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  • Training plan
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About this challenge

This challenge focuses on everything you need to help you complete your first walking event and will convert you from a beginner to a competent and confident distance walker. The training within this challenge is broken down into four phases; foundation, preparation, building and final push.  

beginner Training Plan

Entry requirements: beginner

If you have already got some walking training under your belt, you can choose to join the challenge at the point that best matches the distances you are already comfortable covering. This challenge is aimed at conditioning a relative beginner to build up to walking a marathon. For someone that is already exercising and can comfortably walk 3 miles (approx. 5k) 3-4 times per week, then you can skip the foundation phase and start from the preparation phase. This will provide you with a 12-week training plan.    

Start date:
Anytime
Expected finish time:
7:25:00
Duration:
16 weeks
Week 1
Jump to:
Monday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes

It's time to lace up those training shoes, and get some mileage under you

Tuesday
Rest

Rest 

Even at this early stage, it's important not to overdo things. Rest is as important as the training you do

Wednesday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes

Thursday
Training

Flexibility 

It is advisable to include some maintenance work on your rest days

Foam rolling, mobility work and stretching, will help with recovery, performance and injury prevention

Friday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Sunday
Training

2 miles / 3.2km / 36 minutes

Make sure you time yourself.

Get in the habit of timing your distance dependant sessions.

Follow this session with a full body stretch

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Get in the routine of Monday being your rest day; as you'll need a day off following your Sunday training sessions, which will be increasing in distance

Tuesday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes

Wednesday
Rest

Rest 

Thursday
Rest

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes 

You will be doing back to back walks on consecutive days, so make sure you do a good amount of flexibility and maintenance work

Sunday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 54 minutes 

Monday
Rest

Rest

Very gradual increase in distance this week

Tuesday
Training

2.2 miles / 3.5 km / 40 minutes

Vary your walks

Wednesday
Rest

Rest 

Thursday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 36 minutes

Friday
Rest

Rest

Saturday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 36 minutes

Sunday
Training

3 miles / 4.8km / 54 minutes

That's 5 miles (8 km) done this weekend

Monday
Rest

Rest

Last week of foundation stage, building up to your longest walk of 4 miles 

Tuesday
Training

2.5 miles / 4 km / 45 minutes 

Wednesday
Rest

Rest 

Thursday
Training

2.5 miles / 4 km / 45 minutes 

You could replace this walk with another form of activity, such as cross-training or swimming

Friday
Rest
Saturday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 36 minutes 

Sunday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 72 minutes

Congratulations on your first four weeks done

Monday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes - slow

The goal of this phase is to start introducing other forms of training to compliment your increasing Sunday walks

Tuesday
Rest

Rest 

It's a good idea to get a massage - keep your body healthy

Wednesday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes 

Thursday
Rest

It is advisable to include some maintenance work on your rest days

Foam rolling, mobility work, and stretching, will help with recovery, performance, and injury prevention

Friday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes 

Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Training

 4 miles / 6.4 km / 64 minutes - steady 

Your 'steady' walks need to be at a quicker pace than your slow walks. You'll be using this pace throughout your Sunday walks, other 'steady' walks and when you do the marathon distance

Monday
Rest

Rest

Make sure that you include some technique focused training in your weekly sessions

Tuesday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 28 minutes - tempo

Your first 'tempo' walk.

Push yourself, but not so much that you can't complete the distance at the pace you started at

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 45 minutes

Get to the gym for some cross-training, or total body conditioning.

If unsure then ask for help, or start with bodyweight exercises

Thursday
Training

2 miles / 3.2 km / 28 minutes - tempo

Ensure you are keeping track of your sessions it's important to track your minute mile/km pace during different sessions as you can then measure progress and review performance

Friday
Training

Optional gym session 

Fridays will be your day of rest or gym circuits depending on how you feel

Focus on lightweight and higher rep ranges

Focus on legs and core, but don't neglect any part of your body

Saturday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 54 minutes

Sunday
Training

6 miles / 9.6km / 96 minutes

You should have a good idea of your paces. Your Sunday walks are quick, comfortable and steady 

These are different to your other sessions, which will include faster tempo and interval sessions

Monday
Rest

Plan some routes - ensure you include some hill work in your training

Tuesday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 42 minutes - tempo walk

Start picking up the pace of your midweek walks. Aim to walk at your quickest pace during your first session of the week 

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 45 minutes

Total body circuit; include exercises such as glute bridges, squats, lunges, and planks, which will all compliment your training 

Thursday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 48 minutes 

Your first 'Interval' session of your training. Alternate between your slow pace and your tempo pace (or slightly higher). If you are new to interval then make it more 'Fartlek', alternating depending on how you are feeling 

Friday
Rest

Flexibility session 

Saturday
Training

4 miles / 6.4km / 72 minutes - slow 

Sunday
Training

8 miles / 12.9 km / 2hrs 8mins - steady

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Tuesday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 42 minutes - tempo

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes 

Focus on a leg heavy session, increase the weight you have been using and finish the session with some interval work on rower or exercise bike

Thursday
Training

3 miles / 4.8 km / 48 minutes - interval 

Friday
Rest

Rest 

Saturday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 90 minutes

Keep legs ticking over ready for your 10 mile (16.1km) walk tomorrow

Sunday
Training

10 miles / 16.1 km / 2 hours 40 minutes

Monday
Rest

Would be great if you could get a regular massage booked in, ideally on a Monday and as your mileage increases during this phase of training, get to grips with your nutrition (pre and post training)

