Advanced Beginner Marathon Training Schedule

20-Week Marathon Training Plan If You've Already Run at Least One Half Marathon

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So you've already run at least one half-marathon (13.1 miles) road race, and you're ready to take on the challenge of the marathon. Use this 20-week advanced beginner marathon schedule to train for your marathon.

Is This the Right Marathon Training Plan for You?

This schedule is geared toward runners who can run four miles comfortably and can run four to five days per week. If you're not up to that, try the beginner runner marathon schedule.

 If this plan doesn't seem challenging enough, try the intermediate marathon schedule.

Advanced Beginner Marathon Training Schedule

1Rest3 miRest3 miRest4 mi3 mi EZ
2Rest3 mi2 mi3 miCT or Rest5 mi3 mi EZ
3Rest3 mi2 mi RP4 miCT or Rest6 mi3 mi EZ
4Rest3 mi2 mi RP4 miCT or Rest7 mi3 mi EZ
5Rest4 mi2.5 mi RP4 miCT or Rest6 mi3 mi EZ
6Rest4 mil2.5 mi RP4 miCT or Rest8 mi3 mi EZ
7Rest4 mi3 mi RP4 miCT or Rest10 mi3 mi EZ
8Rest4 mi3 mi RP5 miCT or Rest8 mi3 mi EZ
9Rest4 mi3 mi RP4 miCT or Rest12 miRest
10Rest4 mi3 mi RP5 miCT or Rest14 mi3 mi EZ
11Rest4 mi3.5 mi RP4 miCT or Rest16 mi3 mi EZ
12Rest5 mi4 mi RP5 miCT or Rest10 mi3 mi EZ
13Rest5 mi4 mi RP5 miCT or Rest18 mi3 mi EZ
14Rest4 mi4 mi RP5 miCT or Rest12 mi3 mi EZ
15Rest4 mi4.5 mi RP5 miCT or Rest18 miRest
163 mi EZ5 mi4.5 mi RP6 miCT or Rest14 mi3 mi EZ
17Rest4 mi5 mi RP6 miCT or Rest20 mi3 mi EZ
18Rest4 miCT4 miCT or Rest12 mi3 mi EZ
19Rest3 mi30 minutes RP3 miCT or Rest8 mi3 mi EZ
20Rest2 mi20 minutesRest Day20 minutesRace Day!Rest Day!


  • mi = miles
  • RP = marathon race pace
  • CT = cross-training
  • EZ = easy, comfortable pace

Details of the Advanced Beginner Marathon Training Plan

Mondays: Mondays are usually rest days. Don't ignore rest days -- they're important to your recovery and injury prevention efforts. Your muscles build and repair themselves during your rest days.

You're not going to gain much strength and you're increasing your risk of injury if you don't take some rest days.

Tuesdays and Thursdays: After you warm up, run at a comfortable pace for the designated mileage.

Wednesdays: After you run a 10-minute warm-up, run the designated mileage at your "marathon race pace" (RP). Follow that with a 10-minute cool-down. If you're not sure what your marathon race pace is, add 30-45 seconds per mile to your half-marathon pace.

Fridays: Do a cross-training (CT) activity (biking, swimming, elliptical trainer, etc.) at an easy-to-moderate effort for 30 to 45 minutes. If you're feeling very sluggish or sore on Friday, take a rest day. It's important that you're feeling strong for your Saturday long run.

Saturdays: This is the day for your long slow distance run. Run the designated mileage at an easy, conversational pace. Use your breathing as your guide. You should be able to breathe easily and talk in complete sentences comfortably during your run.

Sundays: Sundays are active recovery days.

Run at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace to help loosen up your muscles.

Switching Days: You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. So, if you prefer to workout on a Monday or Friday, it's fine to swap a rest day for a run day.

FAQs About Marathon Training

Race Day Tips

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