Hopefully this isn’t your first race. If it is you might want to start with a 5K or 10K. The best way would be to get a periodized marathon training program either online or from a qualified and experienced runner or coach. Follow the plan and peak for competition. Remember to stretch and foam roll your body after each run to help speed up your recovery.
There are tons of resources out there for runners. I would suggest using a training program that has been put together and tested. Runners World has some and Hal Higdon has a great one. There are also forums etc and books on the subject. I would do a lot of research first and then find a program you like to follow. I used one of Hal Higdon’s programs and talked with a veteran marathoner for advice and tips when I ran my first marathon.
Check out these:
I have participated in and recommend ‘Team in Training’ which prepares you for a marathon and raises funds for leukemia at the same time. Its running program is geared towards the novice, and there is great camaraderie among the participants. Here is a link http://www.teamintraining.org/.
Proper nutrition and sleep is an important and often overlooked first step.
Outside. Add strength, speed and HIIT training.
When it comes to marathon training, its a lot of strain on the body and mind. Like anything else just get into a routine and get your runs in while pushing yourself on a regular basis.
Be sure to get rest time in there as well.
Hello Kiley Freshwater,
You have many great resources already mentioned.
Yes, you want to combine all the training methods you mention. Cross training is beneficial. I would prefer the mode you will be using in the marathon to better prepare you; weather permitting, of course.
The bulk of your training will be in steady state cardio, with less training in the higher zone, so do some intervals when you feel ready.
Also incorporate strength training for the whole body twice a week.
I do not know if you will be biking and swimming with running. If so, you will want to do similar training for the bike and swim.
Make sure to eat, drink and rest properly as the others suggest, also.
Good luck with the marathon; enjoy every step.