Woman Running

How to Train for Your Next Marathon

22 August 2022

Preparing for a marathon can take a significant amount of time, but it’s impossible to know exactly how much time it will take to run one. In general, though, the time it takes to complete a marathon (or any long run) depends on a variety of different factors:

  • Distance

  • Course difficulty

  • Crowds on the running course

  • Weather conditions

  • Your nutrition and hydration

  • Your running experience

  • Your average pace

Though the official distance of a marathon is about 42 km (26 miles), most races offer a range of distances to suit all levels of runners.

A 5 km (3.1 miles) race. This race is an ideal entry-level race. The distance is short enough that even beginners, with the right amount of training, can be ready to compete in a few months. If you’re new to the 5 km race, you might wonder: how long does it take to run a distance like this? Many runners find that a good finishing time is anything under 25 minutes. If you’re a walker, you’ll probably finish a 5k in 45 to 60 minutes. 

Before investigating how to train for a marathon, it’s important to consult with your physician. If you get a thumbs up, consider following a training plan to guide you through your journey. Don’t forget that your diet is just as important as your exercise training, so plan to follow a nutritious diet program as well.

Training plan:

Full marathon training is essential, especially if you’re a beginner. If you don’t have much experience running marathons, then you should start preparing six months before the big day. Aim to run 20–24 km (12–15 miles) per week. Preparing for a marathon is crucial, as your body needs time to adapt physically to the pounding that it will be taking during both training and the race. 

The ideal full marathon training plan should have:

  • Three runs per week

  • Two cross-training days (biking, swimming, hiking)

  • Two rest days

  • The running should be a combination of a short/fast run, a medium run, and a long run

  • Choose your days as you prefer, but make sure you have a day of rest on either side of the long run