When To Start Marathon Training (FLOWCHART)

A great marathon performance starts well before race day. A proper, effective training cycle is essential to hitting your race goals.


But the amount of time that you need to train will vary depending on your background, your goals, and your recent training.


In the flowchart below, I walk through several questions that I think are important to factor in when deciding how long your training cycle should be.


At the bottom is the number of weeks that I would recommend as a MINIMUM based on your answers. Of course most people would benefit from giving themselves a bit more time to allow for some flexibility in training. But this will give you a starting point.


And if you need help with the training cycle itself — I can help with that, too!


I’d love to hear your feedback, comments, and questions — leave a comment and let me know what you think!




To download a PDF version of the chart, click here.


About Coach Carl
Coach Carl is a USA Track & Field Level 2 endurance coach who works with runners of all ability levels to reach their goals. He has been featured in Runner’s World, Women’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and Competitor. For information on his coaching services, click here.