Marathon Training - Getting Started - Part 1

By Kevin D Barclay PT, SCS, ATC, CSCS
COO - Co-Owner of Orthopaedic Rehab Specialists, P.C.
Twenty four years ago I ran my first marathon. I am now registered to run my first Boston Marathon.  It has been an on and off again process but my knowledge and experience has grown over the years regarding  marathon  training.  I felt my most recent marathon experience was my best and I am looking forward to my upcoming training for Boston.  I believe the most significant step to take in your marathon process, whether a first timer or Boston regular, is getting yourself prepared and setting a goal before getting started with training. Here are some tips:
1)      Get medical clearance.  If there is any question whether you are healthy enough to start months and months of training contact your physician and get a physical.
2)      Is this a good time? You need to make sure you have the time to train consistently once you begin.  If a long vacation, travel or personal schedule will greatly limit your time or flexibility to train your results may fall short of what you desire.
3)      Pick a marathon before you train.   You will be more motivated to train when you are working  toward a specific goal rather than getting in shape to do one “someday”.  Pick one that gets you pumped. ( Location  ( convenience vs travel), scenery/course layout, proximity to attractions or  family are things to consider.)
4)      Follow  a program- This is up to you but I would highly recommend following a program that provides workouts for you and has proven success.  It helps with consistency when you know exactly what you are supposed to do on a certain training day and don’t  decide that day what you actually feel like doing..
5)      Get an “accountability partner”-  Having someone who supports and encourages you through your training will help keep you motivated.  Knowing you will be asked regularly how training is going helps you workout when you feel fatigued or unmotivated as well.
Enjoy the process and get started!