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By: Katie Verburg

Katie Verburg is a personal trainer who is currently studying to become a certified holistic health coach. Here, she recounts her workout schedule as she adds “marathon training” to her schedule.

26.2 miles, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. We’ll see about that.

As a fitness educator who has spent nearly 10 years helping, training and pushing others to achieve their goals, running 26.2 miles without stopping wasn’t something that sounded easily achievable. Slowly approaching turning another year older, wanting to take my fitness to an entirely different level, both physically and mentally, was the ultimate goal. What better way than to compete in a full marathon, something that less than 5% of the population has ever done?!

The Challenge

Educating individuals on the importance of strength training, mobility work, as well as basic tips on how to try new forms of exercise comes easy to someone who has been in the industry for years. Teaching people to try something new, to pick up a heavier dumbbell, or to stop continuously taking the same cycle class are topics that majority of trainers discuss with potential clients on a daily basis. However, taking our own advice doesn’t always come as easy. Going from only strength training or solely doing yoga to only running is a big adjustment – even for the most “in shape” individual.

RELATED: How to Improve Your Running Speed

Accepting that your training program has to steer away from what you’re used to is the first step. It’s not realistic to add marathon training on top of your regular workout schedule. It’s not only unrealistic, it’s also unsafe. The transition from lifting heavy weights for the majority of your workouts to focusing on accessory movements, speed work, mobility work, and flexibility to prevent injuries may seem foreign.

Like any new obstacle, fears may start to sneak in: What if strength is lost? What if muscles shrivel away from all the cardio? What if there are injuries? They’re all normal thoughts during such a big commitment. But this is where we need to start trusting ourselves and our training program. Before starting, have a pep talk with yourself. Be aware that your workouts will need to temporarily change. And accept that that’s okay.

marathon training workouts

Marathon Training: How to Get Started

1. Start slowly. If running isn’t your thing, don’t jump right into it and risk injuring yourself. In addition, be sure that if you do decide to be part of the 5% who completes a full marathon, make sure you give yourself enough time to properly train (4+ months in advance) to avoid injury.

2. Follow a plan. If you have no idea where to start, do some research and stop by your local specialty running store for input, suggestions, and proper footwear. Most employees at specialty running stores have the education or resources you may need to get going, and they may be able to connect you with a running coach or a running plan to follow. Not only that, but most of these stores have weekly running groups that can help keep you accountable.

3. Do your homework. Mobility work is crucial for your body when you start asking your body to push through a two-hour workout. Be sure you spend some time with trigger point tools, foam rollers, proper warm-up and stretching, as well as basic accessory strength training exercises for your hips, hamstrings, and core. All of these all can help to prevent injuries. 

4. Ask a professional for help. There are several running coaches and personal trainers available. But before signing on to work with them, verify that they are certified and have the education background you’re looking for.

5. Help to support your health. Adding one scoop of Collagen Peptides to your favorite beverage or meal can help to support stronger hair, skin, nails, and joints  for a more enjoyable period of marathon training.