How to start marathon training

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Close up of runner’s feet running in autumn leaves training exercise

There are plenty of reasons that you might want to train for a marathon, 10k or even a 5k run. Whether it’s on your bucket list, you want to raise money for charity or just want to prove to yourself that you can reach that fitness level, it’s an amazing achievement and something you should be proud of.

If you want to start training for a marathon the first thing to do is ensure you have the correct equipment. That includes correct running shoes that cushion your feet and prevent damage to your knees, a good quality sports bra that supports your breasts and keeps you comfortable, and clothing that allows you to sweat and breathe without causing discomfort.

Then you will need to look into running programmes to help improve your level of fitness. If you’re a complete rookie there are many apps out there such as couch to 5k that do exactly what it says on the tin; teach you to run via intervals of walking and running to get you off the couch and running races. If you’ve been running for a while then there are, of course, other things you can look at such as running clubs or four-day programmes which include speed and tempo running.

Setting yourself a schedule is essential. There will be times that you just don’t want to do it and a cup of tea and a biscuit has never been so tempting, but if you have a schedule and someone to help motivate you there is no reason why you can’t achieve your goal. You shouldn’t expect that every run will push you to your limit. Your body needs time to rest and relax as well and including recover runs (a slower pace and easier route) as well as the tempo or speed runs will ensure you don’t over-work yourself.

Of course nutrition and hydration are essential when training for anything or even just losing a little weight. Bupa and various other health services will offer advice and guidance both online and in person, for whatever exercise you would like to undertake.

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How to start marathon training