Advanced Beginner Marathon Training Schedule

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So you've already run at least one half-marathon (13.1 miles) road race, and you're ready to take on the challenge of the marathon. Use this 20-week advanced beginner marathon schedule to train for your marathon.

Is This the Right Marathon Training Plan for You?

This schedule is geared toward runners who can run four miles comfortably and can run four to five days per week. If you're not up to that, try the beginner runner marathon schedule. If this plan doesn't seem challenging enough, try the intermediate marathon schedule.

Advanced Beginner Marathon Training Schedule

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 3 mi Rest 3 mi Rest 4 mi 3 mi EZ
2 Rest 3 mi 2 mi 3 mi CT or Rest 5 mi 3 mi EZ
3 Rest 3 mi 2 mi RP 4 mi CT or Rest 6 mi 3 mi EZ
4 Rest 3 mi 2 mi RP 4 mi CT or Rest 7 mi 3 mi EZ
5 Rest 4 mi 2.5 mi RP 4 mi CT or Rest 6 mi 3 mi EZ
6 Rest 4 mil 2.5 mi RP 4 mi CT or Rest 8 mi 3 mi EZ
7 Rest 4 mi 3 mi RP 4 mi CT or Rest 10 mi 3 mi EZ
8 Rest 4 mi 3 mi RP 5 mi CT or Rest 8 mi 3 mi EZ
9 Rest 4 mi 3 mi RP 4 mi CT or Rest 12 mi Rest
10 Rest 4 mi 3 mi RP 5 mi CT or Rest 14 mi 3 mi EZ
11 Rest 4 mi 3.5 mi RP 4 mi CT or Rest 16 mi 3 mi EZ
12 Rest 5 mi 4 mi RP 5 mi CT or Rest 10 mi 3 mi EZ
13 Rest 5 mi 4 mi RP 5 mi CT or Rest 18 mi 3 mi EZ
14 Rest 4 mi 4 mi RP 5 mi CT or Rest 12 mi 3 mi EZ
15 Rest 4 mi 4.5 mi RP 5 mi CT or Rest 18 mi Rest
16 3 mi EZ 5 mi 4.5 mi RP 6 mi CT or Rest 14 mi 3 mi EZ
17 Rest 4 mi 5 mi RP 6 mi CT or Rest 20 mi 3 mi EZ
18 Rest 4 mi CT 4 mi CT or Rest 12 mi 3 mi EZ
19 Rest 3 mi 30 minutes RP 3 mi CT or Rest 8 mi 3 mi EZ
20 Rest 2 mi 20 minutes Rest Day 20 minutes Race Day! Rest Day!

Abbreviations

  • mi = miles
  • RP = marathon race pace
  • CT = cross-training
  • EZ = easy, comfortable pace

Details of the Advanced Beginner Marathon Training Plan

Mondays: Mondays are usually rest days. Don't ignore rest days — they're important to your recovery and injury prevention efforts. Your muscles build and repair themselves during your rest days. You're not going to gain much strength and you're increasing your risk of injury if you don't take some rest days.

Tuesdays and Thursdays: After you warm-up, run at a comfortable pace for the designated mileage.

Wednesdays: After you run a 10-minute warm-up, run the designated mileage at your "marathon race pace" (RP). Follow that with a 10-minute cool-down. If you're not sure what your marathon race pace is, add 30-45 seconds per mile to your half-marathon pace.

Fridays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer, etc.) at an easy-to-moderate effort for 30 to 45 minutes. If you're feeling very sluggish or sore on Friday, take a rest day. It's important that you're feeling strong for your Saturday long run.

Saturdays: This is the day for your long slow distance run. Run the designated mileage at an easy, conversational pace. Use your breathing as your guide. You should be able to breathe easily and talk in complete sentences comfortably during your run.

Sundays: Sundays are active recovery days. Run at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace to help loosen up your muscles.

Switching Days: You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So, if you prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day.

A Word From Verywell

Congratulations on committing to train for your marathon. It will take dedication, but along the way, you will improve your fitness and learn much about your mental toughness. Stick with it and the finish line is in your future.

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