26 miles…  385 yards…  42.195 km…

Based on the legend of an ancient Greek messenger who raced from the site of Marathon to Athens (40k’s), with the news of the Greek victory over the Persians.

Still to this day, people believe that only “certain” types of people can run a marathon.

The truth is, no matter how tall, short, skinny, or bulky you are… with the correct training plan and consistency, you will be able to train for a marathon in less than one year while learning lessons that you can apply to the rest of your life

Let’s have a look at how you can do just that…

How Long Does It Take To Train For a Marathon?

We can be real with ourselves… Marathon training is a big undertaking; there is no question about that. 

Training for a marathon really does not have to be such a daunting idea. 

If we’re realistic, you can be marathon ready in just 12 weeks. That is, if you plan correctly, follow the correct marathon training plan, and stick to it. You’ll begin to see gradual, consistent improvements which will build up and allow you to be ready come race day.

Not all running training plans are created equal, these are the things every running training plan should include as well as the red flags that you should look out for in training plans.

How To Tell If You Are Training Enough 

Am I training too much? How long should my long runs be? How many long runs should I do? Aaaaah!

You’ve been getting the work done and trying not to worry too much about the 42 kilometers that you have signed up for.

But no matter how confident you are, there’s always the question: “Have I done enough?”

This is how you can tell if you have done enough to run your marathon…

  1. Look back at your training plan and see how consistent you were in terms of getting your strength training done, your runs in as well as the rest days. By doing this you will be able to see if you have built up those training blocks correctly. 
  2. Ask yourself… Did you run your long runs slow enough… in other words, if you answered yes, you would have built up your aerobic system correctly and will definitely be ready come race day.
  3. Recovery. A very important and often misunderstood aspect of your training leading up to a marathon is your recovery days. When you run, you aren’t just building your stamina and strength; you’re also breaking your body down, causing a tiny amount of tissue damage with every step.
    So, allowing yourself time to recover after your runs is what makes it possible for you to come back better adapted for your next run.
  4. Your goal pace starts to feel good… At the beginning of your training, running even just a few kilometers at your goal pace may have been a very difficult task, but now that you have done the training it should feel a lot more doable… Considering you are going to be running it for 42Ks.
  5. How mentally prepared are you? In your interval sessions and speed sessions, that was the time to really dig deep and remind yourself of why you are doing this… come race day a very large part of completing the race is going to be based on your mental strength so you need to mentally prepare to stay calm and keep your pace under control.

We know that the constant worrying about whether you’re doing enough to prepare is exhausting…

That is why we created the 12 Week Marathon Training Roadmap.

A proven, step-by-step 12-week marathon training plan to get you from exactly where you are today, to having a marathon medal around your neck at the race you’re targeting in the time you were chasing.

Without the stress and worry. Knowing that you’ve done what it takes to finish a marathon, feeling strong and in control within your goal finishing time.

Ensuring you arrive at the start line, fit, and most importantly injury free…

…to give yourself a shot at achieving your marathon goal.

The Marathon Training Roadmap guides you through every step of your marathon journey.

Training, recovering, tapering, and race day. We’ve got you covered, every step of the way.

Couch To Marathon

If you are doing some exercise you CAN do a Marathon in 12 weeks but building up over 6 months is better and giving yourself time means you can do it safely and enjoy the process.

Running a marathon doesn’t have to be… Scary and Intimidating

Just thinking about running 42km or 26 miles should give you butterflies in your stomach…The thought of it is enough to freak the most seasoned runner out.

Never mind a newbie to marathon running… As much as running a marathon is a physical challenge, it’s just as much a mental challenge. The constant mental gymnastics of second-guessing yourself takes its toll…

This is a step-by-step summary of going from couch to marathon:

  1. Find a marathon training plan that suits you and your lifestyle best.
  2. Try to find a friend to join you on this journey or join a running club. This will help with accountability.
  3. Take it slow and trust the process.
  4. Understand just how important your rest days are. 
  5. Strength training. Strength training. Strength training. – Need I say more!
  6. Fuel your body with nutritious food.
  7. Make sure you are eating enough.
  8. Listen to your body.
  9. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  10. Build up your mental strength by believing in your capabilities.

The truth is, there is no set time frame to train for a marathon… Everyone is different, everyone is at a different fitness level and everyone adapts to training differently. 

What you do in the 12 weeks leading up to your marathon will either set you up for success or failure…

That’s why we have created a step-by-step 12-week 42k training plan to help you across the finish line

This is a proven, science-backed 12-week marathon training plan that shows you not only what training to do every day, but exactly what pace that training should be done at so that you avoid injury and ensure you’re not over-or under-trained for come race day.

It really is just a marathon training plan suited to your ability.

Take the guesswork out of your marathon training

Let’s break down what training for a marathon entails…

The Primary Elements Of Marathon Training

Firstly: Strength training –  Strength training is extremely important for runners, for two main reasons. The first is for injury prevention, and the second is to improve your running performance and make you a faster and more efficient runner

Strength training plays an integral part in the Coach Parry training philosophy and that’s why we’re including our S&C plans as part of the marathon training roadmap.

Making sure you do the correct strength training is important. The good news is we’ve created a free strength training plan for runners that you can download by clicking here.

Second: Build endurance – To successfully run a marathon, so many runners believe that in order to run further and to build stamina they need to keep on adding mileage and intensity to their sessions. 

Well, here are some great tips on how you can get fitter and faster without going overboard in your training sessions.

Third: Prevent injuries – Improper warm-ups/ skipped cooldowns and too much high-intensity running are the leading culprits of injury.
You need to work on good, symmetrical biomechanics, and alternate hard-effort workouts with easy runs. Have at least one full rest day a week.

To sum it all up. It’s definitely possible to be marathon ready in one year! It’s possible to be marathon ready in 12 months.

Once you reach race day, trust your training, trust yourself and savor the incredible moment.


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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