Your Free
Marathon Training Schedule

Make sure you read over the extended descriptions below. But for now, here are your free marathon training schedules.

Beginner's Free Marathon Training Plan

Intermediate Marathon Training Program

Training Plan for the Advanced Marathon Runner

This is what you're looking for. Your marathon training schedule. When most people decide to run a marathon for the first time or to train to run a faster marathon, this is what they want. So you are looking for what to run and when to run it. Before we get to the actual schedules, let's cover some basics. You may want to check out the Pace Calculator page to get your average pace for any given finish time.

There are three types of marathon runners, and all three need a unique marathon training schedule. But there is some good advice that all marathon runners need. Go to the Marathon Training Tips page for some advice on mileage buildup, running surfaces, racing, motivation, importance of rest, and tapering as you approach your race date.

Beginner's Marathon Training Schedule

First, there are those of you that are going to run or run/walk your first marathon. You don't have much of a running background or for that matter, much of any fitness background.

In light of the difficulty of what you are taking on, I would say that you folks are awesome. Few people have the guts to attempt what you are planning to attempt. If people around you aren't supportive, ignore them they're just intimidated. So don't give up.

If you haven't checked out the Beginners page or if you can't run for 3 miles without walking, go check it out now. There are some things to keep in mind about the beginners marathon training schedule. This training schedule does not get heavy into any heart rate training zones or thresholds, or any of those types of measures. If you read over the pages linked from the Heart Rate Training page and your eyes glazed over, then this is the training plan for you.

Here is the Beginner's Free Marathon Training Plan .

This plan is focused on getting you to the point of finishing your marathon comfortably. Your training runs will all be at a conversational level. This means that as you are running you should be able to talk without gasping for breath. You don't necessarily need a heart rate monitor, because none of the runs are set by any particular pace or heart rate. You just run them without stressing your body.

Intermediate Marathon Training Schedule

Second, there are those of you that have run or run/walked your first marathon or two and now you want to step up your training and see if you can go faster. You've been bitten by the marathon bug and you want to run more and see what you're capable of. You're still in the category of folks who don't have a strong or recent background in endurance sports, or at least not before you started your marathon craze. You might not be shooting for a Boston qualification yet, or if you are you're realistic about it and know that you need to take a season or two to get some miles under your belt. Make sure you have read the descriptions of the various training runs on the Training page. You'll be doing these kinds of runs during your training.

You're not beginners anymore but you're not quite ready for the advanced marathon training schedule yet. Intermediate is the obvious definition for you. For this category, you need to get slightly more technical. You'll definitely need a Heart Rate Monitor . And you will need to get familiar with Target Heart Rate training. You are going to be running more miles than you probably have before, so make sure you understand the more common Running Injuries and the best methods for Injury Prevention .

Once you have reviewed all of the information mentioned above, you're ready to dive into your Intermediate Marathon Training Program.

Advanced Marathon Training Schedule

And finally there are the runners who have been running and racing for the last several years. You're to the point where you are ready to qualify for Boston, or have already tried and missed slightly. Or you may very well have qualified for Boston already and now you want to really crank things up and go for the absolute limit of your capabilities.

You have at least one or more heart rate monitors, and you understand the basics of heart rate training and target heart rate zones. You also may have some understanding of your Anerobic Threshold . And if you've never actually tried to measure it, now is the time. You will have the most variety in your training routine, and you will perform regular track tests to gauge your progress. You will modify your plan each month as a result of your tests.

So here is your Advanced Training Plan.

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