Beginner Marathon Run/Walk Training Schedule

Completing a marathon is a great achievement that you will keep with you for the rest of your life, no matter whether you walk or run it.

A marathon is 26.2 miles long, which is an incredible distance to walk or run in one day.

Beginner Marathon Run/Walk Training Schedule

This training schedule is 20 weeks long and gives you a task to do each day to get you ready for your marathon.

Walking a marathon is best for people who cannot run for 3 miles at a time. However, if you can already run 3 miles at a time you might want to aim to run the entire marathon.

How to read the training schedule

The training schedule has increments that look like this: 2/1 intervals. The first number means how many minutes you should run for, while the second is how many minutes you need to walk for.

So, 2/1 intervals mean that you should run for two minutes before walking for one minute, repeating until you’ve finished the allotted miles. 

If you find that these intervals are getting too easy for you, you could change these to 4/1 or even 5/1 intervals. If you can run for 3 miles already, you might want to discard these intervals and run the entire time. 

Warm-ups and cool-downs

Start each run with a 5 to 10-minute walk to warm your muscles up, and finish each run with a 5 to 10-minute walk to cool down. You can also finish with a stretch. 

Cross-Training (CT)

Cross-training is also included within the schedule so that you can break up your runs.

Runners will benefit from strength training, so every time you see a cross-training session on your schedule try to do 30 to 45 minutes of strength training.

Rest Days (RD)

Rest days are very important when training for a marathon to ensure that you don’t overwork your body.

Make sure that you take your rest days seriously, either doing no exercise for the full day or take a walk. 

20-minute Marathon Training Schedule

Week One

Day 1: 2 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (30 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 4 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 7: 2 miles RD walk

Week Two

Day 1: 3 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 2: 3 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 3: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 4: CT (30 minutes)

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 4 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 7: 2.5 miles RD walk

Week Three

Day 1: 3 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (30 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 5 miles - 2/1 intervals

Day 7: 2 miles RD walk

Week Four

Day 1: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (30 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles  - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 6 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 2 miles RD walk

Week Five

Day 1: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (30 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 7 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Six

Day 1: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (30 minutes)

Day 3: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 8 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Seven

Day 1: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (40 minutes)

Day 3: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 9 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Eight

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (40 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 10 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Nine

Day 1: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (40 minutes)

Day 3: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 12 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Ten

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 8 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Eleven

Day 1: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 14 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 2.5 miles RD walk

Week Twelve

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 10 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Thirteen

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 15 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Fourteen

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 10 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Fifteen

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 16 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 3 miles RD walk

Week Sixteen

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 12 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 2.5 miles RD walk

Week Seventeen

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 18 to 20 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 2.5 miles RD walk

Week Eighteen

Day 1: 4 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: CT (45 minutes)

Day 3: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 4: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 12 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 2.5 miles RD walk

Week Nineteen

Day 1: CT (45 minutes)

Day 2: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 3: CT (30 minutes) or RD

Day 4: 2 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 6 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 7: 2.5 miles RD walk

Week Twenty

Day 1: 3 miles - 3/1 intervals

Day 2: 30 minutes - 3/1 intervals

Day 3: RD

Day 4: 20 minutes - 3/1 intervals

Day 5: RD

Day 6: 20-minute walk

Day 7: Marathon day! 

Summary

Follow the above training schedule and you’ll be much more ready for your race.

Remember, there is no shame in walking part of the way for the marathon - there isn’t even any shame in walking the entire way! 

So, enjoy yourself and be proud, because completing a marathon is an incredible achievement. 

Suzie
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