by Brian Klotzman August 11, 2020


So you want to be in the top 0.5%?    You want to join that tiny percentage of people who have finished a marathon?

The good news is you can totally do it.   All you have to do is follow these seven simple (not necessarily easy) steps:

  1. Decided you want to do it

Nice job, you’ve already done this step!   Told you this could be simple.   But seriously, running a marathon is a commitment and to get there you are going to have to practice.   There will be days you don’t feel running, but you’ll need to get out there anyway.

  1. Pick a course

This should be easy, but there are over 570 marathons in the US every year and countless more throughout the rest of the world.    A few things to consider for your first marathon…

  • Location – Do you want to go to somewhere close or are you making a full vacation out of the trip?
  • Date – For a novice runner you’ll want 18 to 24 weeks to get ready for your first marathon so make sure the one you pick is far enough out
  • Weather – Most course dates and locations already take this into consideration, but ideally you’ll want a location and date where its usually in the 40s and not raining at the time of the race 
  1. Get the gear

Truthfully you don’t need much to run a marathon gear wise.  

Technically speaking you could do it barefoot (and plenty have) but I wouldn’t recommend that for your first marathon.   For starters, you’ll want to get a good pair (or two) of running shoes.   Chances are if you live near a major city there are dedicated running stores near you…go get fitted by a professional with a shoe that is good for you.   You certainly don’t need the most expensive ones out there, but you’ll get a lot of mileage out of a good shoe (pun intended J).  

 You’re also going to want moisture wicking clothes.   Cotton is great, but not for running.   Once you start sweating (and you will even if it’s 30 degrees out) cotton will just get wet, make you cold, and start to chafe. 

Lastly you might want some extras like compression sleeves (for arms or legs) which can help with recovery and soreness.   You might want a training watch (I LOVE my Garmin 235).   You might want some type of jogging belt.    But these are all things you can get later once you’re out training and start to see what you need.

  1. Make a training plan

Ok, now the big time.    You’re geared up, you’ve got 18 to 24 weeks to get ready…now what?  

You’re going to need a plan.  

The basic idea here is to start slow and gradually increase the mileage (about 10% each week) until you get to a long run of about 20 miles a few weeks out from the marathon.   Then you’ll ease back a bit (the “taper”) to rest up for the marathon itself.    As a general rule you want to be running 3 to 5 times a week with mostly medium distance runs and a nice long run each week.

  1. Run :)

This should be obvious, but I’m putting it here anyway.   After you make that plan, you’ve got to actually do it.   Running consistently week after week is the best (and really only) way to get ready.

  1. Take care of yourself

During this whole cycle make sure you are eating right and sleeping.   Training for a marathon puts a lot of stress and wear and tear on your body.   So you’ve got to take care of yourself.   Get plenty of sleep.   Drink lots of water, and try to eat healthy balanced meals.

  1. Have fun on race day

When race day is finally here, go out there and have fun.   It’s your first marathon so no matter what you’re setting a personal best so take your time, take in all the spectacle and enjoy the run.

So there you have it 7 simple (not easy) steps to running your first marathon.

Feel a little daunted?    It’s probably that step 4.   But don’t worry we’ve got you covered.   Join the waitlist for our Run Your First Marathon training program.

Brian Klotzman
Brian Klotzman

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