Thinking about training for a half or full marathon? Good, we’re here to help you along every step of the way. Whether this is your first time training for the distance or you’re aiming for a new shiny PR, we’ve outlined everything you need to know to have a successful training cycle.

If you’re super overwhelmed when you Google “marathon training plans,” you’re not alone. There are countless options available—some better than others—but a great plan will include four different things: a build up to a long run that's at least 20 miles, a rest day following that long run, cross training, and a prerace taper. Each week will include different types of workouts such as intervals or speedwork, cross-training, easy recovery runs, and a long run.

As for duration, how long you should train depends on your own personal fitness and experience level and the expert or authority you’re following, but you should expect to incorporate speedwork, hills, and long runs. Generally speaking, most marathon training plans span from 12 to 20 weeks. You can crush your own goals with a Runner’s World Training Plan, designed for any speed and any distance. Here are our five most popular plans, but if you’re looking to break a specific time goal or run your best Boston ever, we’ve got you covered there, too. Just click here.

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