With more than half a million people running marathons in 2015, it’s no surprise that conquering a 26.2-miler is on the bucket list for a lot of people. But saying it and actually doing it are two very different things, and it’s just not wise to just tackle what could be a four-plus-hour effort without proper prep. You gotta train—and train smartly—to succeed without injury.
“The first thing I tell people when they say they want to run a marathon is to clear your schedule,” says Gary Berard, a NYC-based certified running coach, founder of GB Running and a coach at the RunSMART Project. “I think many people tend to underestimate the sacrifice and time commitment involved in preparing for a 26.2-mile race.”
Next, you'll need a great plan. We've got that for you on page three. But first, check out page two for everything else you need to know and consider about a marathon.