Preparing to run in a marathon does require some extent of training, but with the right information and preparation, and person can accomplish both and tone up fast, while learning how to train for a marathon in a small length of time. Marathon training can take anywhere from six weeks to six months depending on the condition of the body and the length of the marathon.
Prepare with a Base
To initially prepare to begin toning for a marathon race, there will possibly already be a starting exercise base that you're working from. You may already be doing some form of exercise, but you might need to begin toning your body and conditioning it to withstand a marathon race. Toning prepares the muscles, heart and lungs for endurance running and helps you stay in shape to meet the goal of the run, whether that's 13.1 miles for a half marathon or 26.2 miles for a full marathon. The base that each runner begins with is not as important as performing exercises that speak directly to toning. Everyone is at a different fitness level, and therefore it's important to begin right where you are and not overdo or overextend yourself by doing too much, too fast.
Strength training is necessary in any fitness goal, but extremely important for the marathon runner. To tone up fast, implement a strength training program into your running workout lifestyle right away. To start, begin lightly with low weights and high repetitions in order to see results. For example, doing leg squats can help to tone and define the leg muscles, so you should start with 3 sets of 50 reps per set, doing them once or twice in each workout session. It would be advantageous to do the squats on non-running days, so as not to fatigue the legs and to get the bulk of the benefit from the exercise.
Upper Body/Core Strengthening
Another super toning exercise that you could use to train for the marathon is to do exercises that strengthen the upper body. This includes bench presses, overhead presses, bicep curls and triceps dips. All of these exercises strengthen, tone and define the upper body and will help you tremendously in a marathon. Toned, defined muscles help your endurance and speed, especially during critical points in the race.
Core strengthening or abdominal exercises are also good toning mechanisms to prepare for the marathon. Running requires use of all of the body's muscles and a good core helps to stabilize, balance and keep the body erect on distance runs. A strong core helps to keep the body erect while running and creates a sure base for the runner as he pushes off with each foot fall during the course of the race. Solid abdominal toning includes exercises like crunches, reverse crunches, planks and balance ball routines that help stabilize and strengthen the body's core muscle group. By toning and defining these muscles, there is less likelihood of injuries or muscle fatigue.