Our 20 week marathon training plan for beginners is designed for beginners, novices, and first-time marathon runners. The 20 week marathon program includes gradual mileage increases.
Who Is It For?:
People who are new to marathons – beginners and novice runners who don’t have a long history of running. Perhaps you’ve picked up running in the past year – then this is the plan for you.
20 weeks // 5 months.
The plan focusses on developing a strong running base, while very gradually increasing mileage.
Your focus during training is to build up the miles, without worrying too much about speed.
Try to run the mid-week runs at a comfortable pace.
Long runs should be done slowly – at a conversational pace.
Walking breaks is acceptable, but if you can continue to jog – no matter the speed – that’s preferable.
The goal is simply to get your body attuned to running the miles.
Download The Training Plan Here
Enter your email and I’ll send you this free training plan now, in PDF and Google Sheets formats (completely customisable), in both miles and kilometers.
The most comprehensive plan you will find
I had run a couple of half marathons and was in reasonable shape coming into the plan and it was a good rise in intensity throughout. You need to want to do an event like this – I was getting up at 3am to get my long run in before kids weekend sport etc and this was hard. When you combine the plan with the online community through the Marathon Handbook FB page and website, you get complete support. Have used this plan with great success and now looking at upping the pace in the marathon space… GREAT JOB!
I used the plan to train for my first marathon, and happy to say I hit a time of 3:58! (With a little bit of gas left in the tank) I didn’t have much of a running base when I started the plan. I had some cardio from playing rec hockey, but didn’t do any running before hand. Had enough of a base to run a 5k with moderate effort, and a 10k with high effort.
A Great Training Plan
This was a great training plan to follow. Ended up doing my 1/2 marathon in 1:58.45 which is 20 minutes better than my previous PB. Thanks a mil!!
Thanks for helping all the runners out there
Really nice work by Thomas. Everyone should download and follow his training plans.
Get out of my way
Really good book. Not a lot of extra fluff. Here is what you need to do. Now go do it. Building for my 1st marathon. See you on the other side.
Proven Training Plans by a UESCA-certified Running Coach
Every one of our training plans has been developed by Thomas Watson, a UESCA-certified running coach.
Thomas is also a podium-finishing ultra-marathon runner, and has dozens of marathons under his belt.
Each training plan has been road-tested by hundred of runners, refined and improved – and are free to download and customise to suit your needs!