How To Prepare For A Marathon

How To Prepare For A Marathon

It doesn’t matter if you run every day, a marathon is a challenge for everyone. The constant movement over 26.2 miles can cause real injuries if it isn’t prepared for correctly.

In your preparations you need to know the best accessories to wear, the right foods to stock up with and the correct movements to prevent injuries. Without this planning, you can easily damage your muscles or be unable to complete the race.

A runner’s worst nightmare is to back away from the challenge, so don’t let lack of preparation be your downfall.

Before we get started, we want to say a big welcome to readers from Capital Sprints was the go-to website for all multi-sporting events in Washington DC.

We have recently acquired the website and hope to use this collaboration to showcase amazing racing events across the country.

Now let’s get the preparations going!

What To Wear

How To Prepare For A Marathon

You might consider clothing or accessories in sports to be a simple form of fashion – a superficial conversation – but in reality, the right clothing can help you balance your weight, allow your skin to breathe, or give your weakened muscles strength.


The obvious place to start is your footwear. The right running shoes can help you create a comfortable running pace and allow you to continue for longer.

Types Of Shoes

First, you need to know about the different types of shoes. Cross-country running shoes, treadmill running shoes, and tarmac running shoes will all be made specifically for their terrain.

Get the wrong one, and you won’t receive all the help you need.

If your marathon is through the countryside, then you need shoes that have extra grip. This will allow you to stay standing when the terrain changes unexpectedly.

If the marathon is on tarmac (also known as road shoes), then your shoes need to be cushioned and lightweight.

This is because your feet will be slamming onto a hard surface, so your sole will need extra protection. The lightweight aspect will help you avoid added resistance while you run.

If you train using a treadmill, then you can use road shoes due to their flexibility and lightweight nature, however, you will also need an element of breathability.

Without the wind calling you down as you run, your feet will be more likely to sweat, which can cause infections or blisters.

The Fit Of The Shoe

When you have the right balance between grip and flexibility, you need to ensure that the shoe fits correctly.

A running shoe should be tight and comfortable. This way it doesn’t fall off as you run but doesn’t leave you sore either.

Your heel should be sitting on the center back padding area, and it shouldn’t slide while you run. Your foot’s arch should be supported to prevent strain, and the sides of your feet shouldn’t scrape against the shoe’s edges.

Your shoe should hold your foot in place while also cushioning the impact from the run. Ensuring the shoe fits correctly often means taking it out on a couple of runs before the big day.

Maintaining Your Shoes

Generally speaking, your running shoes will last for around 400 miles before you need to replace them.

Continuing to run in worn-out shoes will cause you to develop strains, muscle tears, and soreness in your feet. This is because the comfort and protection from your shoes will no longer be working.

When the sole begins to harden and the shape becomes warped, you know it’s time for a new pair of shoes.

To extend the lifespan of your shoes, you need to maintain their quality from the moment you buy them. You can do this by running with the right form, washing them, and tying the laces correctly.

You might think these concepts are obvious or easy, but no one really explains how these jobs are meant to be done.

Instead, we pick them up through life. This means most of us don’t know the correct form to run in, nor do we know the right way to clean our shoes.

To ensure you know the correct procedure, click on the links above to a “how-to” guide.

Some people will say that running shoes don’t matter at all. Instead, your running form is what helps prevent the damaging impact when your foot hits the ground.

However, if you’re new to running, your form isn’t always perfect, or you want extra protection, you should still maintain and look after your tools.

For more information on running form, scroll down to our subsection on training.


Socks just for runners might seem like a capitalist scam, but they actually have real health benefits to their construction.

Also known as compression socks, they are designed to help blood flow through your calves, feet, and toes while you are spending so much time in the upright position.

Many runners experience blood pooling, which causes them to become lightheaded. This is because their blood is fighting gravity for too long, and the pressure to move the blood around their body becomes more difficult.

The compression socks create more pressure, helping blood flow, and preventing fainting spells.


Men shouldn’t always wear underwear under their shorts. This is because some shorts come with a liner, designed to protect the body as underwear does, but without cutting circulation or causing chafing.

Male bodies can take advantage of these lined shorts to give themselves better breathability and comfort, without being too “free”.

Clothes Based On The Weather

Most of the time, your running clothes will stay the same no matter the temperature. However sometimes the heat or cold can completely ruin your normal run.

When the weather changes dramatically, you should consider swapping to the clothing options below.

Cold Weather

When you’re running in the cold, you need to ensure you’re warm through the chilling weather.

