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Digital Running Club » Couch to marathon training plan

Couch to marathon training plan

The couch to marathon training program is meant for those who are not active runners and have decided (for one of many reasons) to conquer a marathon. You won’t break any records by following this plan, but it will get you to the point where you can finish a marathon with periodic walking breaks in a year’s time. The only requirement for starting this plan is that you can comfortably walk 2 miles. Regardless of how easy this plan may seem (especially in the early weeks), you should be thoroughly examined by a qualified medical professional before beginning.

If you feel fit enough, you can jump into this plan almost anywhere. Find the latest week in the plan that you think you can complete right now and start the plan three weeks before that. If you’re feeling fit enough to jump in at week #25, you might want to consider our 18 week beginner marathon training plan instead.

In addition to the running and walking workouts in the plan, you should also perform some kind of strength training regimen 2-3 times per week. The Myrtl routine, basic core strengthening routine, basic leg strengthening routine and basic upper body routine will help keep you injury free. Cease strength training 4 weeks prior to the marathon.

For most days, the plan is marked with a number followed by a superscript letter. You’ll find instructions for those workouts at the bottom of the plan. Most Saturday mileage is marked with a * indicating you should run 1 mile and walk for 1 minute until you’ve completed the prescribed mileage. Where there is no superscript letter or *, simply jog the prescribed mileage without walk breaks.

Click for a printable version of this training plan.


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
Week #1 2A Off 2A Off Off 2A Off 6
Week #2 2B Off 2B Off Off 2B Off 6
Week #3 2C Off 2C Off Off 2C Off 6
Week #4 2D Off 2D Off Off 3E Off 7
Week #5 2F Off 2F Off Off 3G Off 7
Week #6 3G Off 3G Off 2F 3H Off 11
Week #7 3H Off 3H Off 3G 4I Off 13
Week #8 3H Off 2 Off 3H 4I Off 12
Week #9 2 Off 3J Off 2 5K Off 12
Week #10 2.5 Off 3J Off 2.5 5K Off 13
Week #11 2.5 Off 4L Off 2.5 5K Off 14
Week #12 2 Off 3 Off 2 5M Off 12
Week #13 3 Off 4N Off 3 6* Off 16
Week #14 3 Off 4N Off 3 6* Off 16
Week #15 3 Off 4N Off 3 7* Off 17
Week #16 3 Off 4N Off 3 7* Off 17
Week #17 3 Off 4N Off 3 8* Off 18
Week #18 3 Off 5O Off 3 8* Off 19
Week #19 3 Off 5O Off 3 9* Off 20
Week #20 3 Off 6P Off 3 9* Off 21
Week #21 3 Off 6P Off 3 10* Off 22
Week #22 3 Off 8Q Off 3 10* Off 24
Week #23 3 Off 6P Off 3 12* Off 24
Week #24 3 Off 6P Off 3 12* Off 24
Week #25 3 Off 6P Off 3 13* Off 25
Week #26 3 Off 6P Off 3 13* Off 25
Week #27 3 Off 4 Off 3 14* Off 24
Week #28 3 Off 4 Off 3 14* Off 24
Week #29 3 Off 6R Off 3 12* Off 24
Week #30 3 Off 6R Off 3 15* Off 27
Week #31 4 Off 6R Off 3 15* Off 28
Week #32 3 Off 6R Off 3 16* Off 28
Week #33 3 Off 6R Off 3 16* Off 28
Week #34 4 Off 6R Off 4 12* Off 26
Week #35 3 Off 8Q Off 3 17* Off 31
Week #36 3 Off 8Q Off 3 17* Off 31
Week #37 3 Off 8S Off 3 14* Off 28
Week #38 3 Off 8S Off 3 18* Off 32
Week #39 3 Off 8S Off 3 18* Off 32
Week #40 3 Off 8S Off 3 19* Off 33
Week #41 3 Off 8S Off 3 19* Off 33
Week #42 3 Off 8S Off 3 16* Off 30
Week #43 4 Off 5 Off 3 20* Off 32
Week #44 4 Off 5 Off 3 21* Off 33
Week #45 4 Off 5 Off 3 22* Off 34
Week #46 4 Off 5 Off 3 22* Off 34
Week #47 4 Off 6 Off 4 18* Off 32
Week #48 3 Off 6 Off 3 23* Off 35
Week #49 3 Off 6 Off 3 24* Off 36
Week #50 3 Off 6 Off 3 18* Off 30
Week #51 3 Off 6 Off 3 12* Off 24
Week #52 3 Off 3 Off Off 3* Race (26.2) 35.2



INSTRUCTIONS

 

*Jog 1 mile and walk 1 minute until you’ve completed the prescribed distance.

A: Warm up with a 5 minute walk, then jog 30 seconds and walk 60 seconds until you’ve gone 2 miles.

B: Warm up with a 5 minute walk, then jog 60 seconds and walk 90 seconds until you’ve gone 2 miles.

C: Warm up with a 5 minute walk, then jog 90 seconds and walk 90 seconds until you’ve gone 2 miles.

D: Jog 90 seconds and walk 60 seconds until you’ve gone 2 miles

E: Jog 90 seconds and walk 60 seconds until you’ve gone 3 miles

F: Jog ¼ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 3 more times for a total of 2 miles.

G: Jog ¼ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 5 more times for a total of 3 miles.

H: Jog ½ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 3 more times for a total of 3 miles.

I: Jog ¾ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 miles.

J: Run 1 mile, rest 3 minutes – repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 miles.

K: Jog ¾ mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 4 more times for a total of 5 miles.

L: Run 1 mile, rest 3 minutes – repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 miles.

M: Jog 1 mile, walk ¼ mile – repeat 3 more times for a total of 5 miles.

N: Run 2 miles, rest 3 minutes – repeat 1 more time for a total of 4 miles.

O: Run 1 mile, rest 2 minutes – repeat 4 more times for a total of 5 miles.

P: Run 2 miles, rest 2 minutes – repeat 2 more times for a total of 6 miles.

Q: Run 2 miles and rest 3 minutes – repeat 3 more times for a total of 8 miles.

R: Run 3 miles and rest 3 minutes – 1 repeat 1 more time for a total of 6 miles.

S: Run 4 miles and rest 3 minutes – repeat 1 more time for a total of 8 miles.