What distance do you run

Marathon training & preparation

Marathon training: the most important tips at a glance

  • Approach the long distance: Before running a marathon, it makes sense to first set a goal for a half marathon.
  • Plan several months for your marathon training: Recreational athletes should plan six to twelve months of training for the first marathon run, while the preparation phase can be shorter for experienced marathon runners.
  • Marathon training on distance and / or time: Measure your runs alternately by distance or time. Advanced runners can combine both metrics.
  • Focus your individual capabilities: Orientate yourself to your own fitness and build up your marathon training on this basis.
  • Make marathon training part of your everyday life: Try to take your exercise times as seriously as an appointment to stick to your exercise plan. Ideally, you combine other duties or tasks with your training.
  • Energy through correct breathing: Breathing techniques that you learn in Pilates and Yoga will benefit you in marathon training and are therefore the ideal complement.
  • Work on your running technique: Although running technique is a very individual matter, running on the ball of your foot is better for long-distance runs.
  • Rely on a healthy diet: As a matter of principle, eat healthily and consciously. Normally, it is best not to eat anything 3 hours before the marathon training session in order to be able to train well.
  • 1. Your goals in marathon training
    2. Your marathon preparation
    ... the right metric for marathon training: distance or time?
    ... the right training plan for your marathon preparation
    ... muscle building, strength training and everyday life
    ... the right breathing
    ... efficient running
    ... More energy through the right diet
    3. Your marathon run
    ... suitable clothing and shoes for the marathon
    ... gain mental strength
    ... nutrition during the marathon

    The marathon experts: Interview with Lisa & Anna Hahner

    Lisa and Anna Hahner (born 1989) are the most famous runners in Germany. Since 2008 the sisters known as "Hahnertwins" have been taking part in marathons on a regular basis. They celebrated their greatest successes so far at the Rio Marathon 2015 (2nd place) and at the German Championship 2015 (1st place). Lisa and Anna Hahner are also authors of the book “Time to Run” (spomedis-Verlag, 2016).

    1. Your goals in marathon training

    Do you want to run a marathon? This is the first step. But before that, the question arises whether a half marathon is not more suitable for the time being so that you don't overdo yourself right away: Anna and Lisa claim that theoretically anyone can run a marathon. But don't overdo it on your first try.

    The sisters point out that it makes sense to First of all, to complete one or better several half marathons, alternatively also to do 10 km runs. Because the runs with the shorter distance serve as "Approaching the long distance." In addition, runs with shorter distances put less strain on the muscles and joints. For a sustainable preparation for the right marathon training, this is a sensible way to gradually improve your own endurance.

    How useful Intermediate goals , Anna and Lisa Hahner know from their own experience: "On the one hand you stay motivated and on the other hand you can see whether you are on the right track."

    The goals you can achieve in principle depend primarily on how much time you want to and can invest. It is best to ask yourself the following question before your marathon training: How often a week do I want and can I realistically train?

    Try not too ambitious to be once you have less time to spend on your marathon training. Because "The more time you can spend on training, the more ambitious you can set your goal."


    2. Your marathon preparation

    Good marathon preparation is the be-all and end-all of your training. Because you should do a marathon never run untrainedOtherwise there is even a risk of serious health risks.

    Anna and Lisa Hahner know that for Competitive athlete a typical marathon preparation three months lasts. However, these also run outside of the preparation for the marathon several times a day. An amateur athlete cannot cope with such intensive preparation. As Recreational athletes so should you six to twelve months plan for the first marathon preparation. "

    Depending on when you start exercising, you may too train in winter have to. We explain how to do this in our article on jogging in winter.

    But no matter whether summer or winter: Always orientate yourself in your marathon training to your own fitness and performance. That means: Don't compare yourself to other runners and their times, but focus on your training alone. This is the only way you can build sustainable performance and start at the points that are appropriate for your individual training are significant. Running professional Sascha Wingenfeld explains in our article "Training plan running & jogging" how to create your running plan sensibly.

