Successfully completing a marathon is the goal for a lot of people when they begin their running career. A marathon will take an experienced runner between three and four hours – they’re a serious undertaking and one that will need a good amount of training to allow your body to cope with the demands you’ll be placing on it.
Marathon distances are usually marked out in miles, doffing the cap to the history behind the 26.2 mile distance, the legend being that was how far the Greek soldier Pheidippides ran to announce the defeat of the Persians to the frightened Athenians. Pacing is vital when running a marathon, so it’s worth having your pacing strategy in miles so that the markers along the course don’t leave you frantically trying to do kilometre-conversion maths on the fly. The basics of running a sub 3-hour marathon is that you have to run 26.2 miles averaging around 6:50 per mile, or approximately 4:15/km. There’s no magic formula, it’s just about training – the more minutes you hit that pace during the training the better you are going to get at running that pace.
You should budget on targeting your training 3-4 months ahead of the big day, building up your distances slowly until around four weeks before the event, when you should be ready for the full distance. Go easy in the final few weeks before you get to the start line – many a marathon attempt has been scuppered by last-week injuries or over-training.
Marathons are events where you should have your hydration and fuelling strategy dialled. You’ll be able to see from athlete reviews of a race whether they have good aid stations along the route – something that is mightily important if you’re to keep yourself on pace. With plenty of training and the right nutrition and fluids a marathon is within the reach of most people and there’s nowhere better to find out all you need to help you plan than the previous experience of Racecheck athletes.
With Racecheck’s search function you can find the right marathon for you, then you can check what other past participants said about it.