Mileage-Building Schedule for Marathon Walk Training

19-Week Marathon Training Schedule for Walkers and Run/Walkers

Brisk Walking on Walking Path
Build Your Walking Mileage. Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images

When you are training to walk a marathon, you need to build up your long-distance mileage slowly but consistently. Start by building up your base mileage to the point where you can walk eight miles comfortably, and are able to walk four miles on three other days per week.

By increasing your longest-distance walk each week, you will build your endurance ability.

You stimulate your body to build new blood supply to your muscles, and to build more lean muscle fiber. But you also need long distance to toughen your feet to prevent blisters, practice proper hydration and energy snacking during a long walk. Give all of your equipment and clothing a good workout in training so you know it will perform during the marathon.

Prerequisites for the Marathon Mileage-Building Schedule

  • Able to walk comfortably for 8 miles on your long day and for 4 miles three days a week.
  • Able to commit to one long day per week, spending from 2 - 6 hours of continuous walking.

Weekly Schedule for Marathon Training

  • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: walk four miles. You can mix up the kind of walk you enjoy to build both speed and endurance on these walks. Walking Workouts
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Days off. You can still enjoy a leisurely stroll or other exercise, but these aren't training days.
  • Sunday: Mileage building day - long slow distance walk
  • You may vary the exact days of the week, but generally you should take a day off between each walking day, or take just an easy health walk on the off day.
  • This schedule varies mileage-building weeks with base mileage weeks, to allow a steady build-up of mileage with less risk of injury.
  • For those who wish to use 5K or 10K events, such as volkssport walks or charity/fun walks in their schedule - replace the Saturday 4 miles with the 6 miles (10K) and either reduce the shorter midweek days to 3 miles or, if you tolerate it well, just enjoy the additional two miles. Do not do shorter mileage your longer day.
  • Your longest training day should be three to four weeks before the marathon, then you begin to taper mileage. More: Marathon Tapering
  • In the final week before your marathon, walk 2-4 miles every other day so you will be fully refreshed and energized before the marathon.

Week

Sun.

Mon.

Tue.

Wed.

Thur.

Fri.

Sat.

Total Miles

1

8 milesOff4 milesOff

4 miles

Off4 miles20

2

10 milesOff4Off4Off422

3

8 milesOff4Off4Off420

4

12 milesOff4Off4Off424

5

8 milesOff4Off

4

Off

4

20

6

14 milesOff

4

Off

4

Off

4

26

7

8 miles

Off4Off4Off

4

20

816 milesOff

4

Off

4

Off

4

28
9

8 miles

Off4Off4Off

4

20

1018 milesOff

4

Off

8

Off

4

34
1112 milesOff4Off8Off

4

28

1220 milesOff

4

Off

8

Off

4

36
1312 milesOff4Off8Off

4

28

1420 milesOff

4

Off

8

Off

4

36
1514 milesOff4Off8Off

4

30

1622 milesOff

4

Off

8

Off

4

38
1714 milesOff4Off8Off

4

30

1810 milesOff4Off4Off

4

22

192-4 milesOff2-4Off2-4OffOff/26.2Medal!

Training for the Marathon Through Multiple Seasons

Your long distance training will take you through at least a couple of seasons. You won't be able to avoid different weather conditions.

Next: Marathon Coaching and Charity Marathon Programs

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