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How to make the step-up from casual jogging to become ready to tackle a marathon Posted On 22 May 2023

Your goal may be closer than you think


At the end of April, tens of thousands of people crossed the finish line at the 2023 London Marathon.

This phenomenal achievement captures the attention of the media and the general public each year, and rightfully so.

Completing a marathon is a challenge which features on many people’s bucket lists or New Year’s resolutions.

So, if you feel some inspiration from the London Marathon and fancy taking on a long distance run in the future, you may be wondering how you can properly prepare.

There are countless programmes and guides out there for those starting from day one, such as the BBC’s Couch to 5k plan, however if you are a semi-regular runner who enjoys heading out on gentle jogs to keep healthy, you may be wondering how you can make the step up.

Here are some simple and easy-to-follow suggestions on how to transform your casual jogging into marathon running.


Set yourself small targets


There is no point in going directly from casually running, straight to a marathon.

If you attempt a marathon and struggle or fail, you may find this incredibly demotivating and give up for good.

Instead, consider taking on other distances and build your way up.

Start with a 5k run, then a 10k run, then a half marathon distance, before taking on a full marathon.

Local running events are held across the country every year, so take a look at the offerings near you online.

Running alongside others can be incredibly motivating as you will feel the energy of those around you.


Plan, plan, plan!


One of the best parts of a marathon is the guaranteed distance each time.

A marathon is 26.2 miles long, or just over 42km, which gives you a good target to aim towards.

On your next run, use an application to measure the distance you are travelling, to give you a base to start from.

Now, you can set yourself a target of three or four runs each week, trying to leave a rest day between each to recover, while gradually increasing the distance you run each week.

This gradual increase will feel more achievable than just making a big leap at once.

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