    The right metric for marathon training: distance or time?

    This is a question that preoccupies many runners. Unfortunately there are different opinions on the question of which unit should be used to measure one's own performance. For Anna and Lisa Hahner, the combination of distance and time makes sense: "Both distance and time play an important role in training."

    In the prep phase, you should several runs over 30 kilometers where speed is irrelevant. At the same time you should "Run as many runs as possible at the desired competition speed."

    Nevertheless, the following applies: Try out what you are using individually get along best and measure the performance of your marathon training accordingly.

    The right training plan for your marathon preparation

    Basically, it is recommended to do the marathon preparation by means of Training plan build up. However, you should always "adapt to the situation and on the current level of performance enter. Because the preparation rarely goes completely according to plan. "

    How do I find the right training plan?

    One helps when creating your training plan Performance analysis or a placement run, which doctors, hospitals and specialist companies offer: The maximum oxygen uptake of your body is measured on the treadmill and when the body switches to oxygen debt. These values ​​can be used to determine in which units you should plan your marathon training. You can also carry out classification runs yourself and record them using an app.

    In an interview, running expert Sascha Wingenfeld will tell you exactly how you should proceed to create your individual training plan.

    Important: Do you have to do this several weeks before the competition Interrupt marathon training, you should on resume increase the volume of your training in a controlled manner: As soon as you feel fit and productive again, continue training.

    If you take a break from training shortly before the marathon, your health comes first: Either adjust your target time or cancel your participation in the marathon.

    Tip: The Hahnertwins Running Club

    In addition to the app, the marathon twins also offer the Hahnertwins Running Club (HRC). Anyone who becomes a member here receives motivational and mental tips from the two marathon experts as well as individual running analyzes. Members also benefit from a joint running community with four to six running days together per year.

    Muscle building, strength training & stretching

    Running a marathon is a big challenge for your body because it can put a lot of strain on your joints. To prevent injury and pain, come for a targeted strength training not around: Because strong muscles not only relieve the joints, but also provide more energy when running.

    In our article on basic training, we explain how you can sustainably build up your muscle strength.

    Also extremely important: Stretch. Because with the right exercises before and after running, you minimize the risk of injury to your muscles. Therefore, never do without an appropriate warm-up and cool-down!

    Simulate the competition situation

    For the ideal preparation for your marathon run, Anna and Lisa Hahner recommend the following: Play a competition situation once: Get up at the same time, wear the same breakfast, wear the same clothes and choose the same food. " So your body can adjust to the exceptional situation on the day of the marathon, what for more routine and less tension on the day of the run can worry.


    Compatibility of marathon training and everyday life

    Getting training and everyday life under one roof is definitely not easy when preparing for a marathon! Work, children and family make high demands on us even without targeted marathon training. It doesn't work without further effort, but it is still possible to integrate marathon training into everyday life.

    “It helps if you like the workout fixed date enter it in the calendar. Then you can connect it to other appointments. For example, you can ride your bike to work and walk back in the evening and the other way around next time. In this way you save time and at the same time do something good for the environment. "

    For the last two weeks, however, the following applies: Delete almost all high-intensity running appointments from your calendar. Because instead of running stress Tapering on the program: reducing training.

    But please note: In addition to reducing training, there are one balanced nutrition and adequate sleep very important. Do not do without it in favor of marathon training, because your body not only needs the right nutrients, but also restful phases in which it can regenerate. Otherwise it can lead to overtraining, which not only leads to a significant drop in performance, but also harms your body.

    Correct breathing

    "Breathing is an important component in the supply of energy and ensures that you are efficient." Correct breathing often occurs automatically. To make sure that you breathe correctly and purposefully during your marathon training, the two athletes recommend Pilates and yoga as helpful additions, "So that you develop a better awareness of your breathing - this also applies to men."

