No doubt you have watched in awe as tens of thousands of people turn out on the telly to compete, and hopefully complete, marathon and half marathon events all over the country. Could you do it? Sure, anyone can but not without careful planning, training and motivation.


The answer to this question is akin to answering “how long is a piece of string?” There are so many variables: your age and fitness level when you start training, your previous experience of running, your time commitment, your determination, any injuries that may crop up to slow you down, training breaks that may occur beyond your control, your diet, etc. etc. etc.

You can only do your best – set your target, note down your marathon plan and go for it. Obviously, you’ll need more than a few days, or even weeks, but three or four months of training should set you on track for finishing a marathon within a respectable time.


The great runners of our time and beyond have all said it, one way or another: a marathon is run not by the body, but by the mind. Undriven by the power of the mind anybody will naturally choose to give up on a feat of endurance like running a 26.2-mile marathon and drop by the wayside.

If you want to make it through a marathon, you need to be extremely motivated right from when you start training until you finally make it over the finish line.

A Guide to marathon running

Don’t expect the rigours of training to make you more enthusiastic about the event itself – just the opposite will happen! In fact, part of your training regimen should include spells of reaffirmation of your commitment and motivation to succeed.

It’s no coincidence that popular marathons in cities and towns around the world have become synonymous with charity fundraising. If you don’t have a good cause that you feel passionate about, you’d be wise to find one and declare your intention to run your marathon in support of it.

Joining a group – whether it’s work colleagues, fellow charity volunteers, friends, family, church congregants, football team supporters etc. – also helps to keep you motivated. You can train together, compare notes and look forward to running together when the “big day” arrives.

It’s crucial to remember that running should be fun, and not a chore. When your resolve for those morning runs takes a nosedive, try livening up your enthusiasm by varying your route, downloading some different music and/or buying a new running outfit. Analyse why your runs are becoming less attractive, and try to make changes to the routine or your mindset to reinvigorate your interest.


Continue to How to Train for a Marathon

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this guide is designed for educational purposes only. This information does not substitute or replace professional medical, health and fitness advice. You are advised to consult a healthcare professional before undertaking any athletic training programme. The use of information provided in this guide is at your own risk.