It’s late-summer and suddenly some friends tell you they’re going to run a fall marathon—and you should join them. What?! Or maybe you signed up long ago, time slipped by, you never started that training plan—and now you suddenly realize how close it is. Is there time to get in decent enough shape to finish it?

Yes, of course, assuming you’ve been active and running a bit since the spring. We’d normally suggest a 12- to 14-week plan for optimal marathon training, but if you don’t have that much time you can still improve your situation in the next two months. We’ve designed an eight-week plan aimed at getting you to the finish line with more aerobic fitness than you have now. You might not set a new PR, but you’ll still savor the moment you cross the finish line.

Free 8-Week Marathon Training Plan


Originally appeared in The Official Rock ‘n’ Roll Guide to Marathon and Half-Marathon Training, VeloPress