Running a 3,500-mile marathon is the most ambitious goal you can possibly set for yourself, and for some runners, that goal is more realistic than a year away from a big race.
Running a marathon, they say, is not just about training.
It’s about building a new body and a new life, they argue.
So what’s the difference between a 3:25 marathon and a 3-mile one?
Running a fast race, they point out, means you can finish your race in less than five hours.
The difference between running a marathon and running a 3.5 mile marathon, however, is the pace.
“If you run a 2.5-mile race, you’re still going to finish in three hours,” said Mike Mankowski, the owner of The Mankows.
“A 3.25-mile runner can finish in four hours.”
The difference is in the finish line, Mankowsky explained.
“They both are 3,800-foot-or-less courses.
So, for the marathon, you can be in the lead, but if you run in a 2-mile-plus course, you’ll finish in less time.
For the 3- and 4-mile races, you really only have a chance to finish within a couple hours of your finish time.”
There are a few things runners can do to make sure they can get the most out of their marathon training.
First, they should plan ahead.
Runners who have been training for a while will naturally be more confident, said Mankowitz.
And they should also consider their goals, which include the number of days they plan to spend in the mountains.
If you’re going to run the race, and your goal is to reach 3,200 miles, you should plan to do that race in six months, not three, Minkowski said.
Second, runners should focus on specific workouts and the timing of the workouts.
For example, if you want to run an ultra marathon, it’s a good idea to run it in the first few weeks of the season, Minksowksi said.
“I like to say that when I start to run, I start my marathon training three weeks before the race.”
And, third, runners can always start to look at the longer distances they have planned for their marathons.
For runners who have long planned to run a half marathon, for example, Manksowski recommends doing longer runs that include some distance of over 3,400 feet.
“You should always be running around 2,400- and 3,100-yard-range races,” Mankowksy said.
And he encourages people to do some long runs, too.
“Do a marathon,” he said.
You can even do the marathon and then do your marathoning training on the weekends.
“It’s really the goal of training and running is to make your body stronger,” said Minkowitz.
“It’s to improve your endurance, increase your speed, get stronger, and it’s really about getting the most benefit out of your training.
So I always try to make that my primary goal in the workouts.”
Running the marathon means taking on more challenges than most runners would consider normal.
“As long as you’re healthy, fit, and have a good plan, I think that marathon training is something that will definitely help you get the greatest results from your training,” said Joe Stancati, a certified personal trainer and a three-time U.S. champion in the 3:21:46 marathon.
“There’s nothing more motivating to me than to be out there and running at 3:00 [minute] pace.”
If you’re considering a race, however a marathon or a 5K might seem like the ideal way to do it, there are a number of other options, Mckowowski said, like doing a 5k or a 3K in one month, or doing a long run in six weeks.
“The biggest benefit of doing the long run is you can get to a faster pace and finish the race in a shorter time,” Minkowksie said.
If, on the other hand, you do your marathon training in the fall, then it’s likely you’ll start in October.
And if you’re already a runner, then there’s no better time to start training for the race.
“The most important thing is to be in good physical shape and ready to go,” said Stanci.
“Just be ready to take on the challenges.
You need to have the ability to get to the finish.
For more running news, follow The Associated Press on Twitter.”
Mankowki also offers advice on getting started in the sport, which you can find in his book, “The Running Plan.
“For more running news, follow The Associated Press on Twitter.