The issue with keeping warm is the likelihood of overheating when your natural body temperature spikes from the activity. To prevent this, you should layer your clothing instead of wearing one warming item.

A thin strap top, covered by a thin long-sleeve top, covered by a thin jacket and topped by hats and gloves, allows you to trap heat through the layers, but also allows breathability.


During the rain, you may think the most important focus is to stay dry. Although this is true to an extent, you also need to protect against chafing.

The wetness from your clothes will easily rub against your skin causing friction. Not only is this friction painful, but it can also lead to infections.

To prevent chafing, you should use water-resistant anti-chafing balm on your thighs, armpits, ankles, and shoulders.

This is because these areas are most likely to create friction, and wet clothing adds additional grip to the motion, making these body parts the most at risk for chaff related pain.

When you return from your run, you should change out of your wet clothes as soon as you can.

One way to prevent the water from reaching your skin is to wear moisture-wick shirts. These outfits repel water instead of absorbing it, stopping your skin from getting in contact with the rain.

You could also opt for waterproof overalls which protect your normal running gear from the rain, however they are often hard to run in.

What To Eat

How To Prepare For A Marathon

Ideally, you should have a food regime before, during, and after your marathon. Getting your meals right can give you the protein you need to blast through the race, and the fuel you require to recover.


Before your marathon, you need to ensure your body isn’t running empty. However, the food you choose should empower your body, not drain it.

This means you need fuel that will give you strength without forcing a lot of energy to digest.

The best foods to start with are protein. These food groups give you amino acids which you need to repair your muscles.

While you are training, you need that repairing substance to help your muscles build, repair and recover and then build again. Without this balance, you’ll find it hard to get stronger or faster.

Great protein options are chicken and eggs. White meats, in general, are a healthy version of protein as they contain less saturated fats. This means they are leaner, and don’t spike your cholesterol.

However, some people prefer to drink a protein shake instead of an actual meal, so their body doesn’t feel heavy or tired from digesting. If you are someone with a light stomach, this might be the best option for you.

You shouldn’t compare protein shakes to drinks as the amount of carbohydrates and nutrients in them are closer to a blended dinner than a glass of water. This means you should count them as part of your meals.

Next, you need a lot of fruits and vegetables to keep your digestive system healthy and under control.

Ideally, you should be eating a lot of foods that are high in potassium such as bananas, spinach, mushrooms, and broccoli.

Potassium-rich foods prevent you from developing cramps while you run, as they slowly release energy while they are digested.

However, you should keep in mind that eating too many fruits can cause you to over indulge in fructose, causing diarrhea. It’s true what they say – everything in moderation, including the “good” stuff.

Lastly, you need foods that are high in healthy carbohydrates. The best options are oat-based, such as porridge, as they will give you a lot of energy that slowly releases throughout the day.


During a marathon, you may think that the only thing you need to digest is water. However, many people start to feel faint due to the amount of energy they are burning through.

To stop yourself from kleening over or becoming ill, you need to eat something that can give you a quick release of energy.

Bananas are a great source of energy, and they are a healthy choice for your body to digest, however, they can be fiddly to run with and too much can cause you to feel ill.

Gummy sweets are easy to swallow as you run and can give you a burst of energy through the sugars.

The only issue with them is their wrapping. Some race coordinators will offer a bowl of gummy sweets to the racers, which people can dunk their hand into and pull out a couple treats.

However since the pandemic, this practise isn’t as common due to the easy spread of virus.

Instead, you may even prefer a sports gel designed to give you more electrolytes as you run.

These tend to be liquid allowing you to easily drink the nutrients you need to power forward. This option tends to be the most approved by runners, however they are often more expensive.


After your run, you need to eat something that will recover the electrolytes you’ll have lost during the activity. Protein shakes, recovery bars, and salty foods are all great options to help your body recover the nutrients it would have lost.

Protein-rich meals which include chicken, tuna, or nuts are the perfect after-marathon meal to help your body repair its muscles.

And of course, you need to remember to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated after you run, is just as important as staying hydrated during your run.

Your body needs to restore the amount of water it has lost, otherwise, it will ache and cramp from a slowed recovery period.

How To Train

How To Prepare For A Marathon

The best advice you can have to get ready for a marathon is to practice.

First, you should be practicing every day for at least 30 minutes. This will increase your stamina and help maintain your growth.

Then, at least once a week, you should try to extend the amount of time you can run for. In the beginning, this could mean walking for 26.2 miles to get used to the length and then running portions of the race in slowly growing increments.

