MileSplit Marathon Training Plan



Completing a marathon is one of the most rewarding experiences in any runner's career, but getting to the finish line is undoubtedly challenging. If you are looking to just finish a marathon in 30 days and then never run again, this is not the article for you.

When I hear people say, "I just want to finish one marathon so I never have to do another," I feel sad for them. Why would anyone ever run a marathon just to say they did it? Running a marathon is so much fun and if you don't enjoy running that far then don't run a marathon. There are plenty of other race distances that you would enjoy more. It doesn't matter if you run long or short, make sure you are having fun!

Before endeavoring to train for a marathon, it is recommended that you have at least run for one year and completed a half marathon. This is not always necessary, especially if you have a background in endurance sports, but in general having run for at least a full year will help greatly in training.

When developing a training plan, it is important to recognize the different types of runs. For a beginner, the two most important runs are easy runs and long runs. Easy runs are the runs you will complete most days of the week. The goal of an easy run is to build an aerobic base without taxing the body excessively.

When you first start running, easy days may even include walking. There is absolutely no shame in employing the run/walk method when training, and even during your marathon you may have to walk a bit and there is nothing wrong with that.

Long runs are similar to easy runs, except they are much longer. Usually during your marathon build-up you will complete one long run per week, with easy runs in between. Long runs are important because they will teach your muscles to work for extensive periods of time (which is obviously important when running over 26 miles). Long runs can also be used as a simulation for the actual marathon. So, on long run day it is important to practice hydrating and taking in nutrition such as energy gels, both of which will be necessary on race day.

More advanced runners may also be interested in including speed work in their training plans, but for the average beginner or intermediate marathoner, easy runs and long runs will provide the necessary aerobic work to get you to your goal. Below I have included a sample 16 week training plan.


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

   Sunday

(Long Run)

Week Total

Off

3 Miles

4 Miles

3 Miles

Off

3 Miles

6 Miles

19 Miles

Off

3 Miles

5 Miles

3 Miles

Off

3 Miles

7 Miles

21 Miles

Off

3 Miles

6 Miles

3 Miles

Off

3 Miles

9 Miles

24 Miles

Off

3 Miles

6 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

10 Miles

27 Miles

Off

4 Miles

7 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

12 Miles

31 Miles

Off

4 Miles

7 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

7-8 Miles

27 Miles

Off

3 Miles

6 Miles

4 Miles

Off

2-3 Miles

½ MARATHON

29 Miles

Off

3 Miles

7 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

11 Miles

29 Miles

Off

5 Miles

8 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

15 Miles

36 Miles

Off

5 Miles

9 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

15 Miles

37 Miles

Off

5 Miles

8 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

17 Miles

38 Miles

Off

5 Miles

9 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

18 miles

40 Miles

Off

5 Miles

7 Miles

4 Miles

Off

3 Miles

20-22 Miles

41 Miles

Off

3 Miles

6 Miles

5 Miles

Off

3 Miles

15 Miles

32 Miles

Off

5 Miles

6 Miles

4 Miles

Off

3 Miles

10 Miles

28 Miles

Off

3 Miles

3 Miles

2 Miles

Off

1-2 Miles

MARATHON

36 Miles


If you are interested in a more personal training plan there are many coaches nationwide who can develop a specific plan for you individually. Remember that training for a marathon can get challenging, but at the end of the day it will be rewarding. Never forget that the reason we run isn't because it's easy but because we love it.

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