Marathon Training Schedule
You Can Be A Marathon Runner

This marathon training schedule is ideal for the marathon rookie or if you are looking for a less intense training plan. By reducing the stress and strain in your training, you avoid running injuries.

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To run a marathon, a distance of 26.2 miles, without stopping to walk is quite a feat. Unnecessary, but awesome. You will notice even elite athletes walk at the water stations.

Think of it this way…

When doing exercises like arm curls or leg curls, you do these in sets of 10 or 15. You don’t do them until it feels like your arms will fall off. You are using repetition and rest to build up both strength and endurance.

There is another point too…

When you are a marathon runner, no one will ask you if you walked at all. No one ever asked me. It just doesn’t matter. The accomplishment stands on its own without qualification.

If you haven’t reach the starting point as indicated in the marathon training schedule chart below, read marathon training programs to find out why you should have this base mileage.

Using This Schedule

Use this training plan as a guideline. It is not set in stone. Meaning you may have to adjust it to meet your needs or as your training requires. Your work schedule or family life may suggest you do your long run on Monday instead of Sunday. This really should not have any bearing on your success. The important thing is to get up to the 16 miles and then taper off before race weekend.

Take Saturdays off. The other two days are utilized with cross training. Go swimming, ride your bike, just get out and do some sort of physical activity for a short time. Then do the running exercises too. This will help your recovery time so you are ready for your next running day.

How to Do the Long Runs

You do the Sunday long run at a comfortable jogging pace. You will jog 8 to 10 minutes, and then take a one-minute brisk walk break. Repeat this for the entire distance. I use 8 minutes and then keep this routine for the marathon race too.

You benefit from the short rest bursts much like the weightlifter benefits from using repetitions. You will build endurance and strength while decreasing greatly your chance of injuries.

The other two running days of your marathon training schedule can be done with or without the walk breaks. I do suggest that your Friday run as a fun light jogging day with no walk breaks. It will do wonders for your confidence in your training and running.

Marathon Training Schedule

Week    Sunday       Monday/Tuesday       Wed.       Thurs.       Fri.       Sat       Total   
Week 1     6.2 mls.  Cross Training 4 miles  CT 1 mile Off  11.2 mls.
Week 2     7.0 mls.  Cross Training 4 miles  CT 1 mile Off  12 mls.
Week 3     7.6 mls.  Cross Training 3.5 miles  CT 2 miles Off  13.1 mls.
Week 4     8.2 mls.  Cross Training 4 miles  CT 2 miles Off  14.2 mls.
Week 5     7 mls.  Cross Training 3 miles  CT 1 mile Off  11 mls.
Week 6     9 mls.  Cross Training 2 miles  CT 1 mile Off  14 mls.
Week 7     10 mls.  Cross Training 4 miles  CT 1 mile Off  15 mls.
Week 8     11 mls.  Cross Training 4 miles  CT 1.5 miles Off  16.5 mls.
Week 9     12 mls.  Cross Training 5 miles  CT 1 mile Off  18 mls.
Week 10     13 mls.  Cross Training 4 miles  CT 2 miles Off  19 mls.
Week 11     10 mls.  Cross Training 5 miles  CT 2 miles Off  17 mls.
Week 12     14 mls.  Cross Training 5 miles  CT 2 miles Off  21 mls.
Week 13     15 mls.  Cross Training 5 miles  CT 3 miles Off  23 mls.
Week 14     16 mls.  Cross Training 7 miles  CT 2 miles Off  25 mls.
Week 15     13 mls.  Cross Training 4 miles  CT 3 miles Off  20 mls.
Week 16     14 mls.  Cross Training 8 miles  CT 6 miles Off  28 mls.
Week 17     15 mls.  Cross Training 10 miles  CT 6 miles Off  31 mls..
Week 18     16 mls.  Cross Training 10 miles  CT 8 miles Off  34 mls.
Week 19     14 mls.  Cross Training 8 miles  CT 6 miles Off  28 mls.
Week 20     10 mls.  Cross Training 4 miles  CT 2 miles Off  16 mls.
Week 21     Race Day  Cross Training 1 mile  CT 2 miles Off  29.2 mls.

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