Most marathon training plans are approximately 16 weeks. This time can go by real quick and if you don’t start a plan with running, strength training & proper self care habits, you may find that at some point in time during your 16 week plan won’t be able to keep up or follow the plan.
The following video walks you through a 4 week program that will get you ready to start a 16 week (or longer) marathon training program.
During the 4 weeks prior to a marathon, you need to build some essential habits. These include:
Running consistency – start running 3-5 times per week. If you’re not doing this already, it’s essential that you get in the habit of running (seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many people think they can go from 0 to training for a marathon. Ideally your runs should be at least 30 minutes each.
Strength training – start a periodized program body weight & core exercises. Avoid going from “0 to heavy lifting” in 1 week. You need to complete training other than running to build injury resistant muscles & tendons. I recommend 2 strength days/week. As you get into your marathon training, a good program will consist of strength training on your hard workout or long run days. This is because we want to keep our hard days hard and easy days easy in order to maximize our recovery.
Daily mobility habits – perform self care activities at least 10 minutes per day. These include stretching, rope stretches, foam rolling, getting on a lacrosse ball (legs & feet). In an earlier post, I shared some of my favorite stretches. Get in the habit of completing these before you start your training plan.