Marathon beginners – how long should you train?

One of the things that everybody wants to know about the marathon is how long to train before attempting the marathon.

While anything is possible, if you are complete beginner with a low level of fitness, you need to be realistic.

The marathon is tough enough without an unrealistic schedule.

What some marathon experts say

“In an ideal world, I believe a person starting from scratch, with no fitness base, should invest at least a year in preparing for a marathon. This is especially true if you are not an exerciser”.
Multiple marathon world record breaker Grete Waitz

“If you are staring from scratch, you should ideally give yourself at least a year of regular training before even thinking about running a marathon”
World Cup Marathon winner Richard Nerurkar

One size does not fit all

Every week plenty of new marathon runners disprove the above advice by running marathons after much shorter training periods.

And equally, every week people give up on their marathon dreams because they have tried to push themselves too hard.

Choosing how long to spend training for your first marathon is a matter of personal judgement.

But surely it’s better to enjoy the experience of success than to load your marathon experience with a high risk of failure.