Introduction: Marathon Training Calendar

Here's how you can create your very own Marathon Training Calendar.

Step 1: Open a Calendar Template in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft has created a handful of calendar templates. You can choose from a multi-page calendar, a yearly calendar, a weekly calendar, and more.

Here’s how to use a pre-made template available in Excel:

1. Click File > New.

2. Type Calendar in the search field.

3. You’ll see a variety of options, but for this example, click the 12 month calendar and click Create.

Step 2: Plan Your Workout Schedule

You will want to plan your workouts depending on your level of experience. For beginners, here's a good baseline level to start at. Adjust this schedule to your athletic ability accordingly.

This schedule is designed to taper you down the last few weeks of your training, so you'll ramp up mileage and then drop down before the big race.

Beginners - 18 Week Schedule

Monday - Rest

You will rest every Monday.

Tuesday - 3 mile run

Tuesday will be your "warm up" day. You will start out running 3 miles every Tuesday. Increase to 4 miles in Week 11 and 5 miles in Week 14. In Week 17 you will drop to 4 miles, and in Week 18 you'll drop down to 3 miles on that Tuesday.

Wednesday - 3 mile run

Wednesdays will be mid-distance days. Your Wednesday mileage will increase by 1 mile every two weeks. So in Week 3 you will increase to 4 miles, in Week 5 you will increase to 5 miles, etc. You will do this until Week 15, where you will max out at a 10 mile run on Wednesday. The following 3 weeks leading up to the marathon you will drop down 2 miles on each Wednesday (8 miles, 6 miles, and 4 miles the week of the race).

Thursday - 3 mile run

Thursdays will be your "cool down" days. In week 9, increase to 4 miles on Thursdays. In Week 12, increase to 5 miles. In Week 16-18, drop 1 mile per week so you are running only 2 miles on your last Thursday before the race.

Friday - Rest

You will rest every Friday.

Saturday - Long Distance Runs

To push your body and rest accordingly, Saturday mileage is divided into the following:

Week 1 - 6 miles

Week 2 - 7 miles

Week 3 - 5 miles

Week 4 - 9 miles

Week 5 - 10 miles

Week 6 - 7 miles

Week 7 - 12 miles

Week 8 - Rest

Week 9 - 10 miles

Week 10 - 15 miles

Week 11 - 16 miles

Week 12 - 12 miles

Week 13 - 18 miles

Week 14 - 14 miles

Week 15 - 20 miles

Week 16 - 12 miles

Week 17 - 8 miles

Week 18 - Rest

Sundays - Cross Training, Half Marathon, and Marathon

On every Sunday except in week 8 and 18, you will do cross training on Sundays. Swimming, cycling, and walking are all great cross training exercises. In week 8 on Sunday you will run a half marathon, and in week 18 on Sunday, that's scheduled as the Marathon day.

This schedule was taken from

Step 3: Add Your Schedule to Your Calendar

Now, add your schedule to your calendar in Excel.

Step 4: Print and Get Ready to Train!

Now you can print your new calendar and hang it up somewhere!

Before you start training, make sure you have the right gear to help you succeed. It's important to understand that you do not need to spend a lot of money on fancy clothes or gear. You can pick up a nice pair of affordable running shorts or grab an athletic shirt online or at your nearest department store.

If you do decide to spend money, I would recommend investing in a high-quality pair of running shoes! And don't pick up just any shoes - take an old pair of running shoes into a running store and they can look at the wear patterns on the soles.

They'll show you the best types of shoes for your running style to help support your weak areas and help shape your steps. Getting the right shoe can prevent many injuries and ensure that you're getting the best training you can.