Beginner training for a marathon?


No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
I've often thought that it would be neat to run a marathon once in my lifetime. If I was to do it this year I would have to wait until either November, or do it no later than mid-May (summer is too hot in 'bama to run one IMO). If I went in mid-may I'd have only 3.5 months to train. I'm currently fairly fit, but I've never in my life run more than 5 miles, and generally my runs are about 2.5 miles. I hardly kill myself during them, but I'd say that right now I couldn't do more than 1/4 marathon running without being in a world of hurt.

I see a lot of beginner training sites calling for 6 months of training. However, I think that a lot of these are for people who are unfit and not used to a little excercise pain. Still, is 3.5 months not feasible (and where would I find a program that calls for only 3-4 months training instead of 6?)? I'm not interested in breaking records, but I don't want to walk the entire thing either.

Also, where does a person find out the "local" marathon venues and times?

Thanks :)


Platinum Member
May 23, 2000
This website has programs for various types of runners.


It appears that each program is 20weeks in duration.


Golden Member
Oct 9, 2002
I don't know where to find a beginners guide to train for a marathon, but I have trained with my father for a marathon.
And there is nothing like it. The key is mileage. You need to get used to running lots of miles. When my father was
within a month of running the marathon he was doing atleast 15 miles a day, sometimes more. And even with a week or
so to go, he was doing 20 a day. Now he was alittle more competitive than your average marathoner. He ran year round.
But while I ran with him, be it not every day, and sometimes I would end up having to use a bike. I remember running 10
miles no problem, then that next 5 would kill me. And I would realize that if i was actually running a marathon i would
have another 11.2 miles left. Thats the kind of mental stuff that would absolutely demolish me.

My only advise is run alot. I would start at what you can do. Obviously you don't want to hurt yourself. But the key is being
about to run for a long time. Because when you run that race you'll be running for 4 plus hours.


Diamond Member
May 7, 2001
my brother is running the marathon of Rotterdam in 2 months and I've been running and training also for a while.
The key is mileage and rest. Search for the accelerated 18 weeks programs. It involves running 4-5 times a week with distances between 40-60km a week. On mondays you have to run 5 km, 12km on tuesday, 10km on wednesday, rest on thursday, 24 km on friday, etc...

All programs are the same in the last week before the marathon. It involves resting in a comfy sofa and not running. Also change shoes every 400-500km, drink alot