A Beginner Marathon Training Schedule

Ready to start your training?!

This beginner marathon training schedule is 16 weeks long and will take you through your training and over that finish line!

Don't forget...you can modify this to fit your schedule. The number one thing to remember in beginner marathon training is that you must build the mileage and your endurance.

Before Attempting this Beginners Plan...

Be comfortable with running at least 4 miles. If you can run 5-6 miles that will be perfect since your first long run is 6 miles during the first week of training. 

If you can't physically run 6 miles yet you don't want to have force your body to run the 6 miles, become worn out and then be playing "keep-up" throughout the rest of the training. 

So if you aren't ready yet, wait and keep building up your endurance. 

Beginners 16 Week Marathon Training Schedule

Week Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Total
1 Rest 3 4 Rest 3 Rest 6 16
2 Rest 4 4 Rest 3 Rest 8 19
3 Rest 4 4 Rest 4 Rest 10 22
4 Rest 4 5 Rest 4 Rest 12 25
5 Rest 5 5 Rest 4 Rest 15 29
6 Rest 5 5 Rest 4 Rest 8 22
7 Rest 5 6 Rest 4 Rest 17 32
8 Rest 4 5 Rest 4 Rest 10 23
9 Rest 5 6 Rest 4 Rest 19 34
10 Rest 4 5 Rest 4 Rest 10 23
11 Rest 5 7 Rest 4 Rest 20-21 37
12 Rest 4 5 Rest 4 Rest 10 23
13 Rest 5 7 Rest 4 Rest 20-23 ~38
14 Rest 4 8 Rest 4 Rest 12 28
15 Rest 5 10 Rest 4 Rest 6 25
16 Rest 4 3-4 2-3 Rest Rest 26.2! ~36
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We also have a 32 Week Marathon Training Program if you want to take it slower. This is a great option for those who are very injury-cautious, want to gain more running experience and be better prepared for the marathon ordeal.

Along with training...

You are going to be logging many miles during your marathon training. You want to do it. Here are pointers on those "other things" that go along with your training.

  • Hydration: One of the most important factors of your training! Without the proper fluids your body is at risk of shutting down. Endurance sports always require you to take in the proper fluids.(Hydration Tips and Guideline)
  • Rest: I don't think this can be stressed enough. That is why this beginner marathon training program has 3 rest days/week. It is better for you to rest than to push through miles and become run down. You must rest your body! If some days you just aren't feeling it then take the day off. If you are injured: REST! However, if you feel like you want to add cross-training on ONE of the rest days, then do so. (Click on the link for more information and the benefits of cross training.) Just don't force yourself into cross training if you are feeling run down. Also, if you do choose to cross train then try to schedule it on Thursday, in the middle of your training week.
  • The Long Runs: these are implemented to build your endurance. During weeks 11 and 13 you have the option of going longer than 20 miles. You may feel up to it and welcome the opportunity of boosting your race day performance and success. However, if the long runs have been getting the most of you than stick to 20 miles. 

Train hard...conquer it! and make the marathon YOURS!


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