Marathon Training

Marathon Training Online Plans

Its best to start with a marathon training plan based on getting you to the finish rather than completing the distance in a certain time.
Starting out slowly and gradually build up the mileage can avoid creating injuries if the body as not used to being moving for sustained periods. Ideally there will be rest days and supplementary activities that involve stretching like yoga or pilates.

Find A Marathon

What kind of marathon do you want? What kind of surface, the kind  of environment you prefer? There’s lots of choice.
To find a marathon in the US, the website Running in the USA has a comprehensive list. A UK Marathon list can be found on and Ahotu has a global list.

Training Plans

The average marathon training plan is between 14 to 20 weeks long. You will usually run three to five times a week, gradually increasing your mileage as you get nearer to your race.
A 14 week basic plan provided by for you to get started. This plan will give you a framework which you can adjust to suit yourself and develop as your capacity and experience grows.

Take it steady. Listen to your body. Learn to distinguish between ‘good pain’ (stretching yourself) from ‘bad pain’ (a problem leading to injury).
Read a book, there’s loads out there, talk to other runners. Running with a friend or companion can be a great help. Checkout an app like Kaizen or look at this list of the most popular current running apps.

Running Gear

Fixing Your Feet book
There’s a lot of money can be spent on running shoes. Start of with something basic but well made, suited to the surface you will be training on. Get a gait analysis if necessary but most people can get away without that in the beginning.
Wear light clothing to suit. Cotton can contribute to chafing in warmer conditions and the longer the run the more chance there is of encountering chafing and blisters. Deal with these conditions as soon as they enter your awareness as they get more painful as they develop. There are products that help with chafing (eg Bodyglide) and blisters, both caused by friction. Read Jon Vonhoff’s classic book on blisters, Fixing Your Feet.

Running Nutrition

Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking sufficient water. In hot weather consider taking onboard extra electrolytes and for longer runs extra calories.