18 Week Novice Marathon Plan

I’ve come up with a novice plan for anyone who is considering training for a marathon ūüôā

If you’re considering running a marathon, please read my tips¬†HERE!

The following plan is for first time marathoners.  Prior to training for a marathon, you should be able to successfully run a 10k and have been running for at least 1 year.

The program gradually increases the mileage, as well as incorporating cross training.  If the daily workouts do not fit your schedule you can easily move around some of the workouts and rest day. Most races are held on Sundays, some on Saturdays, so that is why the longer distances are on Sundays.

You will notice that there are only two days of rest provided.  If you feel that you need more rest during the week, that is okay.  This plan consists of a run on Monday after the long run.  The reason for that is to flush out built up lactic acid after the long run.  It is meant to be an easy recovery jog.

Cross training can be any type of aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up.  Examples of great cross training are bicycling (indoor or outdoor), swimming, ellipticals, Stair Master, kick boxing, rowing, tennis, hiking, and brisk walking.

A tempo run consists of holding the same tempo throughout the whole run.  For example, 4 mile run would take 36 minutes to complete if each mile was 9 minutes.  Tempo runs are easiest done on the treadmill because you can set the pace.  Tempo runs can be done outside, but you must be diligent in keeping the same pace throughout.

You can find the Hill Workout HERE!

If you do not have a treadmill, or your treadmill does not incline, just plan your route around hills. The hill workout is 20 minutes, so if you would like to run outside just aim for a 20 minute run/jog that has hills.

Novice Marathon Training

3 thoughts on “18 Week Novice Marathon Plan

  1. Hey Courtney! I signed up for a local Marathon, with six weeks of training ahead of me… Probably not my brightest idea, but I got in for free/am already trained for half distances. Three runs (4 runs every so often) a week have been working well for me in terms of injury. I have only been doing cross training when I do not run. So, what do you think of this marathon plan for me if I start this week at the 16 mile long run (walking a mile if my knee bugs me)? Or should I stick with 3 runs? I did a half marathon last weekend; so that is where I am at mileage-wise.

    • You are determined! Since I have a current injury I am leaning toward the side of caution, with maybe 3 runs one week, then 4, then back to three? Maybe do every other week and see how that goes. If you can run 16 miles this weekend and get through it I think that will give you a good idea of how the race will go. If 16 goes well I’d bump it to 17 or 18 next weekend, then 20, 20, and then start to taper. Cross training is just as good as running as long as your heart rate is up! Let me know how it goes for you! ūüôā

      • thats a great idea! I didn’t think of 3 to 4. i hope you’re feeling better! take care of that injury- i know how frustrated that must feel! i definitely will let you know(:

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