How Much To Run The Nyc Marathon

Running the NYC Marathon is a dream for many avid runners, including myself. The excitement of participating in one of the world’s most iconic marathons is unmatched. However, when it comes to preparing for the race, one question that often arises is: how much should I actually run to be ready for the NYC Marathon?

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some general guidelines that can help you prepare for the grueling 26.2-mile journey through the streets of New York City. It’s important to note that every runner is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you determine how much you should run in preparation for the NYC Marathon.

Start With a Training Plan

Before you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement, it’s essential to have a well-structured training plan in place. A training plan can help you gradually increase your mileage and ensure that you are adequately prepared for the demands of the marathon. There are many training plans available online, or you may consider working with a running coach to create a personalized plan based on your fitness level and goals.

A typical training plan for the NYC Marathon spans around 16 to 20 weeks, with most plans involving four to six days of running per week. The mileage gradually increases each week, allowing your body to adapt to the increased distance and intensity. It’s important to follow the plan as closely as possible, but listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.

Build Your Base Mileage

Before diving into marathon-specific training, it’s crucial to have a solid base of running mileage. This means that you should already be consistently running a certain number of miles per week before starting your marathon training. Most training plans recommend having a base mileage of at least 20-30 miles per week before beginning marathon training.

Building a base mileage not only helps to prevent injuries but also ensures that your body is prepared to handle the increased training load. Gradually increase your mileage by no more than 10% per week to avoid overtraining and reduce the risk of injury.

The Long Run

The long run is a critical component of marathon training. It’s during these runs that you’ll build endurance and mental toughness to tackle the distance on race day. As you progress through your training plan, the length of your long runs will gradually increase, with the peak long run usually reaching around 20 miles.

While it’s not necessary to run the full marathon distance in training, it’s recommended to complete at least one or two runs of 20 miles or more to simulate the demands of race day. These long runs should be done at a slower pace than your goal marathon pace to focus on building endurance rather than speed.

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to marathon training, quality should always trump quantity. It’s not about how many miles you log but rather the quality of each run and the consistency of your training. Incorporate speed work, such as tempo runs and intervals, into your training to improve your running economy and increase your overall speed.

Remember to incorporate rest days into your training plan to allow your body time to recover and prevent burnout. Rest and recovery are just as important as the actual running, as they help to prevent injuries and allow your muscles to repair and rebuild.

Listen to Your Body

Perhaps the most important piece of advice when it comes to determining how much to run for the NYC Marathon is to listen to your body. Pay attention to any signs of fatigue, pain, or overtraining. If you’re feeling excessively tired or experiencing pain that doesn’t go away with rest, it’s essential to take a step back and reassess your training.

Remember, each runner is unique, and what works for someone else may not work for you. Be flexible and be willing to adjust your training plan if needed. It’s better to arrive at the starting line slightly undertrained but injury-free than to push through pain and risk not being able to run on race day.


Preparing for the NYC Marathon requires dedication, perseverance, and a well-thought-out training plan. While there is no magic formula for determining exactly how much you should run, a structured training plan, gradual mileage increase, and quality training will help ensure that you are prepared to tackle the 26.2-mile journey through the streets of New York City.

Remember to listen to your body, prioritize rest and recovery, and most importantly, enjoy the process. Running the NYC Marathon is a remarkable achievement, and the journey to the finish line is just as rewarding as crossing it.