These are just the basic tips we can give. For more detailed information we need to break down your exercises, general tips to help you improve different elements of your running, and how to ensure you recover quickly to prevent injuries.


The exercises you need to focus on are based around strengthening your muscles, preparing for the endurance needed to complete the race, and allowing yourself to stay committed to the goal of marathon running.


One of the first exercises you should complete as part of your training is the soleus strength exercise. The soleus is part of your calf muscles, and it lays just behind your knee and trails down to your heel.

To strengthen your soleus you should sit with a straight back and lift your knee to about 80 degrees.

You can also stand up straight, and raise your body by moving to the tips of your toes and then lowering yourself until your heel touches the ground. Keep doing this on repeat for a couple of minutes.

These simple exercises can be completed throughout the day as you strengthen your calves.

If you notice areas of your body becoming pained after your training runs, scroll down to the “injury” section of this article and find the body part which needs help. There you will find specific exercises to strengthen that muscle.


To bring up your endurance, you need to give yourself targets and achieve them. If you cannot run every day, then you should at least walk every day.

Running for 15 minutes every day can help you build up your stamina and your endurance for long-distance running. At the end of the week, you should track how far you can run before you need a break and record how your journey has progressed.

We suggest aiming for a 1-mile run, to begin with, and keep adding the miles until you can reach the marathon level. From 1 mile, aim for 5k (3.1 miles), then 10k (6.2 miles). As the number increases so do your stamina and endurance.


For some people, the aim to complete a marathon isn’t enough. Instead, they hope to complete it in a certain amount of time. If you have this same mindset, we suggest making your first aim a half marathon.

Half marathons are just 13.1 miles long, and most people aim to finish in under 2 hours.

If you can complete this target then you’ll have accomplished a massive achievement. Doing these shorter marathons can help you develop the persistence needed to keep going.

Although your speed won’t be as fast in the full marathon, you’ll have the strength and power to reach the end.

Pre-Run Exercises

Before you start your run, you need to stretch your muscles to prevent cramping.

The best exercises to complete are lateral lunges, same-side rotational lunges, side-lying leg lifts, and kneeling movements. We have a step-by-step guide to complete these exercises in this link.

If you are preparing for a run that pushes past your current limits, then you also need to complete squats and wall sits. Again you can find a step-by-step approach in this link.

The additional squat stretches will engage the muscles used to give yourself the extra push needed to boost your speed and distance.

Before and after every run, you should stretch your body to release all of the tightness created in your workout. Failing to do this can result in slower healing times, which means less time for training.

Training Tips

There are many different training tips to help you reach your goals, and you may need to try them all before finding the perfect method for you.

We will go through basic tips to reach 5k and 10k, along with different training methods such as Tempo Running and MAF training.

Couch To 5K

Couch to 5K is a popular 5k training app that helps you reach your goal in about 9 weeks. It is a free app created by the UK’s NHS system to encourage people to get moving.

The simple program is designed for people who don’t normally complete any form of exercise, which means the first couple of runs are super simple.

You’ll be asked to run 3 times a week, with each run designed to make you stronger and help you reach further distances. We have a full review of the app here, but we highly recommend it for anyone runners starting from scratch.

Reaching 10K

Once you’ve managed 5K, the stretch to 10K won’t seem as difficult.

The first method to reaching this goal is keeping up your consistency. Run 3 times a week at least, with just one of those runs pushing for further distances.

The other two runs you complete should be easy. This is to keep your stamina and endurance up without overworking your body.

When you start to find your long-distance run easy, make it your new baseline target and create a new goal for your “pushing yourself” run. Only increase the distance in small increments, to make the target realistic.

Soon you’ll be able to reach 10K with ease. Once that happens, your next target should be either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or speed.

Running Fast

To boost your speed you need more than constant training. You also need to practice running drills and pacing techniques.

Your running drills should consist of butt kicks, high knees, quick feet, and forward lunges. These are designed to help your legs move faster, developing the muscles which require quick movement.

To practice your pacing, you should switch between interval training and tempo running.

Interval training is when you dash for 30 seconds and then walk for 1 minute. You complete 10 rounds of this intense training before resting.

As you get faster and faster you may aim to reach a further distance with every 30 seconds or try to increase the speed of your dash to a maximum of 60 seconds.

These techniques will help you increase your speed overall, as well as help you push for the final sprint of the marathon.

MAF Training

MAF stands for Maximum Aerobic Function Training. The idea is to improve your aerobic fitness, helping you run at a lower heart rate.

