Run A Marathon (26.2 Miles): Our Marathon Training Resources

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Less than 1% of us will ever run a marathon. It is an enormous challenge. You’ll be pushed to your limits, and beyond. But that’s what we love about them! Our marathon training guides take you from the seedlings of a bold idea (“What would it take for me to run a marathon?), to the exhilaration of competing in some of the world’s toughest and most iconic races.

Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself, you can learn in 26.2 miles.

Lori Culnane

RUNNING A Marathon

Marathon Training 101: How to Complete Your First Marathon

Nobody in their right mind attempts to run a marathon without a dedicated and rigorous training plan. 26.2 miles unprepared is a recipe for disaster.

Our first-timer marathon training guide walks you through all of the necessary preparation. From start line to finish line: let’s do it!

Marathon Pace Charts

Training for a marathon and got a finish time in mind? Our pace charts below show you the exact pace required to achieve your time. Don’t forget you can use our pace calculator to see a breakdown of the splits required to smash your goal!

Marathon Mile Pace Chart

Mile PaceFinish Time

Marathon KM Pace Chart

KM PaceFinish Time

Current Records

How does your pace compare to the fastest marathon runners in the world?

Brace yourself, folks…

Men’s Fastest Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge is the current world-record holder. The Kenyan’s time of 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon in 2022 is the fastest marathon on record.

His time breaks down to 4:37 per mile, or 2:52 per KM. Not a bad workout, that.

Women’s Fastest Marathon

Brigid Kosgei, also of Kenya, is the current world-record holder for women. She set a time of 2:14:04 at the Chicago Marathon in 2019.

Her time breaks down to 5:06 per mile, or 3:10 per KM.

Average Marathon Times

Needless to say, we don’t recommend trying to keep up with Kipchoge or Kosgei’s lightning split times.

The average marathon time for men is 4:13:00 and the average marathon time for women is 4:42:00. Keep this in mind when setting your race targets!

Marathon Tips & FAQs

Preparing for a marathon is a psychological and mental challenge. It’s not just about achieving peak physical condition. We’ve got a collection of marathon tips, experiences and commonly asked questions. Learn more about what it takes to run 26.2 miles, or to improve your personal best in an upcoming race:

Best books about marathons

8 Best Books About Marathons & Long Distance Running

Whether you’ve never run a marathon before, or ticked off 50 of them, it’s always inspiring to hear from other runners and the tales that played a part in their … Read more
What does it feel like to run a marathon?

What Does It Feel Like To Run A Marathon?

Did you know that marathon runners are not allowed within 50 yards of a Church building? That’s because, according to the papacy, marathon runners are said to be possessed by … Read more
Can you run a marathon with no prior training?

Can You Run A Marathon With No Prior Training?

26.2 miles, 42.2 kilometers, a marathon is not something most runners would consider on a whim. In fact, whether you’re a professional, elite athlete, or a beginner, this physical feat … Read more
How to achieve 4 hour marathon pace

How To Achieve 4 Hour Marathon Pace

Running a marathon is an outstanding achievement on its own but running a marathon in just 4 hours is a particularly impressive feat for a first-timer. The average man takes … Read more
How long does it take to recover from a marathon?

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Marathon?

One thing rings true whether you are a beginner marathon runner or an experienced multi-finisher. You will be exhausted and fatigued for days after running a marathon that spans 26.2 … Read more
Can you run a marathon without eating?

Can You Run A Marathon Without Eating?

Serious athletes spend years planning, exercising, and preparing to run marathons. Running 26.2 miles puts tremendous strain on the body. Therefore, eating and hydrating sufficiently play a significant role before, … Read more
What is a good marathon time?

What Is A Good Marathon Time?

“My hips hurt. And my toenails have torn. But I’m at peak training, two months away from smashing my personal best marathon time, and nothing will stand in my way. … Read more

Fred Lebow, founder of the NYC Marathon

“Why do people run the marathon? Most of us won’t perform on a stage. But whether a person is a world-class athlete or a four-hour runner, the marathon gives us a stage, where we perform and be proud, while millions of people applaud. In an unequal world, in this one endeavor, people of vastly different abilities share something in common: the act of going the distance.”

Fred Lebow, founder of the New York City Marathon
#1 Book For First Time Marathon Runners
Marathon, Revised and Updated 5th Edition: The Ultimate Training Guide

Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide is among the bestselling running books of all time for many reasons, but above all others is this one: It works. With Higdon's comprehensive approach and tried-and-tested methods, any runner will learn how to optimize their training and achieve their marathon goals.

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06/16/2024 03:58 pm GMT

Choosing a Suitable Marathon Course

Some runners choose a local marathon as their preferred race. Others like to aim for a prestigious course or an iconic event that can act as inspiration — a final destination to put in those long hard hours on the road. We’ve curated some of our favorite marathons from all over the world. Build your marathon bucket list below!

Running a Marathon: The Facts and Figures

Every 26.2 Miles Starts With A Single Step

Ready to start your marathon journey? Running a marathon requires dedication and planning. Whether you are running your first marathon, or your 50th, the fundamentals of good training stay the same. Get in good shape, eat well, and protect yourself from injury. Our resources below can help:


26.2 miles is a long way to run. Your chances of crossing the finish line improve exponentially if your base fitness levels are strong.

Nutrition for runners

Learn how to fuel your body for those draining long runs. Here’s what dedicated marathon runners need to know about nutrition.

injury AND Recovery

Injury can throw your training plan out of the window. Learning prevention techniques, and the art of recovery, will set you on the right path.