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How Many Miles is a Marathon? [Marathon to Miles]

The marathon is a long-distance road running event. It is popular among runners due to its challenging distance.

It is quite a demanding discipline, and it requires dedicated work and a structured training plan to complete it at the goal time, without injuries.

In this article, you will find out how many miles is a marathon. You will also get answers to the most frequently asked questions.

A marathon is equivalent to 26.2188 miles. The marathon is 42.195 kilometers long and 1 kilometer is approximately 0.621371 miles. Therefore, the marathon is approximately 26.2 miles long.

Miles and kilometers serve as common units of length or distance, employed across various regions worldwide.

While countries like the United States and a few others predominantly utilize miles, most nations have embraced kilometers as the standard measure for gauging distances.

How many miles is a marathon

How long does it take to train for a marathon?

Generally, most training plans for a marathon range from 16 to 20 weeks.

The time it takes to train for a marathon (26.2 miles) race can vary depending on your fitness level, running experience, and your goals.


Patience is important in running, and with the continuity of training, results will come.
Listen to your body and set realistic and achievable goals to avoid injuries and overtraining.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a running coach before starting a new training program, especially if you’re new to running or have any underlying health concerns.

How to become a runner

How long does it take to go from couch to marathon?

If you’re starting from a very sedentary lifestyle, you need a few months to build a base level of fitness before beginning a marathon training program.

Focus on walking regularly and gradually incorporating short periods of jogging or running.

Read more: Can You Become a Runner? (Top 19 Tips to Become a Runner)

Remember, the goal is not just to complete the marathon but also to do so comfortably and without risking injury.

Additionally, factors like cross-training, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and injury prevention strategies can contribute to a smoother and more successful transition from a sedentary lifestyle to running a marathon.

Different Types of Runs

How to train for a marathon?

Training for a marathon run involves a combination of different types of training.

It is recommended to train at least 4 times a week, pay attention to adequate recovery, and do strength training.

With consistency and continuity of training, the results will not be missed.

It’s important to focus on gradual progression, consistency, and enjoying the process of becoming more active and fit.

It’s recommended to follow a structured training plan to avoid overexertion and reduce the risk of injury.

One workout a week should be a very easy run with strides at the end.

This way you will add speed to your workout, and you will be more prepared for the next more intense workout.

Then the second and third workouts of the week should be fartlek training, intervals, or tempo runs.


Fartlek training is great for both beginners and advanced runners because of its adaptability. One of the main benefits of fartlek training is that you run on feeling, without thinking about pace.

This way you will break the monotony in your workout and add speed without too much stress.

The fourth workout of the week should be a long run.

A long run will improve your endurance and resistance to fatigue.

Take at least one day off between workouts.

Example of training schedule – 4 training sessions per week

MON: rest
TUE: easy run + strength training
WED: fartlek training + strength training
THU: rest
FRI: tempo run + strength training
SAT: rest
SUN: long run

It is also important to do strength training at least 2 times a week.

Aside from preventing injuries, strength training will also help you build muscles that are required for you to maintain proper running form, making you a more efficient runner.


Listen to your body, progress at a pace that feels manageable, and consider consulting a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying health concerns.
How long does it take to walk a marathon
How long does it take to walk a marathon

What is the average time to walk a marathon?

The average time to walk a marathon is between 7 hours and 9 hours, which means that the average walking speed is between 2.91 and 3.75 miles per hour.

The average walking pace is between 16:01 and 20:36 minutes per mile.

Numerous factors, such as age, gender, fitness level, and terrain, will affect the final time.

The information is based on research conducted by Schimpl et al.

Depending on the walking pace, the table shows how long it takes to walk a marathon.

Average walking pace
20:00 min/mi
12:26 min/km
3.00 mph
4.83 kph
Moderate walking pace
17:09 min/mi
10:39 min/km
3.5 mph
5.63 kph
Brisk walking pace
15:00 min/mi
9:19 min/km
4.00 mph
6.44 kph
Fast walking pace
12:00 min/mi
7:27 min/km
5.00 mph
8.05 kph
Marathon8 hr 44 min 29 sec7 hr 29 min 44 sec6 hr 33 min 21 sec5 hr 14 min 41 sec

Read more: How Long Does It Take to Walk a Marathon? (Detailed Answer)

Average marathon time

How long does it take to run a marathon?

Beginners need approximately 4 hours 50 minutes (average running pace 11:04 minutes per mile or 6:52 minutes per kilometer) to run a marathon, while more experienced runners need 3 hours 15 minutes (average running pace 7:26 minutes per mile or 4:37 minutes per kilometer).

The table shows how long it takes to run a marathon depending on the running pace.

Minutes per mileMinutes per kilometerMarathon time

Use my running pace calculator with which you can calculate the time needed to run a marathon at a certain pace. You can also calculate what pace you will run if you run a marathon in a certain time.

Read more: Average Marathon Time by Age, Sex, and Ability Level

What is a good marathon time

What is a good marathon time?

A good marathon time for beginners/recreational runners is under 4 hours 15 minutes (average running pace 9:44 minutes per mile or 6:02 minutes per kilometer).

This is a common goal for many beginners, and achieving this time indicates a solid level of fitness and dedication.

