The New York City Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, 3 November 2024. 

This means that if you start your serious training in the second week of June, you have exactly 16 weeks to prepare for the NYC Marathon.

Almost four months of training for the New York City Marathon is more than enough time to train, even if you’re a beginner with only a little running experience.

In this article, we’re going to share with you a fail-proof NYC Marathon training plan specific to your level of experience so that all you have to worry about come race day is crossing that finish line…

Let’s have a look at…

Let’s begin!

How Long Does It Take To Train For The New York City Marathon?

The length of time it takes to prepare for the NYC Marathon depends on an individual’s running background and experience.

If you’ve got absolutely no running experience but have set this goal for yourself, fantastic! Here is a specific couch to NYC Marathon guide just for you.

For runners who have some experience or loads of experience, the table below depicts the weekly training hours based on your level of experience as well as your NYC marathon race goal.

Level Of ExperienceRace GoalAmount Of Training Weeks RequiredAverage Weekly Training HoursTraining Program
Little to none.Finisher0 to 5km = 12 weeks 5 to 10km = 12 weeks10 to 21km = 12 weeks21 to 42 km = 12 weeks total: 48 Weeks6:31 (peak weeks)Couch To NYC Marathon
Have at a minimum completed a 21 km distance in a race or training, preferably close to 2:20. Finisher12 Weeks6:31Finisher Marathon Plan 
If you have completed 21.1km recently & you can get close to these times:– 10km: 61 min21km: 2:13Marathon: 4hrs45Sub 4:30 hour12 Weeks6:21Sub 4:30 hour Marathon Plan
Have run 10km recently & are close to these times:– 5km: sub-25– 10 km: 51min– 21km: Sub 1:55-Marathon: 4hrs12Sub 4 hour12 Weeks6:54Sub 4-hour Marathon Plan
Has achieved the below set times:5km: 24min10km: 49min21km: 1hr50Marathon: 3hrs45Sub 3:30 hour12 Weeks6:08Sub 3:30 hour Marathon Plan
Capable of running one of the below times AND have been following at least a 5-day-a-week regime in the recent past.– 5km: 18:3010km: 38:3015km: 59:3021km: 1:25:3042km: 3:05-3:10Sub 3 hour12 Weeks8:45Sub 3-hour Marathon Plan

Now that we know how long your training is going to take, let’s calculate when you should start training…

When You Should Start Training For The New York City Marathon

The date at which you should start training for the NYC Marathon depends on your level of experience and time goal. 

If you are following the couch to NYC Marathon training you should have started training 48 weeks ahead of race day, which was Sunday, December 03, 2023.

The reason for such an early head start is that runners doing the couch to NYC Marathon would first start with a 5km training plan, then move to a 10km then a 21km, and with 12 weeks to go until race day (Sunday, August 11, 2024) they will begin their NYC Marathon specific training plan.

Not everyone has the luxury of doing this in an ideal way, you can get ready for the marathon in 48, 36, and a minimum of 24 weeks.

Experienced runners should start their training at the latest 12 weeks before race day. (August 11th)

This does depend on what training you are currently doing.

For example, if a runner wants to finish the NYC Marathon in under 4 hours but has not run a sub 2 hour Half Marathon before then they should first do a sub 2 hour 21km training program, which will add on an extra 12 weeks of training, therefore making their training start date May 19, 2024.

With that being said… I think it’s time we have a look at how you should go about training for the NYC Marathon.

How To Train For The New York City Marathon

Training for the NYC Marathon does not involve only running… It involves 8 key ingredients that make up your preparation…

NYC Marathon Training Broken Down

  • Easy Runs
  • Long Runs
  • Nutrition
  • Rest Days
  • Time Trials
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Cross Training
  • Tapering

Easy Runs

Easy training runs help you add weekly volume to your running plan. By easy we mean EASY. You should be able to hold a conversation with someone next to you and not be struggling to get a breath in at the same time. 

Most Coach Parry plans have 2 or 3 easy training runs to do a week. 

Long Runs

Long runs are vital to you completing the New York City Marathon.

The purpose of a long run is to achieve several outcomes, the most important is to develop your endurance to supply energy and oxygen to working muscles over longer distances.

The long run, therefore, plays an important role in improving running economy. 

Long runs teach us to be on our feet for a long time and they physiologically prepare us for going longer distances. They also allow us to experiment with different nutrition to find out what works best and what doesn’t work for our stomachs.

The longest run 3-4 weeks from race day is one of the most important runs to help prepare you mentally and physically for the NYC Marathon


A marathon training diet should be well-balanced and include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and an adequate amount of Micro and Macronutrients.

Once you start training you may notice that after a morning of training… you struggle to keep your eyes open come lunchtime and by mid-afternoon, you’ve made your way to the couch for a much-needed nap.

One of the reasons you feel fatigued and sleepy after a tough morning of training is that your nutritional intake after that morning’s training session is not what it should be.

A majority of the fatigue is from the training but a big portion of that can be alleviated by improving your nutrition.

If you’re interested in learning about what your marathon training nutrition plan should look like, chat with Nicki de Villiers our Sports Nutritionist.

Nicki graduated as a dietitian at the University of Pretoria and completed a postgraduate diploma through the International Olympic Committee and has a master’s degree in dietetics.

She has been working in the field of dietetics for around 20 years and has been concentrating on sports nutrition for the last 14 years. She started working at the High-Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria around 10 years ago.

Nicki currently works as a private consulting dietitian at her own practice in Hatfield.

