon together. Someday… Start running more regularly until you can comfortably cover the 10km distance. From there it will only take you (and your friends) four months to be standing at the start line of your chosen marathon.
- Regular Runner that has yet to run the marathon distance - For the Regular Runner the leap into the the marathon is more of a mental hurdle. They already run half marathons but they can’t fathom doubling the distance. If they knew that just three months of dedicated workouts would lead them to their final goal they’d be signing up today!
Betina Habuda, the runner we’ll be training this year for Venicemarathon, is in neither of these categories. She successfully ran her first marathon in Paris last month and is looking to improve her race time at Venicemarathon on October 27th. Our first goal will be to introduce new training techniques and exercises. Since she took some time off after her spring marathon we will slowly build back her weekly mileage. I’m giving her a full five months to get ready for Venicemarathon. We’ll talk with Betina next week and look into her first training program steps so stay tuned!