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Whether you are a beginning runner or a beginning marathoner, build mileage gradually when training for a marathon to let your body adapt to running longer distances. If you are new to running and you want to train for a marathon, give yourself several months of training time so you can build mileage and endurance. Don't increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent per week and you'll reduce your risk of overuse injuries.
Runner's World magazine, either in print or online at runnersworld.com, is a great resource that includes detailed suggestions for beginning runners. Some of these plans include timed periods of walking during long training runs, and some beginning marathoners find that a combination of walking and running a useful way to build strength and confidence as they cover longer distances, especially those who are new to running, not just to marathoning. Some runners, both beginning and experienced, follow a walk-run plan to complete the marathon, but even beginners can run the entire distance successfully if you give yourself time to build mileage and if you cross train to build strength and endurance.