Why marathon training plans are often 16 weeks

group of people running on the road during daytime

Running a race is a big accomplishment, and it takes time and effort to prepare. The amount of time you need to train for a race will vary depending on your fitness level, the distance of the race, and your goals. However, 16 weeks is a generally accepted amount of time to train for a marathon.

There are a few reasons for this. First, it gives you enough time to gradually build up your mileage. This is important because running a marathon is a high-impact activity, and you need to give your body time to adapt to the increased stress.

Second, 16 weeks gives you enough time to incorporate different types of training into your routine. This includes long runs, speed workouts, tempo runs, and cross-training. By mixing up your training, you’ll be better prepared for the demands of the marathon.

Third, 16 weeks gives you enough time to recover from injuries. If you’re not used to running long distances, it’s likely that you’ll experience some aches and pains during your training. By giving yourself enough time to recover, you’ll be less likely to get injured and have to take time off from training.

Of course, not everyone needs 16 weeks to train for a marathon. If you’re already a seasoned runner, you may be able to get away with training for a shorter amount of time. However, if you’re new to running or if you’re not in good shape, 16 weeks is a good starting point.

Tips for marathon training

  • Start slowly and gradually increase your mileage.
  • Listen to your body and take rest days when you need them.
  • Cross-train to help prevent injuries.
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Stay motivated and focused on your goal.


If you’re planning on running a marathon, it’s important to start planning your training early. This will give you enough time to build up your mileage, incorporate different types of training, and recover from injuries. With 16 weeks of dedicated training, you’ll be well on your way to crossing the finish line.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need some guidance, I offer coaching services to help you reach your marathon goals. I’ll work with you to create a personalised training plan, provide you with motivation and support, and help you stay on track.

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