    As you run, make sure you do above all else breathe through your mouthbecause so can you take in more oxygenwhich is crucial for your performance. It is also essential for effective breathing that you have one loose and relaxed running posture ingestion: You should keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.

    Efficient running

    While each running technique is unique, there are a few basic elements you should keep in mind. Because with the right running style, you can prevent injuries and also save valuable energy that you can use for the run.

    You can find out how to develop the right running technique for you in our guide "The right running technique".

    More energy through the right diet

    "A healthy and conscious nutrition noticeably supports performance. We take care of our diet protein rich is and that we fresh products use." But even against a piece of cake in the afternoon there is nothing for the competitive athletes. Anna and Lisa do not forego anything, but enjoy in moderation.

    During the marathon training

    It's best to eat about three hours before training the last time. It are suitable easily digestible and low fat Food.

    “We like to have porridge before training. The oatmeal is filling and has a good ratio of carbohydrates to protein. It tastes delicious with cinnamon and a few berries. "

    You can do one right after your workout shake made from buttermilk and fruits if the next meal is not yet in sight.


    Before the marathon

    You need to find your own personal marathon breakfast for the day of the competition. Listen to your gut. Before a competition, Anna and Lisa Hahner usually eat light-colored rolls with honey or jam, scrambled eggs and do without fruit - except for bananas, which are rich in carbohydrates. But they also tell of Japanese runners who have already made their noodle soup in the morning, or of British people for whom bacon and eggs are indispensable.

    You can find a lot more useful information about nutrition and sport in our article about the right sport nutrition for your training.

    3. Your marathon run

    The big day has come and you are about to start: With the help of the following tips, you will be well prepared to easily bypass difficulties during your marathon run.

    Suitable clothing and shoes for the marathon run

    When it comes to clothing and shoes for running a marathon, keep the following points in mind:

  • Find out about that Weather and prepare the Appropriate running clothes like in your marathon training. Since the marathon usually starts early, it can be a little cooler in the morning or even rain, but you will usually get warm while running.
  • Wear one in the morning old sweater, which you can safely put on the side of the road shortly before the start.
  • Under no circumstances should you wear new shoes in competition. Your running shoes should be in but not worn out. You should also have tried out your clothes during marathon training.
  • Many men also recommend covering their nipples with a band-aid to prevent a To prevent chafing.
  • Do you start in a team? Then show that you belong together and design a common jersey or bandana beforehand in our 3D configurator.

    Draw mental strength

    Lisa and Anna do not recommend just one in principle positive attitude. When running, it is also useful to yourself Intermediate goals to put: "Every step you take brings you one step closer to your goal."

    Also the Euphoria and enthusiasm of the audience you can use them to create inner motivation and gain positive energy. It is ideal, of course, if family and friends Support and cheer you on in your marathon.

    By the way: You can find more detailed tips on mental strength and motivation from mental trainer Andreas Mamerow in our “Mental Training in Sport” guide.

    Diet during the marathon

    In addition to the mental component, nutrition also plays an important role while running. Make sure that you are getting on during the marathon drink enough water. How much and how often you drink depends on the outside temperature, your weight and your running pace.

    In addition to sufficient water is also the Providing the body with carbohydrates important. Energy bars are particularly suitable as provisions because they quickly release carbohydrates into the bloodstream. If this does not happen quickly enough, there is a risk of hunger and thus a significant drop in performance.

    Important: When it comes to provisions and equipment, you should make sure that you do not try anything new in competition. Your body should be used to the food and equipment you bring with you so that there are no physical problems.

    Here we go

    Get started: We wish you every success, but above all a lot of fun with your marathon training!


    Picture credits: Cover picture: © gettyimages / Pavel1964, picture 1: © Anna and Lisa Hahner (private), picture 2: © gettyimages / Bernardbodo, picture 3: © gettyimages / jelenahinic, picture 4: © gettyimages / svetikd, picture 5–6: © gettyimages / Halfpoint, picture 7: © gettyimages / Vgajic.