ANNOUNCER: If you're thinking about running a marathon there are some important tips you should know.
JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: For a first time marathoner, you're talking about a good solid four months of focused marathon training, with, you know, a minimum of, let's say, 20 miles a week with a long run of eight miles or so. And if you come in with that, you can usually get from there to completing the 26.2 on race day.
ANNOUNCER: But don't think you have to run a marathon to train for one.
JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: It's rare for even the most advanced athlete to run the full distance in training. It takes a good, long while to recover from it, and you know, when folks try and cover 24, 25, 26 miles in training, they almost always leave their best run out there in training, as opposed to on race day.
ANNOUNCER: You might be wondering how many times a week you should train.
JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: Most marathoners are going to train six days a week. You can get away with five, but less than that, and you're going to run into problems. You know, it takes a while to get your body acclimated and prepared to run 26.2 miles, and you know, you need a certain amount of weekly volume.
ANNOUNCER: The key to training is to gradually lengthen your long runs about 10% per week.
JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: You want to be real methodical with those increases in mileage in order to avoid those overuse injuries. By being methodical with those increases, you minimize your chances of getting yourself hurt. Once a week you'll do a long run. We can gradually progress you up to a long run of 20 miles, usually 3 weeks before the marathon, and then you taper before the marathon itself.
ANNOUNCER: Cutting down on your training is crucial for success.
JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: The first couple of weeks of the taper, you're really just tapering volume. You're decreasing the amount of miles that you're running, but you can still run at the same pace that you'd normally be running. Over the last week, you really want all your runs to be at a fairly modest pace so that you're really getting totally rested.
ANNOUNCER: Most marathons have official training programs and offer guidance for runners of all levels. Working with a running coach or even training with a friend may increase your chances of getting through your first marathon.
JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: Just worry about completing the distance. Don't get too wrapped up in how fast you want to do it. Your goal should be to come across the line with a smile on your face.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.