Marathon Running for Beginners

Dan Chabert
Dan Chabert

Marathon Running for Beginners

Half marathons are a great activity to kick off your endurance and getting started to join the competitive world of running. But just like everything in life, a marathon needs proper preparation; not only physical preparation, but you should also know a thing or two about marathons before participating in one.

No one is born an expert, which is why we’ve compiled this guide for beginners to get started in the world of marathons and competitive running.

Choosing Your First Half Marathon

First off, you should think about the distance you’re going to run during your first half marathon, which should be 13.1 miles.Unless you’re a fit athlete, you shouldn’t be aiming for the first three places. It’s great to challenge your body and mind in order to generate notable progress, but always keep in consideration your own limits – you don’t want to run short on your first half marathon, plus you’ll probably be running along some experienced marathon runners; it wouldn’t be wise to try and keep up with them during your first attempt.

While there may not be any easy marathons, you can certainly aim for one that adjusts to your capacity. A 13.1 mile marathon should be your goal as a first timer; once again, this is a decent mileage for those who have never participated in similar events. If you have experience as a runner or jogger things will go smoother, but with proper preparation anybody can do it, which takes us to the following step.

Physical Preparation

For intermediate and veteran runners, a half marathon is an excellent challenge to test your progress. Your physical preparation routine should focus on endurance, not speed. You can start preparing anywhere between 4 and 8 weeks before the event; set a slower pace and increase your mileage to adjust your body to a marathon-like training routine.

This routine is also adaptable to fit athletes that are transitioning to running from a sport. You’re going to follow the same routine as intermediate and experienced runners, so make sure your body is ready for it.

Those of you who have a hard time hitting 3 miles, your half marathon preparation should begin 12 weeks before the event. It’s a common mistake to chunk up on those miles and get frustrated when you’re not able to reach the goals. Don’t be afraid of breaking your routine apart; if you’re aiming for a 3 mile goal initially, separate it into three consecutive 1-mile goals instead.

A good place to test your initial skills is a charity run. These events usually aim for a general audience; meaning they aren’t too exigent in order to increase the amount of people that can participate in it. Don’t underestimate them though, you’re still a beginner and some of them can put up a decent challenge. The best part of it? You can get to train for your first half-marathon while supporting a good cause.

Half-marathons are very beginner-friendly. This includes preparation, which can be adjusted to almost any lifestyle. Your routine should consist of a few days of running mixed up with aerobic exercises of decent intensity, such as cross training. For the most important part of your routine, you’ll have rest; make sure you get enough of it, this is when your body makes the important changes.


Newbie Mistakes to Avoid

The weeks have passed and you smashed your preparation routine. You’re standing on the starting point ready to blast 13.1 miles, and here are some of the mistakes you’re going to avoid:


  • Starting too fast. Not only will it make you a newbie, but it will also let everyone else know you’re a newbie. You definitely don’t want to drain your body out of energy by sprinting the first few miles, just to find yourself breathless before you even reach the half of the mileage.


  • Trying to keep up with the first places. This one is understandable on experienced runners who are trying half marathons for the first time. However, for newbies, this is a mistake that can put you off the marathon for good. You’ll be amongst some very sharp runners and marathon masters, you don’t need to keep up with them – your first half marathon is about you.


  • Quitting half-marathons if you fail. This is the worst of them all. There’s no shame in failing to reach to finish line, it’s actually something to make you stronger. You gave your best, and you can keep on giving your best the next half marathon. To reach success, you’ve got to go through failure regardless of the road you take. Once you complete your first half-marathon, you’ll start bursting through many more.

 Writer Bio Dan Chabert

Dan Chabert, an entrepreneur from Copenhagen, Denmark is also an ultramarathon distance runner. He spends most of his time on, & and he has been featured on runner blogs all over the world.