Uta’s Summary for Your Marathon Preparation. Part I: Training

December 19, 2014 By Uta Pippig
© www.PhotoRun.net

Around the world, runners are in training for another marathon season—and for many of you it will be the first time you will have prepared for the classic 26.2-mile distance. It is a good reason to discuss the different training periods of your preparation for the marathon you are looking forward to, and how you can use them to enjoy and improve your running fitness culminating in a most memorable and successful race experience.

First of all, I wish you good workouts and injury-free running: may all your marathon dreams come true. And I hope this series of related marathon topics, focusing on training, nutrition, health, and inspiration, will support you on your way to any marathon destination you have chosen.

Since I started writing about my own marathon experiences, including related training methods and key points on staying motivated and healthy during the training process, I have accumulated a library of articles I would like to share with you in the coming months and that you might want to use for your own training. I have grouped it in five sections:

  • Training
  • Cross-Training and Treadmill Running
  • Nutrition
  • Health and Yoga
  • Inspiration

I hope you can have some fun with the following overview of the first topic: Training. Maybe you will want to use it in conjunction with your own uniquely tailored marathon schedule. It will give you a guideline for the overall approach to your entire training process, including the chronological order of the different training phases.

And if you like, follow me on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter where I will have short updates, feedback, and discussion points about the material below. You might want to join me on my own fitness and health journey as well.

May you always run on happy and peaceful trails!

Marathon Training

General Guidelines for Your Marathon Preparation—Enjoy Your Training

© Betty Shepherd
© Betty Shepherd

In this first article I would like to share why running with joy can lift you up to maximize the energy you will need for your exciting marathon journey. It is part of the secret—along with a good overall approach to your physical and mental training—of fulfilling your marathon dream.

I have also listed 12 key points related to your training, with information on the concept of periodization, cross-training, sleep, and more. Check them out. They might seem like simple common sense, but especially at the beginning of your marathon preparation they are worth reviewing.

For more, please click here: General Guidelines for Your Marathon Preparation—Enjoy Your Training

Periods of Training for Your Marathon Preparation and Distance Progression for Your Long Runs

© www.PhotoRun.net
© www.PhotoRun.net

Marathon preparation is a rather lengthy process, but quite not nearly as complicated as you might think. One training period will follow the next, I have added a short overview of these phases to this article. Understanding and following the principles of training will not only help you enjoy your progress, but also give you a better chance of achieving a good result in your marathon.

In addition, make sure you plan a proper distance progression for your long runs and enough recovery between each of your periods of training. This is added as a list at the end of this article.

For more, please click here: Periods of Training for Your Marathon Preparation and Distance Progression for Your Long Runs

Key Training Principles for the First Build-Up Period of Your Marathon Preparation

© Jay Prasuhn
© Jay Prasuhn

After your base period, you will move to the first build-up period of your training, continuing to improve your form to ensure that you will be well-prepared for the second build-up period—and giving you the best chance of reaching your full potential in your marathon.

I also have included information on the signs of overtraining.

For more, please click here: Key Training Principles for the First Build-Up Period of Your Marathon Preparation

Marathon: Training Advice for Your Recovery Weeks

© Betty Shepherd
© Betty Shepherd

Proper recovery is essential for successful training and an important component of your marathon preparation.

I have included specific mileage for your Recovery Weeks and suggestions for the intensities of various running sessions during these easier phases of training.

For more, please click here: Marathon: Training Advice for Your Recovery Weeks

Training Advice for the Second Build-Up Period of Your Marathon Preparation

“Realizing that each day is bringing you closer to your goal can lift up your spirit and set free some extra energy, and as a result, you will be able to run even better.”—Uta © Betty Shepherd
“Realizing that each day is bringing you closer to your goal can lift up your spirit and set free some extra energy, and as a result, you will be able to run even better.”—Uta © Betty Shepherd

You are almost there. The base period and the first-build-up period are behind you. Hopefully you included a good recovery time after each phase of training, and now you are rested and ready for the important weeks ahead. They will determine how well you run in your race.

I hope you can stay focused and take advantage of your training during this second build-up period, attaining your highest mileage and your longest runs so you can be best prepared for your marathon.

For more, please click here: Training Advice for the Second Build-Up Period of Your Marathon Preparation

Tapering: Maximizing the Remaining Weeks of Training Before Your Marathon

Good luck for your marathon preparation. ...together with Naoko Takahashi, during the 40th Berlin Marathon celebration 2013. © www.PhotoRun.net
Good luck for your marathon preparation. …together with Naoko Takahashi, during the 40th Berlin Marathon celebration 2013. © www.PhotoRun.net

You are finally in your “tapering” period and counting down to the marathon. It is time to build your “cool focus” by running shorter distances faster compared to your previous training period when you recorded your highest mileage.

Tapering allows your body and mind to recover properly so that you are the best you can be on YOUR Marathon Day.

For more, please click here: Tapering: Maximizing the Remaining Weeks of Training Before Your Marathon

Keeping A Cool Focus: Just A Few More Days Until Your Marathon Celebration

© www.PhotoRun.net
© www.PhotoRun.net

You have worked hard and prepared so well for your marathon and now you can look forward to your reward—a “Day of Celebration” you will never forget. Keep a “Cool Focus.”

And I wish you not only a wonderful race, but also one of the most memorable experiences of your life.

For more, please click here: Keeping A Cool Focus: Just A Few More Days Until Your Marathon Celebration

Two Days Before the Marathon

A nice soak two days before the marathon can help relax your muscles and mind. Avoid one the day before because you might feel sluggish, and if you stay in the tub too long, you might miss the start! © Betty Shepherd
A nice soak two days before the marathon can help relax your muscles and mind. Avoid one the day before because you might feel sluggish, and if you stay in the tub too long, you might miss the start! © Betty Shepherd

Now that you have done all the hard training for your marathon, it is time to relax, treat yourself to a soothing massage, perhaps, and try to rein in some of your nervousness!

The best combination of light training, proper nutrition, sound sleep, and tried and true running gear will play a big role in how well you run on race day. Review your race strategy and check the weather conditions.

Try not to fear anything! Just be super-excited, because YOU are going to do it!

For more, please click here: Two Days Before the Marathon

After the Marathon: A Guide to Quick Recovery

You made it! Congratulations on your race! Now you can return to full physical and mental strength quickly with some all-important recovery steps which you can take from the moment you cross the finish line.

© www.PhotoRun.net
© www.PhotoRun.net
There also are some fun ways to help beat the Post-Marathon Blues. (Hint: Do you like cheesecake?)

For more, please click here: After the Marathon: A Guide to Quick Recovery

I would just like to pass on one additional piece of advice because I feel it is so important for your marathon training and recovery. Focus on the periodization concept for your yearly training cycle and for the recovery times in-between each hard training period and after every race. That way, you will ensure peak long-term performance for many years to come.

Enjoy taking it easy when you need to and train hard when it is required. It will help you to get the maximum benefit from this beautiful 26.2-mile adventure.

Stay tuned for Part II.

I wish you the best—and good results for all your workouts!

Yours,

Reading Suggestions:

  1. Uta’s Summary for Your Marathon Preparation. Part II: Cross-Training
  2. Uta’s Summary for Your Marathon Preparation. Part III: Nutrition
  3. Uta’s Summary for Your Marathon Preparation. Part IV: Health

Updated February 16, 2016

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