Can You Train For A Marathon In 3 Months?

Running a Marathon is an amazing human feet. Only a fraction of the population will ever run that far at one time; primarily because it is no easy task. Even the most seasoned runners push themselves to unconceivably long distances to cross the finish line. Besides representing an impressive personal best, many people use the marathon as an end to weeks, months, and even years of celebration.

While people can literally spend years training for their first marathon, another question can be asked. Can a person run a marathon after only half a year’s worth of training? How about after only 3 months? If you are interested in possibly running a marathon in 3 months, then stay tuned. We will tell you what to expect, and whether or not it is possible.


Can You Train For a Marathon In 3 Months? The Short Answer

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is that depending on how good of shape you are in right now, it may be either relatively easy or one of the most painful things you have ever done in your life. How can you improve your chances?

1. Routine, Routine, Routine

The secret to success is following a 3 month routine for Marathon Running. As many routines have 9 to 12 week training periods, you should be able to follow one of these until you run the marathon. Depending on how far you can run right now, and the time that you want for the marathon, your routine will change. In addition, consider the total number of days you can run per week. The more days you can give to running, the easier the marathon will be. Make sure to follow the routine and do not skip the long runs and the rests, as both are essential to promoting your potential distance and reducing the risk of injury. Pretty soon, your routine will get you to the finish line of an actual marathon such as the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC half marathon.

2. Work on Your Form

There are a number of guides out there, which will instruct you in your form. Form is crucial to reducing injury and making running feel effortless. Consider books like CHI Running or other instructional material to help improve your form. If you begin to feel an injury develop, it is incredibly helpful to take the time to stop running. Usually this means between one to two weeks of extensive cross-training as opposed to running. In this case, many people will substitute running for either swimming or biking, as both are low impact, high endurance activities that are soft on your legs.

3. Timing Isn’t Everything

While timing is absolutely one of the most important factors for any competitive marathon runner, the simple fact remains that you are new to marathons and your focus should be on finishing the marathon, rather than pace. You have spent the past three months training vigorously, working on everything from routine and form, to adapting the sheer discipline it takes to run such a distance. The point to take away here is this; it is your first marathon, dig your heels in and just focus on finishing. Save the timing and pace worries for the next marathon (which I’m sure is in the near future.


Invest in GPS watch. These nifty little devices are fantastic tools for keeping track of how far you have run, as well as the pace of each logged mile. Now there are different watches out there; in other words, some cost an arm and a leg, while others are affordable on even the most stringent budget. You don’t need an expensive watch at all; the bare essentials are perfect for this application. Speaking of applications, there are even free apps you download right to your smartphone that perform the same function.

Eat on the run (pun intended). Marathons, by definition, are long. With each passing mile, your body’s energy stores are gradually diminishing. With that being said, it would be wise to condition yourself to eat during the run. For most runners, the idea of eating while running is enough to conjure up nightmares. However, glucose gels and energy bars make the task a little more palatable as those types of nourishment typically go down easy.

Smart Hydration. Water is important for absolutely every aspect of life, and the same holds true for marathon runners. Could you imagine carrying a bulky water bottle with you for more than 26 miles? Luckily, many water bottle manufacturers have addressed this issue by creating water bottles that can be worn like a backpack, stay tucked away in waist packs, and even hands-free bottles that take the guesswork out of everything.