From beginner to marathoner in 3 months: Runner’s guide to completing a full marathon

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Lawrence Wong in Skechers GoRun 8. PHOTO: Skechers
Lawrence Wong in Skechers GoRun 8. PHOTO: Skechers

Is running a marathon on your bucket list? At a recent Skechers running workshop conducted by FWCC, Coach Fabian Williams, an FWCC Spokesperson, shared how a complete amateur can run a marathon in just three months. But can a newbie conquer a full marathon in only three months? Intrigued, Yahoo Shopping grilled the Winner of the 2008 Sundown Ultramarathon about how such a feat may be achieved. We also spoke with a beginner runner about how she managed to push through the challenges to complete her first marathon.

Even though running has a relatively low barrier to entry, a proper training regime and a good strength and conditioning programme are of utmost importance. Coach Fabian guides you on your journey to completing your first marathon on getting started, using the right gear (Skechers of course), plus recovery, safety and dietary tips!

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Yahoo Shopping: Is it possible for a total beginner to run a half or a full marathon as their first marathon? How long do we need to train?

Coach Fabian Williams: Yes, definitely! For most adults, three months is sufficient time to train and prepare for a marathon, provided with the correct training prescription and running gear. However, those with work and family commitments may wish to prescribe a four-month window as a buffer.

What gear do I need?

If there are no constraints on budget, runners should consider investing in two to three pairs of running shoes for specific running regimes, such as trail running and fast intervals. As feet and gaits are varied, finding the best running shoe for yourself can take some time, especially with the evolution of the different foot technical advancements available. Take time to research the features a running shoe can offer. Look out for good arch support, cushioning insoles, or sturdy outsoles that provide the necessary optimal grip.

A good pair of lightweight and comfortable running shoes, like the Skechers GOrun Horizon Vanish 3, is a viable option for the average runner, as the running shoes offer podiatrist-certified Arch Fit insole, Ultra Flight cushioning as well as the Goodyear Performance Outsoles.

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The Skechers GOrun Horizon Vanish 3 running shoes at a glance:

- Skechers’ podiatrist-certified arch support, Arch Fit insole. Backed by over 20 years of data and 120,000 unweighted foot scans to help redistribute the pressure across the underfoot. Other points include:

- Ultra Flight cushioning midsole provides responsive rebound while running

- Hyper Arc carbon-infused forefoot winglet plate promotes stability and energy return for efficient strides

- Goodyear Performance Outsoles offer exceptional grip for confident runs on a variety of surfaces and weather conditions

Skechers Men Horizon GOrun Shoes

Available in Red/Yellow and Black/White

S$110 S$129 at Skechers

Skechers Men Horizon GOrun Shoes. PHOTO: Skechers
Skechers Men Horizon GOrun Shoes. PHOTO: Skechers

Skechers Women Horizon GOrun Shoes

Available in Coral and Black/White

S$110 S$129 at Skechers

Skechers Women Horizon GOrun Shoes. PHOTO: Skechers
Skechers Women Horizon GOrun Shoes. PHOTO: Skechers

Skechers Men's GOrun Consistent-Athletic Workout Running Shoe

Men's GOrun Consistent-Athletic Workout Running Shoe. PHOTO: Amazon
Men's GOrun Consistent-Athletic Workout Running Shoe. PHOTO: Amazon

Shop Horizon GoRun range

In addition, opt for comfortable training apparel made from moisture-wicking material, such as Nylon or Polyester, to focus on your run without any compromise on your comfort.

Shop Men’s performance range Shop Women’s sports bras Shop Women’s performance range

Where and how do I start?

First up: Get a medical check-up to get a clean bill of health and seek clearance for rigorous training activities. Then, find a coach based on your available budget. Talk to them to determine if their coaching pedagogy is aligned and suitable for you. Thereafter, work out a sustainable training plan. Of course, proper running shoes and apparel are necessary before training begins.

Are diet changes required? If so, how?

Your diet will slowly change as your training progresses based on your current diet and caloric needs. These are dependent on the individual's resting metabolic rate, daily activities, specific training needs, and body composition. When undergoing training, there is also a need for carbohydrates to fuel your body and proteins to aid in recovery.

Any tips on preventing injuries?

Be mindful not to rush or stack different running regimes into your training within a short period, as that could lead to potential physical stress. Instead, emphasis should be placed on the personal training progression, with the guidance of a coach that you are comfortable with. In turn, communicate diligently with your coach. Also, inject physiotherapy or other rehab modalities, like sports massage, in between sessions to allow the body to recover and stay in good training condition.

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Running a marathon is a combination of mental and physical grit. Any advice?

Train diligently and at your own pace. While running is a sport with a relatively low entry barrier, a good training programme is essential to help prepare you sufficiently, both mentally and physically. Most importantly, we urge beginner runners to invest in the proper footwear. A good pair of comfortable running shoes that provides foam cushioning and good rebound with each step can prevent injuries and make all the difference in any runner’s performance.

Get the new Horizon GORun shoes

Before starting any training or race, keep realistic and measurable short goals based on your abilities. Additionally, focus on the end goal of the activity or marathon instead of the distance or magnitude of the race to prevent undue stress. Also, avoid trying anything new on race day.

Yahoo Shopping also got Ms Zann Lee, Managing Director, Skechers Southeast Asia, to share how she started as a running newbie to completing her first 42km marathon in just six months:

I’ve always believed in the quote: “Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.”

Starting with casual jogs, I gradually increased my running distance each week from 3km, 5km and eventually 10km. Soon after, I wanted to challenge myself to my first marathon with the help of a running coach. As I learned more about common running mistakes, such as not including enough rest and recovery time or pacing during a race, I gained more confidence as I ran for longer distances. My running coach also taught me about maximising the volume and intensity of my training based on my capabilities, schedule, and personal goals.

As they say, it's never too late to start running, and through my training, I completed my first Skechers Performance LA Marathon in 2017 because I “Go Like Never Before”.

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Keen to engage a personal coach? Check out Fabian Williams Coaching Concepts (FWCC) for more information.

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