6 Things You Can Start Doing Now to Prepare for the Honolulu Marathon in 2019

Inspired by the 27,000 runners? Here’s how to become one next year.

Update: Early entry for Hawai‘i residents officially opened on Jan. 22, 2019. From now until Feb. 3, Hawai‘i residents can take advantage of lower entry fees for Honolulu Marathon, Start to Park 10k and Kalakaua Merrie Mile before registration opens up to Mainland residents on Feb. 4 (and international residents on Feb. 18). 


Photos and videos: Courtesy of Honolulu Marathon



Keep an eye out for kama‘āina registration, an opportunity to sign up for the marathon for $35. Follow the marathon on Facebook to be sure you don’t miss it. Putting a little money into it makes it real and will help keep you motivated. Use a Sharpie to write it on your calendar—while the date for 2019 hasn’t officially been released, it’s almost always the second Sunday of December.


SEE ALSO: 10 Non-Christmas Things to Do This December in Honolulu



It sounds so simple, but if you’ve fallen off the exercise wagon, take advantage of all the fitness center resolution specials and sign up for something that you’ll enjoy. It doesn’t have to be running just yet; anything you do to create a habit of regular exercise will help you when the time comes to start training for the marathon. Try barre classes, or take up muay thai boxing. You’ll kick-start your cardio and gain some strength, too.


Honolulu Marathon Finish Line


Watch Your Diet

Literally—watch it, don’t necessarily change it just yet. If you’re adding exercise to your life, changing your diet at the same time may be too much to tackle in one month. Read about healthy fuel for runners. Notice what parts of your diet match the descriptions and which don’t. If you start now, you can make a change or two per month—baby steps, instead of a full diet overhaul. Observe in January, then consider dropping the soda or candy in February—or, even easier, adding more good fuel like fish and vegetables.


SEE ALSO: Field Notes: These People Will Help You Complete Your First Honolulu Marathon


Rally Your Crew

Studies show that having a training partner makes all the difference. Talk to your friends and family about your goal and find some that want to do it with you. Encourage them to commit and register. Then make sure that you do at least one of your workouts with your crew each week, creating company and accountability. You’ll need it when you start running regularly.


Research Plans

There are so many different philosophies on tackling the marathon. Just want to finish? Look into the “FIRST” plan, with only three running days per week. Want to see what your body can really do? Consider the Hanson Marathon Method. Not sure? Join their public Facebook pages to see who uses them and what sorts of questions arise. Consider it recon for when the time gets close.


Honolulu Marathon Runner


Plan Travel

Travel is wonderful but can throw a real kink into your training. You’ll need to start running regularly by August, so make sure any big travel is done in the first half of the year. If it can’t be avoided, book hotels with decent gyms so as not to derail your training.