A good marathon time for intermediate runners is 3 hours 10 minutes (average running pace 7:15 minutes per mile or 4:30 minutes per kilometer).

This range is often considered a good goal for intermediate runners who have been consistently training and improving their pace.

A good marathon time for advanced runners is sub 3 hours (average running pace 6:52 minutes per mile or 4:16 minutes per kilometer).

Breaking that barrier is a noteworthy accomplishment and is often considered a competitive time for the marathon distance.

A good marathon running time varies from person to person.

Someone will find 3 hours a good marathon time, while some other runner might be dissatisfied with that result.

Many factors affect the marathon time, including:

  • Sex – On average, men run faster than women due to genetic predispositions.
  • Age – Most professional marathon runners run their personal records between the ages of 30 and 35.
  • Ability level – Form and health also affect your running time.
  • Experience – With years of training, you gain experience that also affects your running time.
  • Weather – a marathon is a long race. So, to have suitable conditions, it is important that there’s no precipitation and that it’s not too cold or too hot.
  • Terrain – Flat terrain is ideal for a good marathon result since it allows you to maintain a steady pace and not lose additional energy running uphill and downhill.

A good marathon running time is the result with which you are satisfied.


Do not compare yourself to others, everyone is different.
Track your own results and overcome your boundaries.
Enjoy running and progress gradually to train without injuries because that is most important.

How many calories do you burn on a marathon?

Running a marathon will burn you on average 2600 calories.

The exact number of calories spent while running a marathon depends on the weight and fitness of the runners, their pace, the terrain they run on, and the weather conditions.

The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn because you must carry more weight and work harder to run the same distance at the same pace.


According to the calories burned running calculator, a runner who weighs 180 lbs will spend approximately 2670 calories by running a marathon at a pace of 10:00 minutes per mile, while a 130 lbs runner will spend approximately 2650 calories.

Read more: How Heavy Is Too Heavy to Run? (17 Tips for Heavy Runners)

Race Time Predictor

How to estimate your marathon finish time?

If you want to know what time you can expect during a marathon run, use my race time predictor.

This predictor can predict the result of a targeted race and calculate its average pace based on previous run or race results.

Read more: Race Time Predictor

Race time predictor assumes that the runner has done the appropriate training for the distance they want to run.


A perfect race has minimal pace changes, which is why this race predictor also calculates the average pace.
This way you will avoid running too quickly in the earlier stages of a race and exhausting yourself early.

Keep in mind that the predicted result is just an estimate since factors like weather and running terrain can affect the result of a race.

It might happen that the race takes part on terrain with plenty of slopes, or that there’s strong wind and rainfall that will negatively affect your results, and which the predictor simply won’t be able to anticipate.

How to run a marathon race?

If you are running your first marathon race or if you want to run your personal best, you need to predetermine your running pace so that you can run “smarter”, with respect to your current fitness level.

That way, you will avoid running too fast in the earlier stages of the race and prevent the appearance of fatigue early in the race.


The perfect race is run with minimal pace changes. To know the pace at which you should run and what your split times are, use the marathon pace chart.

That way, you will avoid running too fast in the earlier stages of the race and prevent the appearance of fatigue early in the race.

It is better to start slower than too fast.

This research speaks in favor of this. World records of 5,000 meters to the marathon, in the women’s and men’s categories, were set by running a negative split, which means running the first part of the race slower than the second.

It is a thin line between your new personal best and a bad race, so be careful!

It is important to control the pace and not let the adrenaline overwhelm you or the other runners influence you.

Controlling your running pace is a skill that requires time to master. Be patient and listen to your body.

You can determine your running pace and calculate your split times for the race with a marathon pace chart.

You can download for FREE marathon pace chart here.


How hard is it to run a marathon without training?

If you are active and in good shape, it is possible to run a marathon without training, but I do not recommend it at all.

If you have not done any sports so far, and you spend most of your time sitting, then it is not recommended even to try.

I always advise a smart and consistent approach to training regardless of someone’s current level of fitness.

how many steps are in a marathon

What is the number of steps you should take in a marathon?

You should take approximately 55000 steps to walk a marathon and 39300 steps to run a marathon.

To calculate an accurate figure, you need to consider several different factors, such as gender, height, weight, stride length, and pace of walking or running.

For example, a shorter person will have to take many more steps to cover the same distance, unlike a taller person.

You can use a calculator to determine exactly how many steps, you have taken in a marathon of walking or running.

The study calculated the average number of steps that need to be taken per mile while walking or running.

The table shows an overview of the steps required to cross a marathon at a given speed.

Slow walk
20:00 min/mi
12:26 min/km
Brisk walk
15:00 min/mi
9:19 min/km
Light jog
12:00 min/mi
7:27 min/km
Slow run
10:00 min/mi
6:13 min/km
8:00 min/mi
4:58 min/km
Fast run
6 min/mi
3:44 min/km

The table shows an overview of how many steps you will take in a marathon while moving at a certain speed.

Read more: How Many Steps Are in a Marathon? (Detailed Answer)


Matea Matošević

Hi, I’m Matea! I’m an Olympic Marathon Runner, founder, and writer behind OLYRUN.com. On this site, I provide help in the form of my knowledge and experience to all who love running and active living. Read more…