Marathon Beginner Training Schedule

Congratulations

You have completed the starter program and are now ready to start your Beginner marathon training schedule. This schedule is for the motivated runner, who is willing and able to invest the time and effort needed to finish this training. This Beginner training schedule has been tried by runners and coaches and has helped thousands of novice runners cross the finish line of their first marathon.

Coming from the starter schedule

A few things might seem different about this Beginner training schedule. Firstly, there are now three consecutive days of training on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Secondly, one of the rest days has been replaced by a cross training day on Monday. The cross training will help with relieving stiffness and soreness from the long run on Sunday. The real benefits can be experienced when the long runs start to last over one hour.

Also, there is a slight step backward in the weekly total distance. And a shorter long run until week 6.

Beginner Marathon Training Schedule in Miles

(mileage build-up)

Week Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Total
1 5 Cross 0 3 3 3 0 14
2 6 Cross 0 3 3 3 0 15
3 7 Cross 0 3 4 3 0 17
4 5 Cross 0 3 4 3 0 15
5 9 Cross 0 3 5 3 0 20
6 10 Cross 0 3 5 3 0 21
7 7 Cross 0 3 6 3 0 19
8 12 Cross 0 3 6 3 0 24
9 13 Cross 0 3 7 4 0 27
10 10 Cross 0 3 7 4 0 24
11 15 Cross 0 3 8 4 0 30
12 16 Cross 0 3 8 5 0 32
13 12 Cross 0 3 9 5 0 29
14 18 Cross 0 3 9 5 0 35
15 14 Cross 0 3 10 5 0 32
16 20 Cross 0 3 8 4 0 35
17 12 Cross 0 3 6 3 0 24
18 8 Cross 0 3 2 0 0 13
19 Race 0 0 Cross 0 2 0 28.2

Beginner Marathon Training Schedule in Kilometers

(metric buildup)

Week Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Total
1 8 Cross 0 5 5 5 0 23
2 9.5 Cross 0 5 5 5 0 24.5
3 11 Cross 0 5 6.5 5 0 27.5
4 8 Cross 0 5 6.5 5 0 24.5
5 14 Cross 0 5 8 5 0 32
6 16 Cross 0 5 8 5 0 34
7 11 Cross 0 5 9.5 5 0 31.5
8 19 Cross 0 5 9.5 5 0 38.5
9 21.5 Cross 0 5 11 6.5 0 44
10 16 Cross 0 5 11 6.5 0 38.5
11 24 Cross 0 5 12.5 6.5 0 48
12 25.5 Cross 0 5 12.5 8 0 51
13 19 Cross 0 5 14 8 0 46
14 30 Cross 0 5 14 8 0 57
15 22.5 Cross 0 5 16 8 0 51.5
16 32 Cross 0 5 12.5 6.5 0 56
17 19 Cross 0 5 9.5 5 0 38.5
18 13 Cross 0 5 3 0 0 21
19 Race 0 0 0 0 3 0 45.195

Beginner Guide Lines

Running for three consecutive days plus a long run on Sunday shouldn't be such a hard thing since weekly mileage is quite low in the beginning. To make it even easier for you, read the following points.

  • Make sure that Tuesday and Saturday are complete rest days without intense exercising. Especially doing other sports should be avoided to provide healing and refueling time to the exhausted muscles.
  • Run the long run at a comfortable pace, about three to five percent above your targeted pace. As a first time marathon runner, set your finish target time between 5 and 7 hours. Running your first marathon should be about finishing, not too much about time.
  • If the long run turns out to be a tough apple to bite, please consider walking breaks of about three or four minutes before you start to feel tired. This might help relaxing and re-charging the muscles.
  • Cross training on Mondays is strongly suggested to keep stamina level up without using the same muscle groups as you do with running. Riding a bike, swimming or walking are excellent exercises to increase blood-flow of other muscle groups. Aim for about 30 minutes without the warm-up and cool-down.
  • Proper warming up before your training run, long run, and marathon race will be extremely advantageous for your physical health. For more information please refer to marathon running warm-up for suggested warm-up routines.
  • Food is fuel for your training and race. Failure to eat properly will result in under-performance, fatigue, and injury. Please visit marathon running nutrition page for more information.

 
 

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