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Training tips Cross training

Beginners marathon training plan

How do I train for a marathon?

Great question! We have pulled together a beginners marathon training plan here specially designed to take you from gentle joy, to finishing a 26.2mile marathon in 12 weeks – something a tiny number of people have ever achieved.

What level of fitness do I need to train for or run a marathon?

It is essential that you do adequate training before taking on a marathon. It is a significant feat for which you need to prepare your body. However, anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can train to complete a marathon. This training plan is for beginners – but beginner is assuming you can run easily for 30 minutes without stopping. If you can’t yet achieve an easy 30 minute run, then try this walk – run technique to build your fitness up, and then come back and begin this plan when the 30 min run is easily achieved.

Beginners marathon training plan

The plan below is based on you being able to run 30 minutes non stop before you begin. Our beginner plan is based on time on your feet running – not distance, but there are one or two milage markers to hit to make sure you are prepared. You can choose the days on which you do the sessions – there are three per week. We recommend having a rest day between them – but we know you will have a busy schedule so fit them in where it’s possible.

wk 130 minute brisk walk20 minute easy run and 20 minute brisk walk.30 minute easy run and 10 minutes brisk walk
wk 225 minute easy run35 minute run and 10 minute brisk walk45 minute easy run, 10 minute brisk walk
week 325 minute easy run40 minute run60 minute run
week 415 minute run, 1 minute walk. Repeat 4 times.60 minute run40 minute easy run, 10 minute walk, 40 minute easy run.
week 515 minute run, 1 minute walk. Repeat 6 times.10 minute run, 2 minute walk. Repeat 8 times.2 hour run, or 9 miles.
week 645 minute run60 minute run30 minute run, 5 minute walk. Repeat 3 times.
week 745 minute run65 minute run1 hour run, walk 10 minutes. Repeat twice.
week 840 minute easy run50 minute run1 hour run, walk 5 minutes. Repeat twice.
week 940 minute run.10 minute easy run, 10 minute hard run. Repeat 4 times.75 minutes easy run, 5 minutes walk. Repeat twice.
week 1020 minute run.30 minute run3 hour run.
week 1125 minute easy run.25 minute run.60 minute easy run.
week 1225 minute easy run.10 minute easy run.RACE DAY: marathon. Have fun, you’ve done the training.