A super simple marathon training plan

Just add some discipline and you will soon run your first marathon.

The Nomad Athlete
5 min readNov 12, 2022


Photo by Capstone Events on Unsplash

This is a super simple training plan that I used when I trained for my first marathon. Obviously, the same plan can be adapted to a half marathon, 10k, or whatever. I won’t share the whole training plan, just the basic information so you get the idea. I used an app for my training — unfortunately, I can’t recall the name. I’m sure there are a ton of different ones out there that you can use. In my opinion, apps are good for keeping you accountable as you see what workouts you’ve done and what you should do next.

Make a plan

Pick a race you want to do and count the weeks between the race and the current date. There’s your timeline. Next, assess your current base fitness. Have you been running at all? Or are you starting from scratch? Based on those two variables, you’ll know how much you should increase your training each week.

For my first race, I had 16 weeks (which I think it’s a pretty common number to go by, without doing any research) to train. So that’s the number I’m going to use here.

I did three runs every week — they consisted of one long run, one tempo run, and one interval run. Let’s go through them:

Long runs

I set my base at 20 minutes. The goal was that my longest run should be 3 hours long, so the math was pretty simple: 16*10 = 160 minutes added to the base fitness which was 20 minutes = 180 minutes. So each week my run should increase by 10 minutes*, starting from 20 minutes. So the first week 20 minutes, the second week 30 minutes, etc. Please note that this increase might be a bit too much for some people in the beginning, but I knew that I could run for one hour when I started out but I wanted a soft start.

*with my current knowledge, I would adjust this slightly. The weekly increase shouldn’t be more than 10%. As mentioned, I started out “below” my fitness level, so this worked out pretty well for me — but for others, I would suggest making smaller increases at the beginning and bigger increases as you progress. So e.g. starting out at 3 minutes weekly increase in the beginning and progressing up to 20 minutes towards the end.



The Nomad Athlete

Endurance athlete, digital nomad, nerd. Just a normal guy trying to figure out fitness, business, and life.