If you look around the Internet, you will notice that many training schedules for running a Marathon are 16 weeks long. Well, it just so happens that last Monday, the 11th of February was exactly 16 weeks away from the date of the 2008 Cork City Marathon on the 2nd of June. So, it might be a good time to start looking at schedules.
There are many different ones out there but most of them involve doing long slow runs with a certain amount of fast running as well. They vary from the just get around type to those ones where people are trying to beat a specific time.
If you are interested in doing the Marathon and you have only just started running, then perhaps you should select the just get around option. Running 26 miles is no joke and you really need to be prepared for it. In my own opinion, your target for your first Marathon should be to just finish it. You can worry about targets for your 2nd or 3rd one.
The Runners World website in the UK is a mine of info for runners and they have a selection of training programmes available. Click on this LINK to see them.
Entries for the Cork City Marathon are now open although you still have a few weeks before you need to send it in. The link for their website is HERE. While you can hold off on your entry for a bit, you cannot put off the training and you really need to start now. Just remember the golden rule....increase your weekly milage by at most 10% per week. Doing too much too soon is a sure way of getting injured. Build it up slowly and you'll be fine for Cork.
So, 16 weeks and counting...