6 Month Marathon Training Guide For Nurses.
If you are a working nurse who wants to run a marathon, there will be many road blocks to your journey. This training guide is designed for people who will be able to run a 5K in under a months worth of training at a slow pace. If you don't see yourself being able to run a 5K any time soon you will need to most likely train longer than 6 months in order to finish 26.2 miles.
This plan is set up to sign up for three different 5Ks, one 10K, a half marathon, and marathon. The purpose of actually running races is for you to feel the energizing power the running community has to offer. It is sometimes not feasible to take off work, and pay for all of these races. So if you are not able to physically go to an actual race, put in a scheduled time where you can race yourself in the time period given.
6 Month Beginner Plan.
Month 1. 5K.
Month 2. Two separate 5Ks.
Month 3. 10K.
Month 4. Half Marathon.
Month 5. Two runs above 15 miles.
Month 6. One long run early in the month (15to 20 miles) Then marathon.
If you feel like you can run a marathon with 6 months worth of training, sign up for your marathon. Signing up early will be cheaper, and it will help motivate you to get moving towards your goal.
After you have signed up for your marathon, sign up for a 5K. With this process you will want to run a 5K under a month from your start date. You will have training periods before this time where you might run a 5K or more, but running an actual 5K with a group of other runners will help get you into the groove of the running community.
With this first month planned out, start planning for your 5K. Working as a nurse you will need to train differently than others. Your life might be even more interesting if you have a family, or if you work nights. Regardless of what variables you have, you can find times to exercise and get ready for the first 5K.
Depending on your fitness level, you might have the energy to exercise after a twelve hour shift. If not, however, and you are not a superhuman like the rest of humanity, you will not have the motivation and energy to run before, or after work. This isn't a bad thing, it just means that nurses need to train different when training for a marathon.
If you work twelve hour shifts, you will have more days off than other people. This will give you the advantage to prep and have longer runs. Where other people might have five days of work a week, but only one hour a day to devote to running, they will need to save their long runs for the weekend. Nurses might not be able to run every day, as far as traditional exercise is concerned, but but have good long workouts at least a few times a week.
On your exercise days, start slow, and build yourself up. Start running with a goal to reach a certain time. Set a goal to run for thirty minutes. Thirty minutes will be an appropriate amount of time to run a 5K. As you begin training, even if you can't run the full thirty minutes, walk fast and keep your heart rate up for the thirty minutes. If you can run more than thirty minutes that is great, but don't forget to start slow if your body is not used to running for long distance.
After you run your first 5K, hopefully you are invigorated and ready to run more. If possible, sign up for two 5Ks the following month. (cheap person tip) 5Ks can get pricey, but if you have friends that are running a race, just slip into the mid section of the pack and don't go through the finish line. You won't get a Tshirt, but those are not worth the entry fee anyway.
Keep your runs consistent, and run every week. Training for two 5Ks can be done the same way you started for the first one. On your days off, set a time of how long you want to run. When you feel like you have more energy after your runs, bump up the time of your runs, but remember to take it slow. Trying to run too many miles too quick is the fastest way to get injured.
Remember as you are doing your timed runs that you will be running your marathon for several hours. You will need to train your body and heart to endure the stress of running over 26 miles. Starting with thirty, and then up to an hour, and then two is something you will need to work up to.
Many training programs will have you run a certain amount of miles week per week. This is good to know, and it is something that you will start to work on more as you get closer to your race, but for the first three months, just focus on time for the most part. It can be discouraging when you start running, and you feel like you are running hard and fast only to find out you only ran a mile and a half. Getting your body used to having an elevated heart rate for hours at a time is something that will take time.
As the second month is finished and you have completed two 5Ks in a month, you are ready for the 10K. With the 10K you will need to keep pushing up the amount of time you are running. By the end of the second month, hopefully your body is prepared to have an elevated heart rate for an hour or more, which is what will be needed in order to run a 10K.
As you slowly push yourself to take longer runs, and increase the amount of time you are excersicing, finishing the 10K should not come as a surprise accomplishment. Hopefully you will be able to run the whole race without stopping, and you will be able to run the race well.
When you finish the 10K, you might find that you need more time to recuperate after the longer race. Just take this into consideration with your running schedule, and don't over do it. If you need an extra rest day or two, this is fine. Your body will heal, and you will be able to start training for the next race, the half marathon.
Running the half marathon should be done sometime during the fourth month. You will need to increase your running time considerably, and you will want to make sure you can handle taking long runs longer than an hour and a half. If you can't run at a slow pace for an hour and a half, make sure that you walk fast and keep your heart rate elevated during that time.
At this point of your training you will need to make sure that you understand how fast your average mile pace is. Running with a smart watch or phone that will track your average mile is good, and you will need to make sure you are running at a pace where you are comfortable running mile after mile. If you are able to take a day with a goal of ten miles, and you are able to hit your goal, you will not be surprised when you finish your half marathon. You will be able to run it fast, and you will have the best experience possible.
Be sure you take several days off of training before your half marathon race, and eat well. The half marathon will break down your body, and you will need to give your body the best recovery possible after the race. This will be done with rest and good eating.
After you have spent time recovering, you will want to start longer runs, with more time in between your runs to recover. Your marathon date is coming close, and you will want to make sure you can run at least 20 miles before your race day. You do not want to get to your race unprepared and leaving yourself up to "strong will" to finish. You will need to have strong will regardless, and you will want to make sure you know how well prepared your body is for the long race.
Before your race, make sure the days before you are eating well, and are taking slow runs to stay loose, and keep your body ready for race day. If you can run 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons, you will be able to tackle the marathon. When you finish you won't be surprised that you finished, you will be anxious to see your time to see if you ran faster than you hoped.
For more information on running marathons for nurses, click on the link below to read more about how nurses can train for marathons.