Marathon Training Schedule: Be A Champion!

So you want to tackle the big, bad marathon? Good news- we've created this marathon training schedule to ensure you are strong, confident, and ready to run!

A full marathon, which entails 26.2 miles, is a great indicator you are a true runner.

Marathon Training Schedule

Each year, over 500 marathons are organized worldwide, and in my humble opinion, these are the “King of all Races”.

A wide spectrum of participants can be found participating in marathon races – whether you just want to cross the finish line, have a personal best you want to beat, or are truly competing in your division, you won’t run alone in your mission.

I sometimes hit a wall in the final leg of a race, only to rally with a complete stranger, and we motivate each other across that finish line.

It’s an individual sport that contains a lot of comaraderie and respect for your competitor.

Of course, there will be elite runners. At every race I’ve ever participated in, professional athletes are allowed an earlier starting time, and are given the "right-of-way" along the race route. Other runners respect and often applaud those who really excel.

Marathon Pre-Race Stretch

There are races in which people of all fitness levels cannot participate. Major marathons require individuals to qualify at a prior event under a certain time. For example, the Boston Marathon has a qualifying time of 3 hours, 10 minutes for men ages 18-34, and 3 hours, 40 minutes for women of the same age group.

For the rest of us non-professionals, there are plenty of cool events to participate in, even if you have to crawl across that finish line.

Some of my favorite events are the Rock’n’Roll Marathon Series. I have participated in the San Diego and Denver Rock'n'Roll events, and they are definitely some of my favorite race experiences!

With entertainment such as live music every 1 ½ miles, cheerleaders, tons of spectators, and sometimes even a little beer, there nothing to hate about these fun-filled racing events.

Marathon Corral 1

What are you waiting for? To help kick-start your training, follow the tried and tested schedule below. The training covers 18 weeks, includes cross training and will definitely take a lot of dedication.

So get out there and start week 1. That new marathon medal will be around your neck before you know it!

After your marathon training schedule is complete, be sure to check out our race day checklist!

RunPals Marathon Training Program

WEEK SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOTAL
1 rest 6 8 6 x-train* 4 10 34
2 rest 6 8 6 x-train 4 12 36
3 rest 4 x-train 4 x-train 4 6 18
4 rest 6 8 6 x-train 4 14 38
5 rest 6 8 6 x-train 5 16 41
6 rest 6 8 6 x-train 5 18 43
7 rest 5 x-train 5 x-train 4 6 20
8 rest 5 7 6 x-train 4 20 42
9 rest 6 8 6 x-train 4 14 38
10 rest 5 x-train 6 x-train 4 7 22
11 rest 5 7 6 x-train 4 21 43
12 rest 6 8 6 x-train 4 14 38
13 rest 6 x-train 6 x-train 4 8 24
14 rest 5 7 6 x-train 5 22 45
15 rest 6 8 6 x-train 4 12 36
16 rest 7 x-train 5 x-train 4 14 30
17 rest 6 x-train 4 x-train 2 10 22
18 rest rest x-train rest x-train rest RACE DAY! 26.2! BRAVO

*Our favorite cross training exercises for runners.