If you are in reasonably good health, preferably over age 18, and have the necessary time and energy, you can run a marathon.
Things You’ll Need:
- Establish a solid fitness base. From a recommended 15 to 20 miles a week, gradually build to a peak mileage range of 30 to 40 miles. 
- Minimize the stress on your body by doing other sports, such as swimming or biking, especially after a long or hard run.
- Practice the hard/easy principle. Intersperse stress and rest by taking days off to recover and adapt to marathon training.
- Increase gradually. Up your training mileage by no more than 10 percent a week.
- Run at least three long runs, from 18 to 20 miles.
- Stick with 20 miles. Most experts say there is no reason to go beyond this amount in training, and the risk of injury increases with longer runs.
- Consider speed work. Faster running isn’t necessary for first-timers, but it can be useful. Make sure to consult an expert, such as a coach.
- Practice racing. Use shorter events to practice pacing and drinking, and to test running gear.
Tips & Warnings
- Find a friend or training group. Consider a training partner and/or a group to help get you through the long runs.
- Practice mentally as well as physically. The marathon can take enormous concentration. Visualize yourself successfully running it in training.
- Remember to stretch. This is important to maintain flexibility and prevent injuries. Stretching before training is a bonus, but it’s especially important after running.
- Study the distance. Read books and articles, and talk to experienced marathoners.
- If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a
substitue for professional medical advice or treatment.