I have only been running for a couple of months, but the girl I have been dating has asked me to run a marathon with her in two weeks. I have never run more than five miles and would appreciate your advice on how to best train for this race. I am not looking to win or anything crazy like that, but I do want to impress my new girlfriend. - Shorty Notice
As I sit here at my desk in the sub-sub-basement, sixty-two floors below the mail room in the Run the Planet Corporate Enterprise Building, I enjoy reading letters from all across the world. Until this moment, all of the letters that I have received have originated on the third planet from the Sun, composed by human beings of the species "homo sapiens".
Indeed, it is true that, with the possible exception of Bobo the Gorilla who insists on writing me frequently, the correspondence I receive here at Run The Planet is almost always generated by homo sapiens of this very planet of which I have referred.
And so, it is on behalf of all mankind that I welcome you to the good planet Earth.
If your physiology is anything close to that of Earthlings, then I would highly recommend you adhere to the 10% rule of running: never increase your weekly mileage during training by more than 10%. We humans have a well constructed muscular skeletal system, but it can often be damaged by increased excessive force induced upon it during distance training.
Most of the experts agree that a solid base of about a year is required before you begin training for a marathon, and that a four month training cycle is the best period in which to conduct your training.
Marathon training should be comprised of three elements; beginning with speed work, moving on to endurance training and finishing with a two to three week taper.
If you have never run more than five miles, there is only one recommendation I could give you which would ensure that you get to the end of the 26.2 mile race safely, and impress your girlfriend at the same time: train yourself on the proper operation of a rocket sled.
Run long and taper.