404 18 Week Training Program for Your First Marathon

18 Week Training Program for Your First Marathon

People who start this program should already be running about three to four days a week, totaling 15 to 20 miles a week. I also recommend that you complete a race at 5-K or 10K distance. First-time marathoners should both train and race conservatively. The following 18-week training schedule tells you simple how many miles to run each day. The week’s work divides into four phases:

BASE (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Midweek runs should be run at easy pace

REST (Monday, Friday) Friday’s rest day is to get ready for the weekend long run; Monday’s rest day is to recovery. Rest is very important part of marathon training program.

DISTANCE (Saturday) A long run is scheduled for Saturday but can be done any day. Run at the pace at which you hope to run the marathon.

CROSSTRAINING (Sunday) A day of active rest. Spend an hour doing some easy cross-training like walking, cycling, or swimming.

Week Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun.

1 Rest 3 mi. 3 mi. 3 mi. Rest 6 mi. Cross

2 Rest 3 mi. 3 mi. 3 mi. Rest 7 mi. Cross

3 Rest 3 mi. 4 mi. 3 mi. Rest 5 mi. Cross

4 Rest 3 mi. 4 mi. 3 mi. Rest 9 mi. Cross

5 Rest 3 mi. 5 mi. 3 mi. Rest 10 mi. Cross

6 Rest 3 mi. 5 mi. 3 mi. Rest 7 mi. Cross

7 Rest 3 mi. 6 mi. 3 mi. Rest 12 mi. Cross

8 Rest 3 mi. 6 mi. 4 mi. Rest 13 mi. Cross

9 Rest 3 mi. 7 mi. 4 mi. Rest 10 mi. Cross

10 Rest 3 mi. 7 mi. 4 mi. Rest 15 mi. Cross

11 Rest 4 mi. 8 mi. 4 mi. Rest 16 mi. Cross

12 Rest 4 mi. 8 mi. 5 mi. Rest 12 mi. Cross

13 Rest 4 mi. 9 mi. 5 mi. Rest 18 mi. Cross

14 Rest 5 mi. 9 mi. 5 mi. Rest 19 mi. Cross

15 Rest 5 mi. 10 mi. 5 mi. Rest 14 mi. Cross

16 Rest 5 mi. 8 mi. 5 mi. Rest 20 mi. Cross

17 Rest 4 mi. 6 mi. 4 mi. Rest 8 mi. Cross

18 Rest 3 mi. 4 mi. Rest Rest Rest Marathon

Marathon Tips:

  • Remember to start slow and do not let your nervous energy get the best of you
  • If you have to walk its OK you want to completed the marathon do not worry time
  • Take in fluids during the race especially on a warm day
  • Focus on your training towards that marathon goal
  • Run an occasional race so you can gauge your fitness
  • Most of all have fun
About Paul Stofko

Paul "Crazy Legs" Stofko is a Fitness Specialist, RRCA Certified Running Coach, and Ultra Marathoner. Read Paul's full bio here and learn more from him on his website.

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