In the training, you can expect to run for 40 minutes at a time. Running for this length of time, no matter what level of skill you have, will cause your normal speed to slow down.

This is normal, however, someone with a reduced aerobic fitness level will slow down much more than someone with a high aerobic fitness level.

Managing your MAF heart rate can help you avoid fatigue and recover faster. For more information, take a look at our detailed breakdown in this link.


After your run, you need to stretch your muscles and eat enough protein and carbohydrates to help your muscles heal.

We have already talked about the importance of stretching, eating well, and drinking plenty of water, but there is another way to help your recovery.

Taking an Epsom salt bath is a fantastic way to reduce inflammation, gain pain relief and prevent muscle sores from developing.

When you run, you put your body under stress. And it’s this stress that causes cramps in your muscles, pain in your joints, and soreness all over your body.

To reduce these symptoms and help your body recover faster, you should run a bath and place Epsom salt rocks in the water.

The type of salt is large and found in the English town of Epsom. The magnesium and sulfate found in the mineral can be absorbed through the water, creating a direct route to your muscles.

The magnesium soothes your muscles and reduces tension which, in turn, reduces inflammation.

With the inflammation gone, your cramps will also dissipate. Giving yourself these baths after a long run can speed up your recovery process, and prevent injuries.

Injuries To Expect And How To Prevent Them

How To Prepare For A Marathon

When it comes to preventing injuries the most important things to focus on are form, stretching, and listening to your body.

The correct form can be achieved when you maintain an eric spine (don’t bow your head forward), when you bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle when they swing (they shouldn’t cross your body), and when you allow your chest to lean forward slightly to distribute your weight.

For the correct stretches, you can use our advice above. And when it comes to listening to your body, if you feel your muscles becoming weak or have an intuitive feeling that you may fall over, stop running.

Take some time to rest and try again another day. That intuitive feeling is often a sign that something isn’t right.

However, if you have a known issue with your body, or are worried about a certain limb, you may need to use extra precautions when you run. From your head to your toes, we will break down what injuries you can expect and how to manage them.

Runner’s Teeth

Injuries and pain while running is normally associated with legs and backs, but your teeth can be harmed too.

Runner’s teeth are a phenomenon that isn’t extremely common but should be known to everyone in our hobby. It’s when someone clenches their teeth when they run, causing them to grind away and cause pain.

Clenching your teeth is normally a subconscious activity, which can be brought on through cold conditions, stress, or habit.

If you are running in the cold and find your jaw hurting, you may be clenching your teeth shut against the wind. To prevent this try wearing layers to warm yourself up.

If the clenching is caused by stress, you should tackle the root cause of this issue. Perhaps a new running spot can give you less anxiety as you travel.

Lastly, if clenching is simply a form of habit, you should wear mouthguards to prevent the subconscious activity. This will stop your teeth from hurting and protect them against grinding.

Shortness Of Breath

For many new runners, the struggle they face on their journey isn’t pain or strain in their legs, but the inability to breathe properly as they run.

This is usually because they haven’t been trained on how to breathe while exercising, and instead are using their natural instincts to take in oxygen.

It is a common mistake, and can easily be rectified once a proper breathing technique is established.

First, you need to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will allow you to create a clear airway in your lungs and will prevent your lips from getting dry.

When you breathe in, you need to let the air fill your diaphragm before releasing it. This will allow you to take in a large amount of oxygen and prevent you from hyperventilating.

If you take in short breaths, you won’t be inhaling enough oxygen. This causes your body to panic and asks for more, creating a cycle of short breaths with no real intake.

This will also create abdominal pain due to the strain on your muscles to breathe in.

Once you have the correct breathing technique, you need to maintain it while you run. We suggest breathing to a rhythm. You may want to use a counting technique such as breathing in for 3 and out of 2. Or you may want to follow the rhythm of the music you are listening to.

Either way, keep the rhythm consistent to prevent random short breaths.

Lower Back Pain

There are normally 4 reasons why you have lower back pain when you run – bad running form, bad shoe quality, lack of water, and lack of stretching.

We have already discussed how to run in the correct form, the type of shoes you should be wearing, and as well as the type of stretching you should be performing.

But, if you are still feeling lower back pain after fixing these issues, then your pain may come from a weak back – this is particularly true for people who are tall.

Completing strength training on your back can help you develop the muscles needed to hold your body weight better.

We suggest completing forward lunges with rotations, single-legged Romanian deadlifts, weighted supermans, and single-leg bridges. Click the link above to find a step by step method to complete these exercises.

