How to train for a marathon?

Warning! These tips and best practices are written for those who wants to succeed in finishing a half or full marathon and it might be a life changing event for you! Therefore, reading further is at your own risk :)

Wait.. A full marathon distance is 42.195 kilometers (26.219 miles) and not impossible for starters??? 

This will be the general thought for those who are not often running or haven’t run as a sport… It will always feel unimaginable in the beginning, especially for those who are not the sporty kind, but actually, taking in consideration your current physical condition, age, weight, and so on, it is in most cases still feasible to – as long as you don’t have the serious injuries - walk a marathon for ‘everyone’! The timeframe that you are capable of walking a marathon, will surely depend on your current situation and physical condition. 

Physical start condition
It is, however, important starting condition, that you should be able to walk or run for at least 40 minutes (or 5-6 Kilometers).

  • If you can do this, you can start directly with the Half or Full Marathon schedules.
  • If not, I will provide a running schedule, which enables the average person to achieve within 11 weeks. After you complete this running schedule of 12 weeks, you are ready to start for the half or full marathon schedule for 12 or 25 weeks!
It is definitely doable to walk a marathon for most people. However, it’s important that you still seek the proper guidance and support in your environment and tools! From experience, we know that if you just try it fully alone, you are reducing your chances to make it within the time you are destined to do it… 

A natural strategy would be: go running until you really cannot run any longer each time, and go slower when you run out of energy. However, this is not the best way to do it and it’s not that healthy either! 

Use our half or full marathon templates, or modify them or make one of your own based on your personal research. If you are serious take action now and you can also walk a marathon, really! If you have friends, family or acquaintances who need to be motivated to achieve something extraordinary or they need to do something about health, better lifestyle, fitness or personal development, I would like to share this article or send these suggestions to them as well.

