The Best 12 Week Marathon Training for Beginners

12 week marathon training for beginners

Making the decision to finally begin chasing your dream of completing a marathon can be a bit daunting. 

It is worth pursuing but still, the thought of going from your current level of activity to completing an entire marathon can be scary. 

Fortunately, there are some really great tools out there to help you prepare yourself in as little as three months. 

Let’s take a look at where you can find the best 12 week marathon training for beginners to get started towards your goal of distance running!

Why Do You Need Special Training to Run a Marathon?

Many regular runners who decide to begin training to run a marathon notice that it is quite different than regular running. 

The adaptation process can be tricky, as even those that run regularly may not be used to the endurance and strain that is required for completing distance running circuits. 

Marathons are a little more than 26.2 miles long. 

This number can be mildboggling for those who are not well-versed in running and a stretch for those who regularly run, too, so getting a good training routine going is a great way to enter the marathon with confidence and the skill to complete your goal!

12 week marathon training for beginners

Some of the Best 12 Week Marathon Training for Beginners

All About Marathon Training is a website dedicated to providing comprehensive and extensive knowledge and information concerning training and completing a marathon. 

They believe that anyone can run a marathon and complete the 26.2 miles fully and created a base level plan to help you achieve this goal. 

That being said, they do note that the 12 week intensive program is best suited for those who have some training or experience with marathons, especially those who have already attempted a marathon before. 

However, you do not have to stress if you do not have this experience, as anyone with the willpower to chase the goal of completing a marathon can do it.

This training plan works to cut the twelve weeks into three sections of four weeks, creating a three phase training effect. 

This makes it easy to understand what your goals are during each phase of training and keep the process organized. 

The plan also centralizes around reaching weekly mileage goals and actually push you to exceed the 26.2 miles of a marathon during phase 2 so coming back down is easier and more comfortable. 

The goal is to complete the marathon comfortably, not push yourself too hard. It should be enjoyable and a positive accomplishment!


If you are an absolute beginner or an advanced runner alike, you can benefit from HalHigdon’s training plan. 

This plan offers a base level of training information that can easily be expanded upon or increased in intensity for those who are already experienced in distance running. 

The gentle progression allows newer runners to build up their stamina and endurance to comfortably run the 26.2 mile distance required in a traditional marathon. 

There are also other stages offered to cater more to experienced runners or those who do not need as much time to build up the initial phases of running training. 

Due to this customizable feature and the experience and professionalism within the running industry of Hal Higdon, himself, this is a fantastic guide to help jumpstart your marathon journey.

12 week marathon training for beginners

This book is perfect for those looking to annotate or customize their marathon training experience. 

With the Kindle version being free and the physical book being less than ten dollars, this book is a great deal for the amount of information it provides. 

While there are tons of amazing free articles and plans online to help you, there is something incredibly reassuring about having something tangible to use in your planning process. 

Plus, Thomas Watson is a running master who has completed tons of marathons and other running events. 

His insight allows what usually takes six months or more from a full training perspective and condenses it into just twelve weeks, cutting out the unnecessary aspects of training to make sure you are doing what will give you the best results the fastest!

If you want an incredibly in depth, comprehensive guide that covers every aspect of training imaginable from getting started to being ready just before the actual marathon date…

Well, this course from Active is an amazing option that can really help to reassure you and allow you to approach running a marathon with confidence and ease.

It walks you through the beginning phases of proper running and takes you directly through the training process, offering insight into how you should break up running endurance training and other aspects of your personalized training plan.

This allows you to make the best decisions for your unique running goals and cater to your needs as an athlete, regardless of whether you are on your first marathon run or your fiftieth.

Active is led by some of the most well known faces in the marathon running niche.

Their advice is incredibly valuable and can work to make you much more comfortable and ready to face your marathon running goals and dreams!

12 week marathon training for beginners planning

Your 12 Week Marathon Training For Beginners Action Plan - Time To Get Out There!

The biggest part of training for a marathon is actually doing it. 

Getting up on your feet and making a plan to start working towards your goal is the best way to get started and work on getting yourself ready to endure the labor that goes into finishing your marathon. 

With proper training and a good set of steps to follow in your plan, you will be ready to finish your marathon with comfort in no time at all! 

Get out there and get active; soon enough, you will be ready to surpass the 26.2 miles and set your next goals!