Each of these exercises will strengthen your lower back muscles, and the muscle tissues connecting your back to your legs.

Hip Pain

Hip pain is extremely common in runners, as the force of gravity on your joints settles around your hip. It takes a while to develop this type of pain, so if you haven’t discovered hip pain before your marathon, then you are unlikely to feel it during the big event.

That being said, as this pain can develop over time, you should be prepared for this injury by completing stretches (linked below) ahead of time.

If you are suffering from hip pain, you need to concentrate on your recovery. Icing the area of pain, stretching before and after runs, and wearing shoes that can absorb the force of your impact are all important steps to help you recover.

Because hip pain can be caused by a multitude of different issues, we have developed a list of ways to identify your hip pain and how to heal from the injury. Click on this link to find out more.

Pain In Your Buttocks

A common pain that some runners experience is pain in the bottom. It’s called piriformis syndrome and presents itself through spasms in the muscles surrounding the buttocks.

If you have this syndrome, you can still run and avoid this pain if you complete the exercise listed in the link above.

They include the piriformis stretch, the lower abdominal stretch, and a hip rotation stretch. Each activity is designed to both strengthen and loosen your muscles in preparation for exercises.

Make sure you do these exercises before and after your run to prevent the pain from returning.

Thigh Pain And Itchiness

Pain in your thighs or quads can be caused by a lack of stretching or weak muscles.

These are common painful conditions, and before you take on your marathon you need to ensure your thighs are ready for the endurance needed to cross the finish line.

To give them the strength needed you should practice banded quad extensions, lunges, and split squats. We have a guide to walk you through these exercises in the link above.

However, if you feel a strange itch in your legs while you run you may be encountering something else.

Runner’s Itch can be experienced either during or after a run and is normally a reaction to intense movement after not exercising in a while, or it’s a reaction to your own sweat.

If you haven’t exercised in a while and notice a strange itchy sensation, it’s simply your body kick-starting itself into opening its capillaries again. To stop the feeling, try to exercise more often.

If you do exercise often, then your body may be reacting to the mixture of clothing and sweat. To stop the sensation shower straight after your run, moisturize your skin whenever you can, and remove any clothing that is causing chafing.

Knee Pain

Knee pain is another very common issue runners go through. Again it’s because of the pressure or weight forced on the joint to create the movement needed to excel.

Normally the stretches we have recommended will prevent your knees from swelling, while the strength training will give them the power to avoid tears.

However, if you are experiencing knee pain you should instantly stop running and place ice on the affected area.

Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, there could be multiple reasons for the injury – including IT band syndrome, meniscus tears, and knee bursitis. Read through our article above to learn what your pain could be.

If the pain happens more than once, then you should see a doctor about the issue.

Calf Pain

There are many reasons why you might experience calf pain, but as you may expect by now they often come down to poor form, weakness in the legs, and lack of stretching.

If you experience pain while you’re running here are a couple of techniques to reduce the pain. Lie down on the floor, and lift your knee up. Then try to draw the alphabet with your foot. This will stretch your calf muscles.

If you cannot lie down, sit on a bench and put your feet far behind you. Try to make your heel touch the ground stretching your calf.

Lastly, for more aggressive pain, enter into the downward dog position.

Hamstring Pain

If you are experiencing pain specifically in your hamstrings, then you probably haven’t got a large range of flexibility in your legs.

To improve this area of your body, you need to complete the following exercises – Nordic Hamstring Curls, Single Leg Rdls, and Eccentric Bridges.

In the link above you’ll notice that you don’t need any specialist equipment to complete these exercises. Instead, we have showcased the step-by-step process to complete each workout, along with how long it should take to gain flexibility.

Completing these exercises as part of your daily routine will give your hamstrings more flexibility and will reduce pain.

Shin Pain

Shin pain often occurs when you run too much without proper rest. Unfortunately, healing from this injury can take a long time, but with the use of resistance bands, you can help build strength in the muscles around your shins as you recover.

The exercise you should complete consists of wrapping the band around the sole of your foot and pulling the other side up to your waist. At this point your foot should naturally want to push against the band to stay straight.

When your leg attempts to push the band, there will be resistance (hence the name). Do this 10 times and then switch legs.

This will build the muscles around your shins, creating a stronger foundation.

If you aren’t ready to exercise the injured area just yet, you can tape your shins to relieve pressure on your inflamed muscles. Here is a guide on how to apply the tape.

