A Beginner’s Guide to Marathon Training

Since running a full marathon is on my list of things to achieve this year I have had to spend a lot of time hitting the pavement. It’s been rainy and miserable in Vancouver for what feels like three straight weeks so when a beautiful day came along (and by beautiful I mean slightly less grey and slightly softer rain) I had to take take pictures for you! I have been working on my training plan from Runner’s World and have to say its a great plan but I personally am struggling with my commitment!  Thank god I have a year to train!

Here is an example of a beginner’s week from the Marathon Training Plan which you can buy for $30 from Runner’s World HERE.  You guys should totally train with me and keep me posted on your progress!!


Welcome to the first week of marathon training.

Your training starts with a day of rest. This week, you’ll have four days of easy short runs, and a long run of 10 miles.

On rest days, you have several alternatives. You can do nothing at all – sometimes a good choice. You can walk 30 minutes – almost always worthwhile. Or you can do a solid cross-training day: swimming, strength-training, bicycling, elliptical training, yoga, or another effort. Just make sure it’s not something that tires you excessively for your next running workout.

4 Miles Easy

Maintain a comfortable conversational pace, and keep your heart rate at about 65 percent of VO2 max. Or you can cross-train on a bike or an elliptical trainer. Don’t worry so much about how fast you’re going during these runs. Just try to focus on covering the distance feeling good.

4 Miles Easy

It’s okay to cross-train on easy days instead of hitting the road. Just swim, bike, or use the elliptical machine for the same period of time you’d spend running. Try to use the same level of effort that you’d hit on the run.

4 Miles Easy

It’s important to keep your easy days easy throughout training so that you have the energy and fitness to give your all to the quality workouts, like Yasso 800s and long runs. In order to do that, it’s a good idea to learn the best target pace for all your runs on the schedule. If you have run a race within the past six months, plug that time into our training calculator at runnersworld.com/tools. Look at the “training paces” to find your pace for each of the runs on the schedule.

If you don’t have a recent race time, do a one-mile time trial. Here’s how: Go to a track or any one-mile stretch of road. After a 10-minute warmup, time yourself while running four laps (or one mile) as fast as you can. Note your time, then cool down with 10 minutes of walking and jogging. Plug your time into the training calculator.


Ideally, on rest days you should do no exercise at all. But it’s okay to cross-train with a no-impact activity like stretching, yoga, or swimming.

10 Miles Easy

This long, slow distance run is meant to build endurance. These should be done at an easy pace, slower than you usually go on shorter runs during the week. If you’re a beginner, go as slowly as your body dictates. Walk if you want to. Your goal is to cover the distance for the day without feeling utterly exhausted.

3 Miles Easy

Run at an easy pace today. Just focus on shaking out any stiffness you may have from yesterday’s long run.

Dont forget you can get the full plan here for only $30!

Here are some pictures of my favorite run on this beautiful fall day. I love that this view is literally steps from my home!

xx Meagan