Marathon Training Programs




Marathon Rookie Books Marathon training programs are designed to fit the goals of runners at all levels, from beginner to elite. Runners should select a program based on their goals for the marathon and their current level of fitness.

An active, experienced runner who has race experience may want to consider marathon training programs that include speed training (fartleks, intervals, etc.). These types of programs are geared more towards runners who already have an established distance pace and look to improve their pace with a goal of finishing a marathon under a certain time (3 hours, 3 ½ hours, etc.).

However, first time marathoners commonly have little running experience to draw from, especially at long distances over 14 miles. For many, the goal is simply to finish. After finishing a first marathon, one then has an established marathon pace and finish time. They can then set a realistic goal for the next marathon and consider marathon training programs targeting a specific finish time goal.

The following marathon training programs are for first time marathoners with a goal to finish. As you train, expect to see your pace gradually increase and you improve your level of fitness. Keep a record, or journal, of your training runs so you can see your overall improvements as you progress through training.



Beginner Marathon Training Programs



16-Week Marathon Training Schedule
WeekMonTueWedThuFriSatSunTotal
13Rest43Rest5Rest15
23Rest43Rest6Rest16
33Rest43Rest7Rest17
43Rest53Rest8Rest19
53Rest53Rest10Rest21
64Rest54Rest11Rest24
74Rest64Rest12Rest26
84Rest64Rest14Rest28
94Rest74Rest16Rest31
105Rest85Rest16Rest34
115Rest85Rest17Rest35
125Rest85Rest18Rest36
135Rest85Rest20Rest38
145Rest85Rest9Rest27
153Rest53Rest8Rest19
163Rest3Walk 2Rest26.2Rest34.2

Printable Schedule (PDF)

Training Journal







26-Week Marathon Training Schedule
WeekMonTueWedThuFriSatSunTotal
1Walk 20 min.RestWalk 20 min.Walk 20 min.RestWalk 20 min.Rest80 min.
2Run/Walk 20 min.RestRun/Walk 20 min.Run/Walk 20 min.RestRun/Walk 20 min.Rest80 min.
3Run/Walk 25 min.RestRun/Walk 25 min.Run/Walk 25 min.RestRun/Walk 25 min.Rest100 min.
4Run/Walk 30 min.RestRun/Walk 30 min.Run/Walk 30 min.RestRun/Walk 30 min.Rest120 min.
5Run/Walk 35 min.RestRun/Walk 35 min.Run/Walk 35 min.RestRun/Walk 35 min.Rest140 min.
6Run/Walk 35 min.RestRun/Walk 35 min.Run/Walk 35 min.RestRun/Walk 35 min.Rest140 min.
7Run 20 min.RestRun 20 min.Run 20 min.RestRun 20 min.Rest80 min.
8Run 25 min.RestRun 25 min.Run 25 min.RestRun 25 min.Rest100 min.
9Run 25 min.RestRun 30 min.Run 25 min.RestRun 40 min.Rest120 min.
10Run 25 min.RestRun 20 min.Run 25 min.RestRun 30 min.Rest100 min.
113Rest43Rest5Rest15
123Rest43Rest6Rest16
133Rest43Rest7Rest17
143Rest53Rest8Rest19
153Rest53Rest10Rest21
164Rest54Rest11Rest24
174Rest64Rest12Rest26
184Rest64Rest14Rest28
194Rest74Rest16Rest31
205Rest85Rest16Rest34
215Rest85Rest17Rest35
225Rest85Rest18Rest36
235Rest85Rest20Rest38
245Rest85Rest9Rest27
253Rest53Rest8Rest19
263Rest3Walk 2Rest26.2Rest34.2




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