Run intended! Here are 6 exercises to help you prep for a marathon

Training for a marathon is not hard, but it’s a must. So, strengthen your muscles with these exercises before the run for better and faster recovery.
Are you marathon ready? Train hard to recover fast. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Nikita Bhardwaj Updated: 17 Nov 2019, 16:12 pm IST

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Calling all marathon virgins! Think you’ll take it slow on the track during your first time? It’ll come naturally right? After all, we’re just talking about a few kilometres.

Trust us, the adrenaline rush while running won’t let that happen.
So don’t make the mistake of not training before you run the race–otherwise an injury is just around the corner.

We understand that you might be running just for the fun of it, but the after-effects of running without any practice won’t be something you’ll cherish. Yes gals, that’s the experience talking.

And if you think just toiling on the treadmill will get your sorter, then we are sorry to say that you are highly mistaken. Why? Because, running on an asphalt track versus on the treadmill impacts your shins and hamstrings differently.

So, how can you prep for your first-ever race day? Well, try these simple exercises:


Every kind of squat is good for you. Jump squats, sumo squats, weighted squats–the more you do them, the stronger you’ll become. Apart from your leg ligaments and tissues, squats also work on muscles which are not directly involved in running–which means no chance of injuries. Begin with four sets of 25 reps and gradually increase.


Lunges works on your thighs, glutes, and core. Core stability and a better stride are must for running. Four sets lunges, with 15-20 reps (for each leg) can help you achieve that in no time.

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Speed skater

When you’re running a marathon, swiftness is key–and that’s what speed skaters help with. A type of lunge, this exercise helps build stamina and coordination, while also strengthening muscles. Start with 50 (that’s 25 reps per leg) and keep adding to this number.

Long jumps

Jumping speeds up metabolism and boosts oxygen circulation. Blend it with squats and you get long jumps, which go a long way in building strength. Long jumps will also up your flexibility quotient which will eventually give you speed and better technique. Three sets of 15 are great to start with.

Calf and heel raise

This exercise targets your ankle and calf muscles, which bear the maximum brunt while you run. Four sets of 15-20 reps will do the trick. There are variations but we recommend that you stick to the basics.


How could we not include versatile planks in the list? After all, you can’t ignore your core while running a marathon. Planks work on your entire frame and give you a better posture. You can try its variants or stick to the basics. In any case, incorporate them in your training schedule. Hold the plank for as long as you can, gradually working increasing your time.

So, this is our list of “run-intended exercises” that you must follow while training, no matter how many kilometres you are planning to run.

Liked this guide to prepping for a run? Then don’t forget to show us some love in the comments section below.

Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content. ...Read More

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