Introduction to Marathon Running
The Marathon is a 26.2 mile physical and mental challenge and with ‘marathon season’ and as major events return, interest has shot up!
The modern marathon was inspired by the Greek Legend of a messenger who ran 25 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek’s army’s victory.
Needless to say, this messenger died of exhaustion.
However, for the London 1908 Olympic Games, the distance was changed to 26.2 miles for the Royal Family.
Ironically, it was so Royal Family didn’t have to go anywhere to watch the start of the race.
What is the marathon world record?
The men’s world record is 2 hours 1 minute and 09 seconds, held by Eliud Kipchoge.
The women’s world record is 2 hours 14 minutes and 4 seconds, held by Brigid Kosgei.
In 2017 Eliud Kipchoge world with Nike on the Breaking2 project to run the marathon in under 2 hours.
Although he just missed out, INEOS later worked with Eliud to succeed with a time of 1 hour 59 minutes and 40 seconds.
What is the average time to run a marathon in?
The average, combined time for men and women to complete the marathon is around 4 hours and 15 minutes, whilst anything faster than 4 hours is a milestone.
So how fast do you need to be running to do it in 4 hours? You need to maintain a pace of 9 minutes 9 seconds per mile, that’s 5 minutes 41 seconds per km.
Most people won’t just run at a fixed pace for the entire 26.2 miles though, that’s where training and coaching comes in!
Training for the marathon
If you’re thinking, I want to run the marathon, awesome! You just need to work out your starting point.
The following is just an introduction to running a marathon:
Realistically, you are going to need to run at the very least, 4 times a week. Those runs should be a mix of ‘quality’ runs and ‘easy slow’ runs.
We’ll talk about training in another article but you can watch this video on training zones, to get started.
Marathon Running Plan
- You need 12-18 weeks for a plan if you can already run.
- Gradually build up weekly mileage, otherwise you’ll get injured.
- Don’t just run, you need to do strength training for running.
- You need to do intervals, repetitions and running at different paces.
I would definitely recommend investing in a running coach or at least a specific marathon running plan personalised to you.
You will find this reduces stress and also works to building up mileage and speed in an appropriate manner.
Don’t forget you’re going to need a few months to train, so do not leave it to the last minute.
I offer a range of online and in-person coaching services, learn more about it HERE.