Nicki consults for various Premier Soccer League teams, professional rugby teams, the Comrades Marathon Association, and individual athletes at all levels.

Work with her here.

Rest Days

Rest days are as important as training days. Most runners don’t realize that in order to get the full benefit of our training we HAVE to recover. Our bodies only adapt to the training we have done during recovery so without recovery, you won’t get the full benefit of your training. 

Rest days also help prevent injuries which is key to continuing your training for the marathon.

With our training plans, rest days are included in your schedule and placed on specific days where you will get the most benefit from them. For example, rest days are placed strategically around time trials, interval sessions, and long runs so that you can benefit fully from the training you are doing.

Consistency is important… Even when it comes to rest.

Allowing yourself time to recover after your runs is what makes it possible for you to come back better adapted-for your next run.

Time Trials

Time trials are scheduled every four weeks in your NYC marathon training program. You can use these as an indicator of your progress and adjust your program if necessary.

The time trials are 5km or 8km depending on your time goal and should be run in your best time possible.

Strength Training

Strength is an extremely important contributor to your NYC marathon success, for two main reasons. The first is for injury prevention, and the second is to improve your running performance by making you a faster and more efficient runner.

Strength training plays an integral part in the Coach Parry training philosophy and that’s why we include our Strength and Conditioning plans as part of the training program.

Read more about the importance of strength training here.

Note: You can get strength training plans anywhere, there are plenty of options on Google… But it’s not just about the plan, but how you implement it. Technique is vital and at Coach Parry, we are all about technique.

Here at Coach Parry, we’re massive advocates of strength training. We’ve put together this free strength training plan for runners that you can do once a week, at home and with no expensive equipment needed.  You can access it by clicking here

Cross Training

When we run, we hit the ground hard, which results in eccentric muscle contractions. Our muscles contract while they lengthen in order to act as shock absorbers and protect bones and joints.

Cross-training is a great way to increase your cardiovascular workload and load the muscles without eccentric loading (high impact), meaning less damage to the body.

Examples of great cross-training options to include in your training for the NYC Marathon include:

  • Swimming (Revealed: How To Swim Your Way To Becoming A Better Runner)
  • Cycling (Cycling To Run FASTER: How To Use Your Bike To Become A Better Runner)
  • Elliptical
  • Rowing
  • Yoga


Tapering refers to the practice of reducing volume leading to an important competition.

It is one of the most important aspects of your NYC marathon training and yet, it is also one of the most difficult to implement because runners fear cutting back on training.

Tapering is in essence reducing mileage, it is vitally important for full recovery from training and for peak performance.

The idea of the taper is to keep you ticking over with some training stimulus.

Your body is so used to training, but we’re also trying to freshen you up and make sure that you are as strong as possible come race day. 

These 8 aspects that make up your NYC Marathon training may seem like a lot to take in at first…

That’s why we have created a proven, step-by-step 12-week marathon training plan to get you from where you are today, to having a New York City marathon medal around your neck in the time you are chasing.

Our team will ensure you arrive at the start line, fit, and most importantly injury free…

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

The New York City Marathon Training Roadmap guides you through every step of your marathon journey. Training, recovering, tapering, and race day.

With our wide range of plans to choose from, you can pick a training plan based on your current running experience, the amount of time you have available for training, and your NYC Marathon goal.

Let’s have a look at what the New York City Marathon training plan includes…

12-Week New York City Marathon Training Plan

To help you achieve race day success, this plan has been carefully thought out and trialed, and tested by hundreds of runners over the last 18 years…

The Coach Parry 12-Week NYC Marathon Training Plan Includes:

Daily Training Sessions

– Every training session is broken down into exactly what you need to do.

– There are pacing guidelines for every run so that you know exactly how fast to run them.

– The perfect amount of recovery is included to make sure you benefit from all of the training sessions.

Strength Training

– There are plans for all abilities so if you’ve never done S&C or a marathon, we’ve got you covered

– Warm-up routines and stretching plans are also included.

– No need to go to a gym or buy expensive equipment. Everything can be done at home.

Big Picture Planning

– See how each training session fits into the overall NYC Marathon Training Roadmap.

– Analyse your training data within the plan so that you can see how you are responding to the overall training.

– Know exactly when and how long your long training runs should be.

I guess the next question is… Where do you find these plans…

  • Couch To New York City Marathon Training Plan: Click Here
  • Finishers New York City  Marathon Training Plan: Click Here
  • Sub 4:30 hour NYC Marathon Training Plan: Click Here
  • Sub-4-hour NYC Marathon Training Plan: Click Here
  • Sub 3:30 hour NYC Marathon Training Plan: Click Here
  • Sub-3-hour NYC Marathon Training Plan: Click Here

Tapering For The New York City Marathon 

How best to taper for a marathon can be highly personalized depending on your adaptation, race experience, and even your physiology.

In one study, they found that tapering can improve your time by 5.6%.  If we look at this percentage in terms of the New York City Marathon, that is the difference between a 3hr20 and a 3hr31!

As a guideline when tapering for a marathon, the shortest taper should be no less than 10 days, with the longest period of three weeks. 

We recommend a three-week taper where you gradually decrease your mileage leading up to race day.

We wrote this article to tell you exactly What a Marathon Taper Should Look Like.

The journey ahead of you is one you will never forget. Remember to stick to your training program as much as possible. Yes… That includes the rest days and enjoying every session knowing that it’s one step closer to the New York City Marathon finish line.

Ps. This is an article you don’t want to miss: New York City Marathon Route: The ESSENTIAL Course Guide


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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