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.
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
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Marathon KM Pace Chart
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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:
8 Best Books About Marathons & Long Distance Running
What Does It Feel Like To Run A Marathon?
Can You Run A Marathon With No Prior Training?
How To Achieve 4 Hour Marathon Pace
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Marathon?
Can You Run A Marathon Without Eating?
What Is A Good Marathon Time?
“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
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.
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:
GET IN SHAPE TO RUN LONGER
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.