20 Best tips to finish a (half) marathon within half a year:

  1. Set the goal! Running a marathon is possible for those who have set the goal, follow good advice, and keep performing according to the schedule and do their best efforts not to get injured. 
  2. Subscribe to a (half) marathon that is more than 6 months away from now in order to keep the goal clear and keep you disciplined!
  3. Lose weight by walking (exercising) more. By simply doing the extra exercises, you will lose weight for sure. It’s a package deal: marathon means losing weight! However the speed of mileage you are running, it will have an impact. It’s better to focus on two hours of running over 10 miles (15 kilometers), which will mean you will burn the calories much faster. Longer is better than faster in this case!
  4. Accept good things take time: Training takes time. If you follow our schedule it’s 25 weeks at least. Accept this will take your time in the coming weeks. It doesn’t necessary mean you have to give in. This can make you more productive as well during work or during your free time! You will feel healthier and more energetic, and you will have the extra energy to do it.
  5. Set the personal running schedule and stick to it! Make your personal running schedule if the one we provide is not satisfying or realistic in your situation. Otherwise, just follow our guidance and you will do fine! Download (some) of the below marathon training templates! 
  6. Never too…. You are never too old or too heavy for walking and finishing a marathon! The moment you were able to find this article online, and don’t have serious injuries or handicap, you are fit to do it! If you really have doubts, you should go to visit the doctor to check your health and get his advice first.  
  7. Involve your environment. Involving friends to join or making them aware you set this goal. This will be a bummer if you are not going to finish that Marathon! If people like to follow your same goal, make sure you do not depend on their performance. Keep your own schedule and when you run together, this is nice, but not a must. Make sure the other party understands.
  8. Qualified running shoes! Make sure you have good running shoes that fit, in order to reduce the chance of injuries. Don’t go for fashionable shoes, but aim for the best quality.
  9. Starting condition. Start training for the Marathon if you can run or walk for 40 minutes in a row. If not, make this your first goal. Keep the Marathon in mind, and firstly make sure you can reach this goal via the Marathon running schedule (for 40 minutes). 
  10. Stay disciplined and don’t skip running sessions! Make sure that your running schedule becomes your routine. Make it become an obsession or addiction if that helps! Choose not to miss out on the running sessions. Do not easily miss out for any reason (with certain exceptions). Follow the mileage on each running session. Don’t overdo it, since it increases the risk of injuries. In case run out of options and you need to skip a session, make sure you don’t change the goal and keep the course. 
  11. Make it measurable! Print out the schedule and fill in every time finish a session. Keep it measurable, such as days you are running, the distance you are running, etc. Even the pounds you have lost, especially if this is another goal you want to obtain! You will see this is highly motivating!  
  12. Overcome those bad days of training. For sure you will have bad training days, and it can also happen a few weeks before the marathon will happen. If you fail to run or walk a 10 miles (15 kilometers) just weeks before the marathon, this is not a problem. This can happen to anyone. Do not worry, because you will succeed! If you run your first marathon, you get so much energy from the crowd cheering around you. This will certainly sure you will not run a bad marathon. 
  13. Keep a photo record. Especially if you are not fully happy with the current weight, this is a very effective motivator. Check pictures from the beginning and make pictures during the process… Bad pictures help you to remember. Nowadays easy to keep track of your body, by making selfies for example!
  14. Long-term Happiness VS Short term Pleasure. Everybody recognized this, long term happiness requires sacrifices. In this case, change the favorable unhealthy habits, which often is: laying down with a nice big sack of your favorite chips into running a few miles! The thing is, eating that nice bag of chips won’t make you feel good afterward. But running a few miles will give you that pleasure you like to enjoy much longer!
  15. Wear clothing with reflective colors. After the twilight, when the darkness falls, it can be dangerous to do your exercise. Therefore it is extremely important to wear reflecting colors to make you visible to traffic. 
  16. What to eat, what to drink? To keep up your performance, you might need to improve the eating and drinking habits. It’s, of course, your own choice, but it certainly helps you to gradually improve your running time and it comes with the side effect that you will lose weight. It doesn’t mean you should start following a diet, but you certainly need to do some research what food is healthy food for you.
  17. Eat less after your training. Many people are having difficulties in eating immediately after training. This allows you to train at the same time more and eat less if you decide to train before your dinner. The perfect combination loses weight without having to diet. 
  18. Make use of an Activity tracker or Heart rate monitor device. Currently, a lot of fancy heart rate monitors or step calculators are on the market. The most famous one to measure such data is the Fitbit. This device calculates for example the number of steps walked, your heart rate, the quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics involved in fitness. It might be a good idea to have a heart rate monitor to keep your heart rate under control.  
  19. Join a running club. It's a good idea to join a running club, especially if you consider yourself a beginner. This helps, because of the group pressure. Walking or running with others might give you that extra energy you need. You will find that you often walk or run longer than when you run on your own. If you only run and systematically in a running club, you will be more motivated than if you just walk each time. 
  20. Enjoy the process! Talk about it and think about it. Fantasize the great feeling you will feel when you reached the goal! 

Take action now and check out the best Marathon training plan for you below:

template preview imageMarathon Running Schedule (in Kilometers)

Marathon Running Schedule (in Kilometers)

How to train for the marathon and you don't know where to start? Download this Marathon Running Schedule (distances in kilometers) for beginners or amateurs now!

file format: .xlsxView template
template preview imageMarathon Running Schedule for starters (in Miles)

Marathon Running Schedule for starters (in Miles)

How to train for the marathon and you don't know where to start? Download this half or full Marathon Running Schedule (distances in miles) for starters now!

file format: .xlsxView template
template preview imageHalf marathon training plan (km)

Half marathon training plan (km)

This half marathon training plan (km) is the perfect solution for you if you want to run the marathon! Download this half marathon running programme now!

file format: .xlsxView template
template preview imageHalf marathon training plan (miles)

Half marathon training plan (miles)

This half marathon training plan (mi) is the perfect solution for you if you want to run the marathon! Download this half marathon running programme now!

file format: .xlsxView template
template preview imageMarathon Training Plan

Marathon Training Plan

This Marathon Training Plan is a calendar that is specially made to keep track of the next marathon you are training for. Download this Marathon Calendar Excel template now!

file format: .xlsxView template
template preview imageMarathon Calendar Excel

Marathon Calendar Excel

This Marathon calendar is specially made to keep track of the next marathon you are training for. Download this Marathon Calendar Excel template now!

file format: .xlsxView template
template preview imageMarathon Sign in Sheet

Marathon Sign in Sheet

Download this printable Marathon Sign in Sheet if you are organizing a marathon event to sign in the participating members of that marathon running event.

file format: .docView template

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