Skip to content

Marathon Training blog 2: Have a goal, make a plan, avoid injuries!


Marathon training blog2 London 2021


Goal + Plan + Consistent Training = Great Race.


Don’t be daunted by the fact that there are a few moving parts, that is what makes the challenge so much fun and so rewarding when you get the finish. Also you don’t have to get it all right on the first attempt, for many it is a process of learning and getting better, improving a little more each time!  Whether it is a one off or a journey that may last decades, enjoy the process.

Set a Goal: what time are you hoping to finish the marathon in? make it realistic, it is unlikely to be at your 5k  or 10k pace, if you have a half marathon time it will be roughly twice that plus 10 %.  if you get the training and preparation right .

Many people have 3 goals,  a time they would be happy with, a good time and an amazing ‘all the planets have aligned’ time. This may adjust during the training and even during the race.

Have a plan

As much as it is important to listen to you body when you start training for a marathon, it is best to have a good plan.

you might be starting from scratch (in which case allow ideally 6-12 months to get a base level of fitness, remember this marathon challenge should not ruin you for life or put you off further physical challenges, this should be the start or the middle bit of a progressive path to a fitter, healthier, stronger, happier you with boundless energy!

Find marathon training plans here from Runners world:

Ideally your plan will see you running 3-6 times per week depending on your goal and ambition but also on how much time you have to dedicate to this goal, the bigger the goal the bigger the effort you will need to succeed but also the bigger the rewards.

Most training plans will start slowly and ramp up over a 12-16 week period and will involve one long slow run, some shorter pacier interval runs and and something in between. The last 3 weeks is then the taper period. A structured plan will serve you much better than just going out and running as much as you can.

Remember two things, 1. start slowly and build up 2. avoid injuries

Many of my patients make one of two mistakes, they either charge off and overdo things getting overuse injuries along the way as the body has not had time to adapt, OR they leave the training too late and then try squeeze everything into the last month.

injuries need to be tackled early and managed correctly if ignored they snowball into bigger problems but doing nothing often leads to loss of time training and loss of conditioning, Most times the answer is to reduce training load and intensity ie. really gently, but expert advice is usually best.

Remember the first rule of marathon training is AVOID INJURIES.


Top tip: Write the training plan in pencil, IE adapt the plan according to how you are feeling with regards to energy, injury, stress etc, we don’t want to take out from next day or next weeks training by over doing things today.

More on Shoe selection and Active vs Passive stretching and when to do which, next time

Happy training!

Dr Roger Reid is a Chiropractor and Sub 3 hr marathon runner who enjoys training racing and helping others achieve their goals.

Ocean Lava Montenegro 70.3 2019 Finish

Realistic Goal + Correct Plan + Consistent Training+ Effective Taper + Pre-race Carb Load + Optimal Weather + Good Fueling and Hydration  = Great Race, Good Fun, Less Pain, Memories for Life, Personal best, Bragging rights, Photos you will want to show your Grand kids.


Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.