Interviews / Stories / Training

Marathon training plan

Running a marathon requires both strength, fitness and endurance, as well as a strong mindset and will. Running 42,195 meters is a real test for both body and psyche. But how do you train for a marathon? Where do you start and what should you think about?

In 2022, she ran the half-marathon and now in 2023, her sights were set on the Stockholm Marathon. Follow Björn Borg's own Customer Success Manager Madelene on her journey. Take part in a packed marathon training plan, read about the experience and thoughts from the first marathon and get her best tips for those of you who also want to run.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to run a marathon?

Find a training schedule that suits you, and preferably have a friend who wants to join you on one of the longer running sessions, so the training will be more fun. I've googled just about all the info such as exercise schedules and diet. There are so many runners sharing their experiences and so I found it easy to find my way through it.

Tips for marathon training

  • Wear good shoes. Actually, you can run in sweatpants and a college sweatshirt, but a good pair of running shoes is invaluable. Go get them tested at a running lab so you know you're getting shoes that fit your feet.

  • Set a goal. Should your goal be to get around or do you want to do it in a specific time? Having a time goal does not have to mean that it goes fast.

  • Don't forget to eat. Remember to get enough energy so that you can endure all the sessions and be able to be a nice person between sessions as well.

  • Recover! The days that are rest days ARE rest days. The body will not be able to absorb the exercise if you wear it out every day.

  • Don't skip the long sessions. It doesn't matter if you want to run your marathon fast or just get around - the key is in the long runs.

  • When it comes to exercise plans, it's important to start off easy and then build up slowly to avoid injury. Also keep in mind that most training will be slow. There is no point in training like a sprinter if you are going to run a marathon.

  • A heart rate monitor can be a good investment to see your progress.

  • Feel free to run a test session once a month. Then you replace one of the training sessions with a session where you test how fast you can run 5 km or 10 km.

Training program 26 weeks

I have followed the training schedule below from Actic.

Weeks 1–10: Half a year is plenty of time to get in shape for the marathon, but it still requires you to get some running in your legs several times a week.

During the first weeks, you don't need to train so specifically, but just make sure to get in three sessions a week. Try to fit in a fartlek session of between 30 and 50 minutes where you change pace during the session, a short and easy session and a long session of at least 10 km. Don't forget to do complementary strength training and mobility to avoid injuries. If you do this for 10 weeks, you are then equipped for more specific training.

Weeks 11–14: Training on average every other day. Arrange the training as you wish, but make sure to fit in two easy sessions of between 5 and 7 km, a supplementary strength session and a long session of at least 12 km. At the end of the period, the long session should be 15 km long.

Example week:

Monday: 5 km fartlek

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 7 km easy run

Thursday: rest

Friday: light strength

Saturday long run 12 km

Sunday: rest

Weeks 15–18: Continue as in the previous weeks but gradually extend the long session so that at the end of the period it is 22 km long.

Weeks 19–22: Now all the sessions start to get a little longer and two of the sessions should also contain fartlek or intervals. The long session during this period increases in length and starts at the end of the period at 30 km.

Example week:

Monday: 8 km of easy running, of which 2 km is a speed run

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 9 km easy run

Thursday: rest

Friday: 8 km easy run including 5-10 speed increases of at least 2 minutes + strength training

Saturday: long session, 30 km

Sunday: rest

Weeks 23–25: Now it's getting serious. The charging is gaining momentum and it is time to reduce the length of the long sessions again at the end of the period. The first long session should be around 30 km and the last in the period around 15 km.

Example week:

Monday: 8 km easy run including 3 km fartlek

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 9 km easy run

Thursday: rest

Friday: 7 km easy run including 5-10 speed increases of at least 2 minutes + strength training

Saturday: long run, 15 km

Sunday: rest

Week 26: Now it's happening! Time to slow down properly and rest in shape for the weekend's race.

Monday: 5 km easy run

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: Dynamic mobility

Thursday: 5 km easy run

Friday 3 km easy run

Saturday: MARATHON!

  • What should you eat and drink before, during and after the race?

    - The race I ran started at noon, so I ate a late breakfast and also loaded up by drinking rehydration both the day before and the morning before the race.

  • How did it feel during the race?

    - I had a stitch the first part, which felt incredibly annoying and difficult, but I got out of it by holding a stone in my hand. The last 20 kilometers my body came to life and I could finally feel that all the pre-season training paid off and my body still held up to the finish line.

  • Was it what you expected?

    - Running a Marathon was for me a delight mixed with horror. Many kilometers have been worn and a lot of adapted strength training, so that the muscles would not break, has been carried out. I had expected the race to feel long, and it did even when running. My surprise was that I thought it was nicest to run where there were the least crowds because I was still so in my "Zen".

  • How did you feel when you crossed the finish line?

    - I was so relieved and PROUD when I crossed the finish line.

  • Would you do it again?

    - No! But I really recommend everyone to complete a Marathon, it is a pride and an incredible experience to have completed. Plus you get an incredible perspective and respect for all the people who run the race year after year after year.

Stylish running clothes for both men and women

In our large assortment of sports clothing for women and sportswear for men you will find lots of stylish clothes for running, choose from everything from running shirts, sports tops and airy T-shirts, to running tights, training shorts and sports bras with good support. We have running clothes for both men and women, in materials that breathe and with a comfortable fit that gives you full freedom of movement so you can focus 100% on running.

Related articles

Collections / Guides / Stories

Stylish, comfortable & functional running clothes

Follow along and find inspiration for your next run with stylish running clothes for both men and women.

Read more


Interval training – Intervals for running

Do you want to run faster and get better running strength? Then intervals are a really good tip to add to your training routine.

Read more


Leg workout at home - 10 great leg exercises for legs, thighs & calves

You can train legs at home without equipment, just with your own body weight, and of course also with the help of, for example, dumbbells and exercise bands. For this workout, you need just such a rubber band. Here we go!

Read more


5 tips to get started with training

We want to help you find the motivation for training so that you can become the best version of yourself. Here are 5 effective tips on how you can get started with your training!

Read more