I like a challenge. I’ve ran half marathons before in good time but I’ve never ran a full marathon. I clocked in an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes for most half marathons I’ve run in the past so why not try and run a full marathon? Well, part of the reason I’ve not run a full marathon over the years is because I live and work in Saudi Arabia where there weren’t many such events, or should I say I haven’t seen any such events! Well, that has changed. It was announced just over a month ago that Riyadh will be hosting its first full marathon. This is the perfect challenge with just enough time to prepare!

What is my plan of attack?

I started running casually the last half of October and then clocked 119 kilometres of running for the month of November. I figure I’m just at the right fitness level to prepare for a full marathon within the next coming 14 weeks. I have a full marathon training programme I will be following and anyone who wants to run their first marathon can follow along with me or follow an absolute beginner programme. Below I have a brief overview of what you could do to start training.

What if you haven’t run in your life?

Well, all is not lost. There’s a lot you can do in 14 weeks. I wouldn’t advise you do the full marathon, but I do think that if you are dedicated you can finish the half marathon. After all, you can walk a marathon too! I recommend you start the first week of training by walking for around 45 minutes every other day. In your second week, I suggest you walk a bit and run a bit. By your third week you could be running between 3 to 5 km’s every other day. After that, you can try your first 10 km at the end of your forth week. Can you imagine that after just one month you can go from being a non runner to running 10km? I’m sure you can do it. By the end of your second month you’d be able to run 15km, and finally, by the end of your third month, just two weeks before the half marathon you’d be able to do 21.1km’s! 

Below you can see my programme starting with my 5th week of training:

The distances increase with each week. From 44km to 62km
In these next five weeks we gradually reduce the mileage.
The 42.2km happens on Race Day, March 5th, 2022

I also have a basic guide to nutrition you can follow:

I reckon, that if you follow both my training and nutrition programme and remain injury free, you should be able to complete either the half or full marathon come March the 5th, 2022. Let’s make this event a success and be part of history in the making. It’s a proud moment for Saudi Arabia and athletes all over the country and abroad. You can follow my Training for the Riyadh Marathon 2022 series on Youtube. Feel free to share your stats and compare your run times. Let’s keep each other motivated.