From Health magazineThe Beginner Program is geared to first-timer marathoners and gradually builds in mileage and intensity allowing your body to adapt to the new distances week to week.
Week by week, you will gradually progress your mileage from a 5 mile run to running 20 miles in preparation for the race. The key is in the recipe that includes a perfect blend of running easy days, long endurance runs, cross-training and rest.
The Beginning Marathon Training Program includes four runs per week. The program also includes optional cross-training workouts and rest days. Cross-training allows you to incorporate other activities you enjoy to compliment your program. Cross-training activities may include cycling, yoga, swimming, elliptical or any activity that is not walking or running.
The Beginner or First-Timer Marathon Program is a perfect strategy for those who have been running 3-5 miles comfortably 3-4 times per week for at least six months. If you are running less, that is okay! Consider the Run-Walk Program for the marathon.