Plan ahead to train during the most hospitable time of day.
And when you have no option, you have to run anyway, even if it's on the treadmill for a really long time.
From there, each week of your formal training plan will include a long run; two “quality” sessions per week—one that’s higher intensity and lower volume (like intervals) and one that’s speed-focused but at a lower intensity and longer duration (like tempo runs); and two or three easy runs.
Now that you’re committed to the race, here’s what Berard says are some secrets to success.
If you’re someone that struggles with commitment in life, consider hiring a coach or joining a training program.
“Because you will reach a point in the plan when you’re just ready for the race to be over already.” You’ll also most likely be contending with weather—the heat of summer for a fall marathon, or the cold of winter for a spring one.
Of course, your pre-training fitness level, and specifically your running shape, also matters.
And if you haven’t been running at all—even if you’re, say, a Cross Fitter or a competitive power lifter—Berard recommends a four-week period in which you build your base, so you’re up to several half-hour steady-state runs per week even before you start the 16-week program.
But first, you'll want to read up on everything you need to know and consider about a marathon.After your last longest run, for the couple of weeks before the race you’ll be tapering—that is, running less mileage and working out less hard. Your body needs time to absorb all that you’ve asked it to do, and also to fully stock—and more importantly, not consistently deplete—your stores of glycogen for energy during the big race. Misconceptions of marathon training Time and again, Berard says, people come to him believing a number of myths.So as tempting as it might be to run longer—you’ve been doing that for weeks! These are the top three: Myth #1: You need to do most of your runs at or faster than marathon pace.Overall, stick to nutritious whole foods with a balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats, eaten at regular intervals throughout the day, and you should be good.Eating also takes on special importance as your runs get longer, because you’ll need to determine what you’ll do for sustenance during the race itself.There’s some logic there—after all, if all of your runs are going to be shorter than the race itself, shouldn’t you push your pace? The majority of your training is to adapt your body at a cellular level to the demands of a sustained 26.2-mile effort.To do that, you’ll be doing a lot of easy mileage to get the necessary time on your feet.With all the hours you’re now running, it can be tempting to eat more (you’ll be hungry!) and sleep less (when else will you get in that 6-miler if not at 5am before work? But how well you eat and sleep is crucial to keeping your body happy, healthy, and adapting to all that stress you’re putting on it.The rule of thumb is that you’ll need to replenish fast-burning carbs, electrolytes, and fluids for any run that lasts longer than an hour.Test out different drinks, goos, and gels during your training runs to learn what works for you—and more importantly, what doesn’t.