Ankle Pain

Unlike the other injuries in this section of our guide, ankle pain isn’t usually caused by a lack of stretching or weak muscles. Instead, poor form or unlucky footwork can cause a sprained ankle.

If your foot behinds to swell or bruise, you should apply a cold compress onto the area, and lift your ankle as you rest.

After a week or so, your ankle should heal completely. To help relieve the pressure you can tape your ankle for added structural support.

If you find your ankle collapsing often, you may need to weight train the area to gain strength. To do this, you can use the same resistance band technique we mentioned to support your shins.

Toe Pain

A common pain on your toe is the dreaded blister. Normally you can treat a blister by covering it with a plaster and allowing the fluid to drain in its own time. Leaving it alone is the best course of action.

However, sometimes the blister will form under your toenail, in these instances a different approach is needed.

Toenail blisters are often caused from pressure or friction around the toe. When this happens you need to stop running and apply a cold compress to relieve the pain.

Because of its location, it may become infected. If it doesn’t reduce after a week, if the color under the nail turns black, or if the pain is too much, see a doctor.

Top Marathons To Consider

How To Prepare For A Marathon

Don’t let the concept of an injury worry you. With the correct stretches, weight training, form, and clothing you should be able to prevent them from happening.

However, being aware of the injuries can help you notice the signs before they become dangerous. With this knowledge, you can start the recovery treatment to get you back on your feet again.

And you’ll want to be fighting fit, ready to take on the top marathons in the country! Let us break down the best Marathons to choose from, so you can decide which challenge to take on first.

The Most Famous Marathons In American

Arguably the most famous marathons in America are the Boston Marathon and the Walt Disney Marathon.

The Boston Marathon got its fame due to its impressive history. The first ever race was in 1897 for men and 1908 for women.

With something so old comes a level of prestige in itself, the history which surrounds it is vast and over 500,000 spectators come to watch the event every year.

Although it took over 10 years for women to be included in the race, this was considered a short gap for progress in its time.

The Boston Marathon was also the first marathon to include a wheelchair division too. It was announced in May 1975 continuing the legacy of inclusion.

The Walt Disney marathon, however, gets its fame from the fun characters people dress up as during the race. It may not have the same level of prestige, but the atmosphere is unmissable.

Best Beginner Marathons To Attempt

We should start off by saying that there is no such thing as a beginner’s marathon. Every marathon is 26.2 miles long, and every half marathon is 13.1 miles. These are extremely long distances and shouldn’t be taken on by someone with no training.

That being said, the best marathon for a beginner to attempt is a virtual one. Luckily, Michigan has created a lot of virtual versions of their marathons to help people join in the races.

The reason for the virtual training is to help people get into the “Motivational Mile”. This is a popular run in Kalamazoo, Michigan, designed to get people into fitness. Its second name is “Run For The Health Of It”.

As you can expect with a silly name such as this, the aim is to help people get into shape. Some of the events are just a mile long, others can be walked if desired.

However, because running in a crowd can be difficult, we suggest giving this one a go in preparation for an actual marathon.

Ziegler Kalamazoo Marathon

The Ziegler Kalamazoo is a special type of marathon, as it doesn’t just contain 1 run. Instead, you can participate in 5 different versions of the race. The full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and health-based 5k walk.

This means you can start your marathon journey by swapping races every year to build up your strength for the full marathon.

The Kalamazoo marathon is also one of the few races which allow you to use headphones, which means people with specific workout playlists that help them reach their goals can maintain their training routine inside the race itself.

Because this race is such a hit, a lot of roads will be closed for the event, but if you need help arriving at the destination, you can use our parking guides to get you there on time.

For a full list of marathons in Michigan, click on this link.

The 50 States Challenge

The 50 states challenge, as you may expect, is a trial to complete a marathon in every State of America.

The original challenge only uses half marathons, as not every state has a full marathon for you to complete with, but no matter which version you choose you cannot pick the same race twice.

Once you’ve completed the 50 states challenge, you can join the club and become proud of an achievement that very few people can claim.

The half marathons include places such as Kauai, Sedona, Disney Florida, Crater Lake, and other iconic areas of beauty.

Even if you cannot compete in them all, you should spend time volunteering as you practice basking in the beauty of the landscape.


Preparing for a marathon means more than signing up for the race and aiming for a 26.2-mile hog. It also means buying the right clothing to prevent chafing and blisters.

It means completing strength training, and stretchings to prevent injuries. And it means recognizing your current struggles and pushing for something greater.

Following our advice can help you recover from injuries faster, prevent soreness and pain before the big day, and help you push toward your latest marathon goals.