Marathon Training 101: What Every Personal Trainer Needs to Know

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About The Course

Of the many challenges and barriers that exist in the world of health and fitness, perhaps one of the most extreme is the marathon. Even to the recreational runner, the imposing 26.2 miles can seem insurmountable. To people who have never run before, a marathon may be considered out of the realm of possibility entirely. Running 26.2 miles continuously can take a tremendous physical toll on the body. The physiological stress alone can cause extensive lactic acidosis, prolonged muscle soreness, and a high risk of injury. On a metabolic level, running a marathon can impair the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, sodium, and potassium. All of these factors can add to the challenge of finishing. In addition, while we tend to focus solely on the pure physical challenge that a marathon poses, the psychological challenge involved may be the most daunting obstacle to overcome.

Of the factors being considered, however, the amount of satisfaction and confidence that comes with finishing a marathon far outweighs any of the challenges that it poses. When first time marathon finishers are asked how they feel upon finishing, they will seldom mention the amount of physical stress that they are feeling. Instead, they will often offer sentiments such as this: "It was an incredible experience" or "I feel amazing" or even "It was life changing." These sentiments are evidenced by the fact the 85% of first time marathon finishers go on to complete second marathons. In a world where retention and success are infrequent, this statistic should not be taken lightly. Typically, less than 10% of personal training clients experience weight loss success. Comparing these statistics should tell the personal trainer that there is tremendous opportunity to be effective with clients by offering marathon training.

While there are many reasons to train a client for a marathon, the likelihood that the client will continue this training on his or her own should be reason enough to consider training them for one. Although this may seem like a difficult pursuit for the personal trainer, it can be incredibly satisfying in the same way that running a marathon can be unbelievably rewarding, and maybe even life changing, for the client. The experience of helping a client to achieve something that they previously thought impossible can be beyond rewarding for the trainer. When there is a clear goal for both the client and the trainer, the client will not only feel more supported by the trainer, but will likely be more motivated as well, since there is more accountability for this goal. When this training is offered to the client, the trainer is essentially offering something that most other personal trainers cannot offer. By setting him- or herself apart from other trainers in this way, a personal trainer actually dramatically increases their chances of client success, retention, and satisfaction.

This course is written for the personal trainer with no previous marathon, or even running, experience. It is, therefore, designed to cover all aspects of marathon training, including musculoskeletal, physiological, ergogenic, psychological, and life management. In covering all of these aspects of marathon training, this course will also provide the trainer with the skills necessary to take the client through a 20-week training program for a marathon. Lastly, in reading this course, the trainer will be prepared with the skills necessary to handle any training setbacks or challenges that may arise in preparation for the marathon.

Features online enrollment, online exam and instant grading as well as automatic certificate generation upon completion of course.


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My experience with ISSA was amazing. I was so impressed with the online self-study program and how it was organized. I was equally impressed with the staff support, knowledge and integrity!

Yvonne Roth

I found the books, videos, and online resources to be valuable. The course ware is written in an easy to understand language

Prashant Goyal

I am now one step closer to my visions. I can't wait to get out there and help others. I highly recommend this course to individuals who are interested in becoming a certified personal trainer.

Suresh Chalapathi Kumar Babu

ISSA is the best place to get your personal training certification. The amount of detail put into the workbook and textbooks is amazing and I can honestly say I was blown away.

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ISSA has been outstanding when it comes to educating and certificating their students. The material is easy to ready, with rich content, and well structured.

Jose Pastrello

I'm so happy and proud that I chose this institute for my study to the CFT because their material gave me a lot of information and experience that I didn't know it before.

Ali Al-Noori

I have stayed recertified with ISSA because it holds high standards to its trainers and is a highly recognized organization.

Krista Johnson

The resources ISSA provides (both in hard copy and online) such as the study guide, the coursebook, the chapter summary videos, the exercise videos, and the question board are all very valuable tools...

Helen Pardue

I am really looking forward to helping people realize and reach their goals of becoming more healthy and physically fit, no matter their age.

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Omar A. Mahgoub

The staff was very helpful also and very nice if I had a question about anything they were always there to help me out.

Angela Brown

I feel confident to go into the work force as a personal trainer now, and I'm excited to start this chapter in my life.

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