A marathon consists of 26.2 miles and is no small feat. Proper preparation is essential in not only accomplishing your goal but in preventing injury as well. Participants often devote at least one year to train for this monumental but gratifying task. It is also recommended to consult your physician before training for and participating in such an event.

There are countless reasons why people choose to run marathons. No matter your motivation, whether it is to support a cause, spread awareness, lose weight, engage in a healthier lifestyle, or to test your limits in a personal challenge, it is essential to always keep this in mind. There will be times when the road becomes difficult and perhaps even seemingly impossible, but it is vital in these moments of weakness to spark strength from your drive, passion, and goals. Use these as fuel to rekindle your energy and spirit along the way.

Begin training early and start small. One of the most common injuries for runners preparing for marathons is increasing weekly mileage too quickly. Start your runs at a point with which you feel comfortable, and then gradually increase time and length accordingly. It is recommended to build up to and consistently run 20 – 30 miles per week routinely before beginning training for a marathon.

A fantastic tactic used by many is to train for and participate in smaller events before your big day. In the months leading up to your marathon, take part in shorter races, such as 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, or other races and activities. This is a phenomenal way to train yourself both physically and mentally for the final race.

Be sure to choose your marathon carefully. They can range from runs through busy, crowd-lined urban streets to more leisurely strolls along quiet countryside roads. Marathons can be small or enormous; so you can truly find one that perfectly suits you, your needs, and your goals.

If you feel like you are ready to begin your marathon training, make sure to take the appropriate steps to facilitate your success, achieve your goals, and prevent injury. A plethora of information can be found online about everything you need to know, from the optimal sneakers and gear, to how to maintain proper hydration.