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22 Week Marathon Training Schedule for Beginners

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Updated May 16, 2014

Fun Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England.
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
This simple marathon training schedule gives beginner runners two more weeks than the 20-week marathon program for beginners. To start it, you should have been running for at least six months and be able to run at least 3 miles.

If you haven't had a recent physical, get cleared by your doctor before you start marathon training.

Notes about the training schedule:

Rest days: Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts, so don't assume you'll get fitter even faster by running on rest days. Take a complete day off or do some easy cross-training (CT).

Run days: Run your designated mileage at an easy, conversational pace. Use your breathing as your guide. You should be able to breathe easily. If you feel your breathing getting out of control, slow the pace. You can switch a run to a different day to accommodate your schedule.

When you have to do a marathon pace (MP) run, run the number of miles at your anticipated marathon pace. Run the remaining mileage at your regular easy run pace.

See Page 2 of this training schedule for frequently-asked questions about marathon training.

22-Week Marathon Training Schedule for Beginners

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 3 mi Rest 3 mi Rest 3 mi 2 mi
2 Rest 3 mi Cross training (CT) or Rest 3 mi Rest 4 mi 3 mi
3 Rest 3 mi CT 4 mi CT or Rest 5 mi 3 mi
4 Rest 3 mi CT 4 mi CT or Rest 6 mi 3 mi
5 Rest 4 mi CT 4 mi Rest 7 mi 3 mi
6 Rest 5 mil CT 4 mi CT or Rest 8 mi 3 mi
7 Rest 5 mi CT 4 mi Rest 9 mi 3 mi
8 Rest 5 mi CT 4 mi CT or Rest 10 mi 3 mi
9 Rest 5 mi 3 mi 4 mi Rest 6 mi 4 mi
10 Rest 5 mi CT 4 mi Rest 12 mi 4 mi
11 Rest 5 mi CT 4 mi CT or rest 13 mi 4 mi
12 Rest 5 mi CT 5 mi (1 mile @ estimated marathon pace) Rest 14 mi 4 mi
13 Rest 5 mi CT 5 mi (2 miles @ estimated marathon pace) CT or Rest 10 mi 5 mi
14 Rest 6 mi CT 5 mi (2 miles @ estimated marathon pace) CT or Rest 16 mi 4 mi
15 Rest 6 mi CT 5 mi (3 miles @ estimated marathon pace) CT or Rest 10 mi 4 mi
16 Rest 5 mi CT 5 mi (3 miles @ estimated marathon pace) CT or Rest 18 mi 4 mi
17 Rest 5 mi CT 5 mi (3 miles @ estimated marathon pace) CT or Rest 10 mi 5 mi
18 Rest 6 mi CT 6 mi (4 miles @ estimated marathon pace) Rest 20 mi 4 mi
19 Rest 5 mi CT 5 mi CT or Rest 14 mi 4 mi
20 Rest 4 mi CT 4 mi CT or Rest 12 mi 3 mi
21 Rest 4 mi CT 3 mi CT or Rest 8 mi 3 mi
22 Rest 2 mi 30 minutes Rest Day 20 minutes Race Day! Rest Day!
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