For those looking for a beginner marathon training schedule it can be a good idea to train for a longer period of time than the normal 16-20 week programs.
This 32 week schedule will help to get you on your way to running a fantastic first marathon.
I know, it's long but it is also ideal for certain runners who want more time for their marathon training program.
Who is this plan ideal for?
Still not sure if you are ready for a marathon? Answer these specific questions to determine if you are ready to begin a marathon training schedule.
The most important thing to keep in mind as a first time marathoner training with this 32 week marathon training program is that you are not racing to meet a certain time.
The easiest thing to do during a marathon training program is to get yourself injured but taking it slow and prudently the first time will get you strongly across the finish line.
This is why stretching out your marathon training and doubling it to 32 weeks is perfect for preventing injury and allowing yourself to set a sturdy foundation for your marathon race.
Before most runners begin a marathon training schedule they should first run for 3-6 months consistently.
It is never a good idea to jump into marathon running and training if you haven’t been a regular runner for awhile.
Your body needs to adapt and strengthen itself towards the high intensity of running before it can take on the marathon.
However, since this program gives you such a gradual buildup you could begin training earlier and have the first few weeks serve as your consistency training as you build endurance and work into the plan.
As you can see in the plan below, this training program has a very gradual build up of long run miles. This allows your body to keep up with the training program.
Long Run Progression:
Your long runs will be increased each week by one mile until you hit a long run of 11 miles in Week 11. From then on, you will have one easy week, where you will have a "shorter" long run, followed by a week where the long run is progressed by another mile.
Longest Run Total Mileage:
Your longest long run will be a total of 22-23 miles which will set you up for the 26.2 miles of the marathon in 2 weeks. However, if you don't feel comfortable going over the 20 mile mark, you can just do 20 milers for any scheduled run over 20 miles.
Volume Building Running Days:
Each week you will also have 3 days of shorter runs leading into your long run. This will help you build mileage (running volume) to help your body acclimate to consistent long distance running.
It will also help you keep your running fitness. There are no quality workouts scheduled in this program such as hill repeats, sprints, or intervals.
This is because the main goal of the plan is to take beginner runners and have them increase their endurance in order to get them to the marathon finish line.
Three rest days have also been scheduled every week. Take these seriously and just rest.
The theme of this race plan is to be easy on your body and if you follow the guidelines you won't end up tearing yourself up during the marathon and will have a very pleasant experience.
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Note: All distances listed are in miles.