Category Archives: Fitness

How much training do I need to do for a marathon or half marathon?

I generally “run” up and down hills, but I’d like to know my ability on more traditional flat events, pushing myself to a reasonable degree given the limited amount of time that I can set aside for training. Or otherwise, how much time do I need to set aside for training to achieve average times?

Let’s make some assumptions:

  • Median marathon times for average folks are 4:16:37 for men and 4:41:49 for women from Runners World;
  • Similarly, median half-marathon times for average folks are 2:01:37 for men and 2:19:49 for women also from Runners World;

Meanwhile, another analysis on Runners World suggests that you need to put in around 20 miles training per week to achieve those times. This is all a bit hand-wavy, but I’m pretty sure more detailed analysis won’t tell you anything much different.Dividing that up means one long run at the weekend and two or three shorter runs during the week. Looking at it that way, an average of 20 miles or 4 to 5 hours a week seems a lot more achievable – perhaps being average isn’t so hard after all.

Now I just need to formulate a training plan.