How to fit marathon training into your busy schedule

Marathon training is a massive time commitment. Before you can even begin to train to run a full marathon you need to be able to run 10km, without stopping. From this foundation there is at least another 17 weeks of training ahead. Staying dedicated to the training program is key, but it’s really hard, especially […]

Health Running Brian Webb

This article was published on May 12th, 2014

Marathon Training Marathon training is a massive time commitment. Before you can even begin to train to run a full marathon you need to be able to run 10km, without stopping. From this foundation there is at least another 17 weeks of training ahead. Staying dedicated to the training program is key, but it’s really hard, especially with demanding work, family and social schedules. So how do you fit in marathon training?

  1. Sunday long runs are the single most important training run that cannot be missed. This is the foundation run for all training. This means that you’ll have to also commit to cancelling out on Saturday late-night plans, especially during peak training periods. Most people understand when you tell them you have marathon training that you cannot make it or stay out too late.
  2. Hill and speed training are also very important to incorporate mid-week. It’s good to dedicate an hour one night a week for these runs. Pick a day of the week that you can dedicate, and keep it blocked of any other activities.
  3. The training schedule calls for runs five days a week. If you are training four to five days a week, rest assured that it is not the end of the world if you need to miss a training run because of a social event, travel, or injury. If your training schedule falls below the three key minimum runs, then you need to start deprioritizing other activities in your schedule.
  4. For people who travel, hotels often have a gym with a hill training. Try to get in a 45-60 minute run. Remember to run on an incline of at least 1 and at speed that is consistent with your steady or race pace.
  5. It is acceptable to switch our a short or steady run with an alternate activity, like the gym, hiking, kayaking or other physical activity.
  6. Realize that when you commit to marathon training that other activities in your life will be compromised. You may have to take a step back from volunteer activities, night school, or other sports.
  7. When deciding to train for a marathon, have a discussion with your partner / family, and friends. Let them know the time commitment you will need to be putting in. They should be able to respect your time requirements to reach your personal goals.
  8. Employers are also very understanding when it comes to achieving personal goals. Talk to your boss or manager to ensure there will be flexibility for you to complete your training program. This may require compromises from both you and your employer.
  9. If you already go to the gym, try to add in an extra 30 minutes on Saturday’s to get in a short race pace run on the treadmill.
  10. Sleep is incredibly important, especially for marathon runners. Sleep helps the body recover from the stress of training runs. There’s no doubt that your sleeping schedule will be made shorter because of the increased time commitment. As a result, take short 10-30 minute naps each day to refresh. It’s amazing what a short nap will do to help give some energy to get you through the rest of the day.
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