How to Prepare for a Marathon in 8 Weeks – Simple Tips To Get You There

How to Prepare for a Marathon in 8 Weeks. Ideally, a marathon needs serious training from 12-20 weeks. That’s just about enough time to upgrade your fitness to the level required for running a marathon. But what if you have only 8 weeks before the big day?

No need to lose hope. While training for the compressed time span of 8 weeks might seem like a ‘stretch’, it’s still doable. However, you need to get very real with your expectations, and very serious with your prep plan.

If you’re wondering how to prepare for a marathon in 8 weeks, read on. In this article, we summed up our best strategy for marathon training in such a short time.

Table of Contents

How to Prepare for a Marathon in 8 Weeks

A Fool-Proof Plan to Get marathon Ready in 8 weeks

Assess Your Current Fitness Level

Find a Suitable Training Schedule, and Stick to It

Aim for Distance, Not Time

Get Some Really Good Running Gear

Improve Your Breathing and Posture

Increase Your Carbs and Fluid Intake

Final Thoughts

A Fool-Proof Plan on How to Prepare for a Marathon in 8 Weeks

You might think that this plan is all about relentless non-stop grueling training, but let’s hold our horses here! It’s so not like that.

With such a short period of time before a marathon, you need to train smart. Actually, training hard would do more harm than good. You’d want to go into that big run with a body that’s ready for action, rather than a run-down frame with injuries here and there.

The following points cover the necessities. Plus, a few tried and true tips that would get you in top shape during the span of 8 weeks.

Assess Your Current Fitness Level

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Seasoned runners who’ve been on these trails for years, but slacked a little of late, would need some touch-ups to get back in shape. They’d still have their core strength, sharp skills, mental preparedness, and valuable previous experiences.

Contrary to that, a beginner who hasn’t yet covered the necessary distance would have some work to do. For starters, building up the confidence to reach the finish line should precede everything else. Breaking records can wait.

It’s best to work with a trainer, see a physician, and keep a fitness tracker with you at all times. This should form the base on How to Prepare for a Marathon in 8 Weeks. 

Find a Suitable Training Schedule, and Stick to It

There are various training schedules tailored for an 8-week period. Depending on your current fitness level and realistic marathon goals, you can pick one of these schemes. Your trainer and physician should have a say in that selection as well.

The marathon training schedules often take a holistic integrated approach to your training. Thus, each day would be different from the next, and so would each week. There are times when you’d be required to do easy runs and others when you’d do fast runs.

Additionally, you’d find that there are specific days for going on long runs. And the distances specified increase gradually over the 8-week period. For the rest of the plan, you’d have various spots for cross-training, core strengthening, and plenty of rest.

Aim for Distance, Not Time

Setting realistic goals is paramount for success. You might overshoot a little if this gives you a little extra ‘umph’. After all, who doesn’t want to go from ‘try’ to ‘triumph’?

Basically, you should plan to cover the whole distance of the marathon without being wiped out. It’s nice to reach the finish line with some breath remaining in you. A beaten-up look is not that good. 

An exception to that is if you already have the distance thing covered, and now you’re going for time. In that case, more power to you! And the good news is, that the rest of these steps still apply.

Get Some Really Good Running Gear

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The day of the marathon isn’t the best time to try on a new pair of runners, leggings, or that fancy new running shirt that you really want to try on. The fit might be off, they could feel uncomfortable, or you just might not like them.

At the same time, you can’t really embark on that big run with your old stuff. The footwear is especially important in maintaining your balance, giving you dependable support, and providing enough bounce on the trail. So these running shoes have to be in mint condition.

The best time to buy new gear is at the beginning of the 8-week period. This way, you can break them in and test them thoroughly before the marathon. 

Improve Your Breathing and Posture

Racing cars use the best types of fuel. That’s because they need to run their engines on full efficiency. The same applies to the human body.

You need a constant supply of oxygen throughout the run. This would give you more speed, decrease cramping, and keep your body from burning out too quickly. Breathing exercises and yoga are great for that.

Additionally, your posture dictates how well you breathe and utilize the oxygen you too in. even the slightest slouch would decrease your lung capacity and affect the flexibility of your diaphragm. Try to get someone to tape your runs, and adjust your posture accordingly.

Increase Your Carbs and Fluid Intake

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Giving your body proper nutrition is critical to boosting your endurance. The target for marathon runners is often to go from their usual 25 grams of carbs per hour, all the way to 65 grams per hour.

You can try a few chewables, gummies, or other fast-carb supplements, till you find the right one.

Hydration is also essential. A moderate rate of getting a sip every 5 K is often good. You can run with a bottle, or use a hydration pack. You can also use the vest’s storage compartments for keeping some of your personal stuff. 

Final Thoughts On How to Prepare for a Marathon in 8 Weeks

At this point, you’ve already learned the essentials of how to prepare for a marathon in 8 weeks. A few things remain though.

Any athlete would most probably say that a positive mindset is as important as a strong body. So keep that enthusiasm and mental toughness.

Also, rest is as important as training. Elite runners are often well aware of that, so they make sure to get enough shut-eye and plenty of time for recovery.

Finally, wishing you the best of luck on that big run!