Posted by: wockhardthospitals | July 27, 2009

Joining the Marathon: Preparation, Training and Diet

  • How one can build to join a marathon. The Time frame required to prepare oneself for a marathon

Firstly, you should ask yourself if you possess the necessary desire and discipline to go through the training required to successfully, Click on the image to know more about Wockhardt Hospitals

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complete a marathon or a long run. Once you have decided to the commitment, you will need to start training in all earnest. You will have to discover the art of running the right way, on where to start, what intensity to begin with and how to train for the long run with minimal injuries.

The time frame required to prepare oneself for a marathon is at least a year.

  • Training schedules – beginners, intermediate, advanced


To run a marathon you will need to be at certain amount of basic fitness level. Although most healthy people can usually do the long run with proper training, I would recommend you to get a health check up done, which should include a treadmill test and see a good GP especially if you are over 35.

Frequency: Train 6 days a week.

Intensity: Don’t worry about how fast you run your regular workouts. Run at a comfortable pace. If you’re training with a friend, the two of you should be able to hold a conversation. If you can’t do that, you’re running too fast. (For those wearing heart rate monitors, your target zone should be between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum pulse rate.)

Time: Workout for an hour to an hour and half with intermittent brisk walking, jogging and sprinting. Try and cover between 1 and 3 kilometers the first three weeks of training. In 5 weeks you should be able to do a 5 km.

Scale up by a km every week and target 10 km on your 10th week.

Cross Train: Include swimming, cycling and mild resistance workouts.


This is for those who have graduated from the beginner to the next phase that is you have run the 5 and the 10km run.

Train 6 days a week.

1 to one and a half hours of workout per session. This should include warm up, strength training and on your rest day dedicate to stretches. Though I recommend you stretch everyday. Run 5, 7 and 10 km alternatively if you are restarting after a gap. Then stabilize between 10 and 11km.

Here I generally prescribe you to try out different terrains, from treadmills to jogging paths to the woods. A little uneven terrain challenges your agility and endurance that much more. Now you can work on speeding up your run. Introduce short sprints in your regular long runs.

Cross Train: Include swimming, cycling and mild resistance workouts.


You are a pro now. You have done at least a couple of competitive long runs. Now you should train at bettering your time.

Nothing changes here, except that by now you will almost be doing the 10 to 12 km at least 5 days a week and you should be able to predict your time.

Cross Train: Once a week.

Diet Patterns:

Have a carbohydrate-rich diet every day as the foundation for every meal. A 60 to 70 percent diet of foods such as whole-grain breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables is the best fuel for the muscles.

Eat 200 to 400 calories of carbohydrates (for example, potatoes or rice) within 2 hours of hard exercise to optimize recovery, and then repeat these 2 hours later. If exercise kills your appetite, drink the carbohydrates while quenching your thirst.

Go easy on fats. Marathon training requires consuming extra food, but watch fat consumption. For example, instead of having two (breads)parathas have 5 (breads)phulkas.

Have plenty of fluids, water, electrolytes and plain fruit juices.

Avoid alcohol as they dehydrate your body.

Do not over eat and stuff yourself.

By: Mr. Joseph Pasanga – Head, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Wockhardt Hospitals


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