16 Weeks to Your Best Marathon: Weeks 1 to 4

Whether it's your first marathon or your 50th, you need a training strategy that will set you up for success. There are tons of training plans out there, but most of them focus solely on increasing mileage. That's an essential part of training, but it can be challenging to add more and more miles every week, especially if you become plagued with aches and pains.

ChiRunning, a running form designed to help reduce injury and improve efficiency, takes a more mindful approach to long-distance training. ChiRunning's training formula is Technique + Distance = Speed.

More: Distance Running: Should You Run More Miles?

Everyone, from beginners to seasoned marathoners, can benefit from practicing good form. The marathon is a challenging distance, and it gets even harder with heavy legs, aching knees, sore hips and other discomforts.

That's why the first four weeks of your marathon training should be focused on learning to run well so you can run farther and faster with greater ease. ChiRunning's marathon training programs give you specific form exercises for every run to help you become a better runner as you build mileage. You can also incorporate these techniques into your current training plan.

More: Good Running Form for Beginners

Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

Before you jump right into training, take a minute to do a self-analysis. Ask yourself: What are my goals for running a marathon? What issues or challenges will I need to work on to reach those goals? Have I dealt with any past or present pain or injuries?

More: Prevent Running Overuse Injuries in 6 Steps

While about 70 percent of runners get injured every year, the good news is that most running injuries can be prevented with improved biomechanics. It can take a little time for your body to learn to move in a different way, but training runs and workouts are the perfect opportunity to practice.

Common running injuries and their primary causes:




Potential Injury


Weak Core


Lower back pain, IT Band pain/syndrome, hip bursitis


Heel Striker


Knee pain, plantar pain, shin splints, hip bursitis




Knee pain, groin pulls, metatarsal stress fractures





Knee pain, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring pulls

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