Tuesday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 56 minutes

A little reminder to focus on good form and technique

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes (total body)

Thursday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 64 minutes - interval

Push yourself - interval training leads to significant crossover gains to your important 'steady' walks

Friday
Training

Optional gym session - 45 minutes 

Either use a rest day or bodyweight circuit, with light cross-training

Saturday
Rest

5 miles / 8 km / 80 minutes

Sunday
Rest

12 miles / 19.3 km / 3 hours 12 minutes 

Are you able to maintain your 'steady' pace throughout? If not, you may have to adjust your pacing

Monday
Rest

Rest 

You can do a light recovery session on a Monday after your long walk, not impact cardio, swimming, and a good foam rolling session can really help with recovery

Tuesday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 70 minutes - tempo

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes (lower body)

Focus on your legs and glutes

Thursday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 80 minutes

If you've never tried hill intervals, then give it a go, speed walking up a hill can do wonders for your fitness, and can also force you to walk with good technique

Friday
Training

Optional Pilates or yoga class 

Get yourself down to a Pilates or Yoga class - it will really help with your flexibility, core strength and breathing

Saturday
Training

6 miles / 9.6 km / 96 minutes

This is a big weekend of training as you'll be hitting a combined 20miles (32.2 km)

Sunday
Training

14 miles / 22.5 km / 3 hours 44 minutes

Make sure you fuelling during these longer walks, and getting enough fluid on board 

Monday
Rest

If you haven't got time for a massage, then make sure you at least have an Epsom Salt bath

Tuesday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 70 minutes - tempo 

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 45 minutes (upper and lower body)

Keep lifting the weight and keep getting stronger

Thursday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 80 minutes 

Friday
Training

Optional gym session - 45 minutes 

Core work, and a good foam rolling session

Saturday
Training

6 miles / 9.6 km / 1 hour 36 minutes

Sunday
Training

16 miles / 25.7km / 4 hours 16 minutes

Practice your fuelling and hydration strategy

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Tuesday
Training

6 miles / 9.6 km / 1 hour 24 minutes

Keep working hard, keep consistent with your minute mile or km splits

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes (total body)

Follow it up with some hard interval training tomorrow

Thursday
Training

 6 miles / 9.6 km / 1hour 36 minutes

Friday
Training

Optional gym session - 45 minutes 

More of a relaxed session, incorporate plenty of stretching and/or some Pilates or yoga

Saturday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 64 minutes

Sunday
Training

18 miles / 29 km / 4 hours 48 minutes

Practice your fuelling and hydration strategy

Monday
Rest

Rest 

This is your final 4 weeks of training, you'll build up to your longest training walk, before tapering down to get ready for the big day

Tuesday
Training

6 miles / 9.6 km / 1 hour 48 minutes - slow 

A slight recovery week after some significant building over the last 4 weeks

Wednesday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes (total body)

Focus on bodyweight circuit and light cardio for recovery

Thursday
Training

6 miles / 9.6 km / 1 hour 48 minutes - slow 

Friday
Training

Optional gym session - 45 minutes 

Glutes and core, followed by some light cardio

Saturday
Training

8 miles / 12.9 km / 2 hours 8 minutes - steady 

This weekend pay particular attention to good form and technique

Sunday
Training

10 miles / 16.1 km / 2 hours 40 minutes - steady 

A drop down in mileage this week to ensure a quality session next weekend

Monday
Rest
Tuesday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 56 minutes - tempo

Wednesday
Mobility

Gym session - 30 minutes 

Bodyweight circuit, followed by some light cardio

Thursday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 72 minutes - slow

Take it easy in preparation for this weekends training

Friday
Training

Optional gym session - 30 minutes 

Gym session is definitely optional, a light swim and stretch will be sufficient

Saturday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 72 minutes - slow

Slow and steady recovery session, ready for tomorrow's big one

Sunday
Training

20 miles / 32.2km / 5 hours 20 minutes - steady 

This is your longest walk in your training, follow it up with good quality nutrition

Monday
Rest

Rest 

Get a well deserved massage as you start you taper for the big day

Tuesday
Training

Gym session - 45 minutes

Cross-training session focused on non weight bearing activity, some exercise and stretching in a pool would be recommended

Wednesday
Training

4 miles / 6.4 km / 72 minutes - slow

Thursday
Training

Gym session - 60 minutes

Light cross-training session, ideally include some yoga or Pilates

Friday
Rest

Rest 

Friday is normally an optional gym day, but too close to the big day so enforce the rest

Saturday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 1 hour 20 minutes - steady 

Sunday
Training

5 miles / 8 km / 1 hour 20 minutes - steady 

Monday
Rest

Rest 

If you do go for a massage, do remind the therapist you'll be walking 26.2 miles on Sunday, so to go a little easier on you

Tuesday
Training

1.6 miles / 2.6 km / 30 minutes - steady 

All the training walks this week are geared around keeping everything ticking over

Wednesday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes - steady 

Thursday
Rest

Rest 

Friday
Training

1.1 miles / 1.7 km / 20 minutes - slow

Get a good night's sleep tonight, in case any nerves affect you sleep tomorrow

Saturday
Rest

Rest

Don't do too much at all today

Sunday
Race day

Race day 

Enjoy the whole experience, you've already done the hard work

Week 1
Jump to:
Have you already completed this?