How to Prepare for Your First Distance Run

How to Prepare for Your First Distance Run

Your adrenaline is already pumping and you still have months to go before crossing the finishing line. Marathon training is a gradual process that takes time, dedication and plenty of preparation. Finding a training plan that fits into your daily routine is the key to staying motivated and reaching your marathon goals.

To train for a race of any distance, start by creating a weekly training schedule. Prioritise your training during this time and do at least 4 weekly sessions that include the following:

  • A moderately-paced run of a short to average distance
  • One long run
  • Relaxed jog
  • Fast-paced training or tougher workouts to practise interval training, tempo runs, hills, circuit training and other exercises to increase your cardio capacity for long-haul runs

Mixing things up in your routine will help you improve your performance and reach your marathon goals.


Congratulations, you’ve made the commitment, created a training schedule and now you’re on your way.

Following your training plan, it’s now time to up your base mileage by varying your exercises within your regular routine. Increasing your base mileage at a rate of 10 percent per week is a healthy and effective goal.

Training for a 10km race can be intense, so remember to integrate rest days or scale back your mileage once every couple of weeks to allow your body to recover. Cross-training activities such as yoga, hiking, biking, martial arts and swimming are great ways to stay active while giving your body some rest.


Getting ready for your first marathon is all about conditioning and finding out what works best for you – and this takes time. For races between 5km and 20km, give yourself on average about 10 weeks of training time. For a full marathon, plan on slotting in about a year of preparation to be fully trained and prepared for long-haul runs. Running a few shorter races is also an excellent way to prepare physically and mentally for your first marathon.

Whether you’re going for a shorter race or a full marathon, following this easy-to-implement training plan will help you feel prepared to run your first marathon with confidence!



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