Couch to Marathon : A Simple Guide for the Average Joe

Running has become increasingly more popular, with folks running race distances from 5K to the marathon. If your goal is to complete a marathon, proper preparation is required. If you are prepared, your marathon effort will surely be successful.

If you are entirely new to running, you should plan to run your marathon six months to a year from now, as you need to build your fitness level slowly by building your mileage and stamina. If you attempt to run a marathon without a solid training base, you will risk injury and disappointment on race day.

Begin by running a 5K race, after a few weeks of training. After that, run a half marathon. Then, you can implement this 13 week training program that will enable you to successfully complete your first marathon.

A marathon is unlike any other race. 26.2 miles is a challenge for any runner, so for your first effort, be conservative. Aim to complete your first marathon, and if you choose to run another, you can work on achieving a faster time.

Begin by visiting your local running store to purchase a good pair of running shoes. Shoes are the most important piece of equipment for a runner. A local running store will be able to fit you with shoes that are suitable to your body type and running form.

Be sure to stretch before and after you run. Stretching prevents injuries.

Run fast one day a week. Speed is essential for any race distance.

Adhere to a sensible diet. Stay away from drinking soda or sugary drinks. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables. Consume everything in moderation. Stay hydrated. Good old water is still the best hydrator.

Finally, remember that a bad day to watch is a good day to run. Cool weather is ideal for running. And, when the weather gets downright cold, remember that your body is like a furnace when you run. Do not overdress.

If you run in the early morning or in the evening, be sure to wear reflective clothing for safety.

Completing a marathon is an exhilarating experience. We have prepared a plan that will enable you to do just that.

Good luck!

Download Your Copy of the Program --->

13 Week Marathon Train Up

5:00

Week 1

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

1 mi. warm-up,
2 miles-11:30 pace,   
1 mi. warm-down

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

12 mile run-12:30 pace

Total: 22 Miles

Week 2

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

4×800 meters (half mile),
400 meter jog in between
5:40 for each one-
5 miles total

Day 3

4 miles-easy

Day 4

15 mile run-12:30 pace

Total: 26 Miles

Week 3

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

4 miles-1st mile easy;
2nd and 3rd miles under 11:15,
4th mile easy

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

18 mile run-12:20 or better pace

Total: 28 Miles

Week 4

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

3×1600 meters (mile),
half mile jog in between-
11:10 pace
5 miles total

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

10 mile run-12:00 or better pace

Total: 20 Miles

Week 5

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

5 mile-tempo run-
1st mile easy;
3 miles at 11:10 pace;
last mile easy

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

20 mile run-12:20 pace

Total: 31 Miles

Week 6

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

4x 1600 meters-11:00 pace
-6 mile total

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

10 mile run-12:00 pace

Total: 22 Miles

Week 7

Day 1

5 miles-easy

Day 2

5 mile-tempo run-
1st mile easy;
3 miles at 11:00 pace;
last mile easy

Day 3

4 miles-easy

Day 4

Find a race to test your fitness
5K or 5 miles-
6 miles for the day

Total: 20 Miles

Week 8

Day 1

4 miles-easy

Day 2

5×1600 meters-11:00 pace
7 miles total.

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

20 mile run
12:10 pace

Total: 34 Miles

Week 9

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

Jog 1 mile,
4 mile tempo run-11:00 pace,
1 mile jog
6 miles total

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

10 mile run
11:50 pace

Total: 22 Miles

Week 10

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

6×800 meters 5:25 Pace
6 mile total

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

20 mile run
12:00 pace

Total: 32 Miles

Week 11

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

5 miles-easy

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

10 mile run
11:40 pace

Total: 21 Miles

Week 12

Day 1

3 miles-easy

Day 2

1 mile easy,
5 mile tempo run-11:00 pace,
1 mile warm down
7 miles total

Day 3

3 miles-easy

Day 4

10 mile run
11:40 pace

Total: 23 Miles

Week 13

An easy “taper” week for the race

Joe Muldowney

Joe Muldowney

Joe Muldowney has been a competitive runner since 1976, owning a personal best marathon time of 2:22:54. He is a veteran of 54 marathons, 48 under the 3:00 mark, and 12 under 2:30.
At age 57, he turned in a marathon time of 2:58:54. Joe has run the Boston Marathon 16 times, and in Personal Best, he writes his account of the events at tragic 2013 race.

Recently, Joe earned 24th place on the list of runners who have broken the 3:00 barrier in the marathon for five decades.

Personal Best is a book written to assist every runner, of all ability levels, achieve their personal best every day. The author bases his advice on his running experience. He has logged enough miles to have circled the world four times, and has run more than 1,000 road races. In addition, he interviews runners whose accomplishments are truly extraordinary and tells their stories.

The author has been an educator for thirty years. He served as the mayor of his hometown of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He has designed personal training programs for hundreds of runners, and currently serves as Men's and Women's cross country coach at Penn State Schuylkill campus.

Joe is a motivational speaker, and has delivered seminars at many major marathons from Miami to Salt Lake City.

His first book, "Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes," was published in 2011.
You can purchase his books on Amazon @
https://www.amazon.com/Joe-Muldowney/e/B00PHI7ZG2

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