How Long It Takes to Walk a Marathon: Preparation and Training

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You don’t have to be a marathon runner (26.2 miles). Many people can walk a marathon in six to eight hours. While walking in a marathon may not be as strenuous as running, proper training is essential to achieving this goal.

People have many reasons to walk instead of running a marathon. For example, former runners with joint pain often switch to walking because it puts less strain on the joints. Others just prefer walking to running and look for marathons for a challenge.

Whatever your reason, make sure you’re ready before race day.

Before you decide to walk a marathon

The marathon is a tough race. Most healthy people can do it if they give themselves a strategic workout schedule and give themselves at least nine months to prepare.

Before you sign up for your first marathon, check to make sure this is a realistic goal for you at this point. Before you start training for a marathon, you should be able to comfortably walk at a brisk pace for at least an hour.

Make sure you have time to devote to training. You may have to complete three one-hour walks and longer walks (lasting two to six hours) each week.

During training, you’ll build your endurance by walking four days a week, starting with 20 miles a week and increasing each week to 38 miles a few weeks before the race. This is broken down into three 4-mile walks and one distance-building walk per week.

You may also consider consulting your healthcare provider to make sure you are healthy enough to train for a marathon. Some marathons, such as those in France and Italy, require a medical certificate from a doctor to enter.

If you’re ready to make the commitment, start by finding a pedestrian-friendly marathon.

How many steps are there in a marathon?

Running a marathon is about 55,000 steps if you have a 30-inch stride (average for men) and about 63,000 steps if you have a 26.5-inch stride (average for men). This will vary depending on your individual stride length.

Preparing for Marathon Training

Once you’ve set a goal and made time in your schedule to practice, you’ll need to do a few more things to get ready.

Get the right device

Good shoes are essential to get through the training process and to the finish line. You may need extra cushioning to reduce fatigue and the effects of long distance training, so you need to make sure you have the right shoes.

Many people prefer running shoes, but walking shoes provide pedestrian-specific cushioning. Your first stop should be a specialized running or walking shoe store to stock up on shoes to use in training and on race day.

What you wear on a hike is not the same as what you wear on a shorter walk. You’ll need clothing that helps prevent chafing and layers that are season-appropriate. With months of training ahead of you, you’ll likely need winter, summer, and rainy weather gear.

You may also want to invest in a running belt to hold your keys and water, a fitness tracker or smartwatch, a phone holder with a wrist strap, a headset that can be screwed into place, and a headset. other running equipment.

You will have no choice to avoid rain, snow or wind on race day. So try to practice in all weather conditions. Learn how to use your gear to prepare for any race day conditions.

Build base distance

You’ll need a solid walking foundation before you begin your official marathon building schedule. First, try to walk comfortably at a brisk pace for an hour.

Do a three-hour brisk walk and a week-long walk from there. Gradually build up your mileage, increasing 10% per week for long walks until you can comfortably walk for 8 miles.

Prevent common injuries

Skin blistering and cracking are the most taboos for hikers. Whether they occur on your feet, armpits, crotch, or chest, there are different strategies to prevent these painful skin problems during training and on race day, including walking. well-fitting shoes, wear loose-fitting clothing, and use lubricants.

Other injuries include cramps, muscle strains, sprains, and stomach problems. Ensures adequate fuel supply and effective hydration. Warm up with a slight stretch and cool down after walking.

When walking for many hours, you need energy snacks, water, and electrolyte replacement drinks to keep walking. Learn what to eat to fuel your marathon training and how to stay hydrated, and train on long hikes so you know what’s right for you on race day .

Train for Walking Marathon

Once you’ve got the right equipment and built your baseline, you’re ready to officially start training for the marathon. Here’s a schedule of what you need to do to get ready for race day.

The year is over

Now it’s time to start building mileage in preparation for the 26.2-mile race. Find and commit to an exercise schedule that will help you increase your mileage and develop your speed and aerobic capacity.

One month out

The last month of training includes your longest hike. Use it to tailor what you’ll wear and fine-tune how you eat during a long hike. You’ll know what works best for you to prevent blisters and other discomforts.

Two weeks out

After your longest hike, you’ll begin to gradually reduce your mileage in the two weeks leading up to the race. Relaxing will give your body time to heal itself from the longest training day and be in top form on race day.

For example, after reaching a 38-mile peak, you’ll taper down to 30 miles the next week and 22 miles the last week of training. Research shows that this slimming phase replenishes the body’s stores of glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants and hormones and improves race day performance by about 3%.

Last week

It’s about time! You’ll need to eat well, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and make sure you’re fully prepared for race day.

If you’re running a marathon in another city, make sure you have what you need to prepare for the race and any weather. You will also receive your bibs and time chips in the days leading up to the race.


You may have heard that you should load up on carbohydrates immediately before running a marathon. The latest thinking is that you shouldn’t overdo carbohydrates before a race. You don’t want to eat anything new or different right before the race.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to study the route map and know the locations of relief stations, water stations and restrooms along the way.

Race and recovery

You’ve been training for months, and race day has finally arrived. Remember that the race will be different from a training walk. Wake up a few hours before the race, so you have time to prepare. Two hours before a marathon, drink 16 ounces of water to make sure you stay hydrated.

Check the weather

You have been trained in all weather conditions. Now is your chance to choose your gear and outfit for race day. Bring several options if there is a chance for different conditions.

After you’ve completed your first marathon, remember to celebrate. Wear your medals and race jerseys with pride. You have joined the community of marathon runners. After the race is over, you may experience soreness.

Between blisters, black toenails, and body aches from the 26.2-mile walk, the aftereffects of the race can’t be good. You may also be exhausted and have mixed emotions.

After achieving the goal you’ve been focused on for months, many riders experience post-race boredom coupled with extreme fatigue. This usually passes after a few days, and many marathoners then start planning their next race.

A very good word

Walking a marathon is an admirable feat. Even though you’re not running, you’re still expending a lot of energy. It’s important to prepare with the right equipment, nutrition, and exercise plan. A walking or marathon coach can help if you have any concerns. If you’ve been sedentary in the past, get a medical clearance from your healthcare provider before exercising.

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