Free Marathon Training Plan for Beginners



Read over the notes below, then scroll down to see your beginner's free marathon training plan.free marathon training plan

If you're not able to run 2 to 3 miles continuously without stopping please read the Marathon Training Beginner page first. Also, check out the Marathon Training Tips page at some point, specifically for advice about how to treat the last two weeks of your training.

You need to keep a few things in mind if you're deciding to undertake this beginner's free marathon training plan.

Always, always, always consult with a qualified physician before beginning or changing any exercise or nutrition program. Also, never run with an injury or think you can run through pain.

You can refer to the Running Injuries page or the Injury Prevention page to get some information about the pains you might experience during training and to get some practical advice for avoiding common injuries. But again, a qualified physician is the ONLY person who should diagnose or treat any injury.free marathon training plan

During your free marathon training plan try to complete the daily runs without taking any walk breaks. This will help to stretch your endurance. However, during the long runs on the weekend you should use walk breaks. Walking will help reduce fatigue and allow you to recover faster. Depending on your fitness level, plan on taking a walk break every 5 to 15 minutes. Your walk breaks should be about a minute. Take a little longer walk break if you feel overly fatigued.


This free marathon training plan is for someone who does not have any time goal for finishing. If you are trying for a time goal please refer to the Intermediate Marathon Training Program , or the Training Plan for the Advanced Marathon Runner .

Week Sun Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat
1 off 3 easy off 3 easy 3 easy off 6 long
2 off 3 easy off 3 easy 3 easy off 7 long
3 off 3 easy off 4 easy 3 easy off 8 long
4 off 3 easy off 3 easy 3 easy off 6 long
5 off 3 easy off 5 med. 3 easy off 9 long
6 off 5 easy off 4 med. 3 easy off 10 long
7 off 5 easy off 3 med. 4 easy off 11 long
8 off 5 easy off 6 easy 5 easy off 4 hard
9 off 3 easy off 5 med. 3 easy off 12 long
10 off 4 easy off 4 med. 4 easy off 13 long
11 off 4 easy off 4 med. 4 easy off 14 long
12 off 4 easy off 6 easy 3 easy off 10 long
13 off 3 easy off 5 med. 3 easy off 15 long
14 off 3 easy off 5 med. 3 easy off 16 long
15 off 3 easy off 5 med. 3 easy off 17 long
16 off 5 easy off 7 easy 5 easy off 6 hard
17 off 3 easy off 6 med. 3 easy off 18 long
18 off 4 easy off 5 med. 3 easy off 19 long
19 off 4 easy off 5 med. 3 easy off 20 long
20 off 5 easy off 6 med. 5 easy off 7 hard
21 off 4 easy off 3 med. 4 easy off 10 long
22 off 5 easy off 4 easy 3 easy off Marathon


Easy runs should be at a conversational pace, or a pace at which you could talk easily without gasping for air.

Medium runs are obviously slightly faster. By the same measure as easy runs, you should be able to get out a few words at a time without gasping for air. Your breathing should be elevated but not frantic.

Take caution on the hard runs. You want to build into them gradually. Treat the first half as an easy run. Build into medium speed for the next quarter (or half of the remaining half). And the last quarter should be run at a pace where you really feel like your pushing it. Breathing should be very hard, making it very difficult to talk. At the end of these runs make sure you cool down with some slow jogging and at least 10 minutes of gradually brisk to slow walking.free marathon training plan

On one of your days off you can do some cross training if you want. Make sure you keep at least two full days off of any exercise. Check out the Cross Training page to get some ideas. Whatever you choose just make sure avoid any exercises that works your legs. You can do some easy walking if you want, but other than that, don't work your legs.free marathon training plan


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