Marathons often display up top top bucket lists. Castle a large achievement and can it is in really amazing to train for and also complete. But, what if you want to skip the maintain part? probably it’s feasible to leave the training behind if you decision to walk instead of run. 

Even if you walking, attempting a marathon there is no training isn’t a great idea. Walking a marathon means that you’ll be security 6+ hrs on your feet, which deserve to take a big toll on her body. The a good idea to train for any kind of race, no issue the distance and also no issue if friend walk or run.

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Before you litter your dreams of a marathon the end the window, stop talk about why it’s necessary to train and also what you have to keep in mind if you planning to walk and want to keep your training time down. Marathons space really amazing events. This is why they’ve end up being such a phenomenon, also with just how painful lock are. Training or not, that a worthy adventure to undertake. Let’s gain you prepared to walk throughout that finish line.

First, let’s look at some stats around how long it will more than likely take friend to complete a marathon at an average walking pace.

On average, the takes adult 15 come 20 minutes to to walk 1 mile, i beg your pardon adds up to 3 miles an hour. 

This number can fluctuate depending upon age, v younger walkers walking quicker than their older counterparts. Research mirrors that the typical speed of walkers in a sample of participants of all ages is 1.25 m/s, i m sorry is 2.7 miles an hour. Walkers under 30 verified speeds closer to 1.4 m/s, when those end 60 proved speeds in ~ 1.2 m/s and under (source).

It also can fluctuate with fitness level. People who room accustomed come exercise and also have accumulated some stamina will most likely walk faster than those who space using walking as advent to fitness.

So, use 15 to 20 minutes per mile as a benchmark, however skew towards through the 15 or the 20 depending upon your age and also current fitness level. 

If you desire to get precise reading, go outside and also walk a mile in ~ a brisk pace. Execute not usage a treadmill. Wade on a treadmill is less complicated than walking on the road and you’ll likely end up v a faster pace. Because you’ll be completing your marathon top top the roads, do your exercise mile ~ above the roads. Also, save in mind that you’ll be much more tired in ~ mile 20 than you will certainly be at mile 1. Your exercise mile will most likely represent her fastest mile due to the fact that you’re act it once you’re fresh. Use your exercise mile as the fast finish of your speed spectrum and also assume the in the really marathon you’ll be walking slower as you approach the end of the race.

Now that we understand that the takes 15 to 20 minute to walk each mile, let’s do the mathematics to figure out how long it will take to complete a full marathon in ~ this pace.

Let’s begin with the low end of the spectrum and also say the each mile take away 15 minutes. 

15×26=390 minutes=6.5 hrs from start to finish

Now, stop look at the high end of the spectrum and also say the each mile take away 20 minutes.

20×26=520 minutes=8.6 hours from begin to finish

So, it will take the average person 6 to 9 hrs to to walk a marathon. These numbers are crucial to keep in mind together we talk around what you should keep in mind about completing a marathon there is no training.

When saying that walking a marathon bring away 6-9 hours, this is 6-9 constant hours without stopping. Basically, imagine walking because that the entirety of your work day at a fast pace and also you’ll recognize just just how long the is. And also yes, a marathon will feel longer than also your worst day in ~ work. Marathons room amazing, yet they do have a magical ability to do time seem to stretch.

This is A most time on your feet. If you haven’t walked for 7 hrs before, you’ll be in because that a crude awakening. The closest comparison is probably a day visit in a new city or a day at Disneyland chasing your youngsters from ride to ride. We already know exactly how exhausting this can be.

But, even on the craziest work of scurrying around a new city or Disneyland, you probably didn’t clock in in ~ 26 miles. For a marathon, those 26.2 miles space nonnegotiable. It no a marathon otherwise. No matter exactly how long it takes you, a marathon no a marathon unless you end up a full 26.2 miles. If you haven’t go this far before, it will certainly be a challenge. I promise, it will be a challenge. 

When human being ask if they have to walk a marathon, there’s frequently an presumption that walking is much easier than running. Ns mean, this assumption is obviously true. Walking, through default, calls for less power than running. Walking is also something that we perform everyday. If us were to make a perform of basic skills, walking would certainly be in ~ the peak of the list. So, what’s so hard around keeping it going because that 26.2 mile then?

Let me re-publishing my personal experience here. It might not it is in true for every runner, but I’ve met a most runners because that whom that is. Ns SUCK in ~ walking. Like, really suck. I have gotten an ext shin splints from walking than I ever before have native running. I’ve additionally tweaked mine back an ext often throughout a walk than during a run. I don’t know exactly how it happened, yet I have actually awful walking form. Once asked, countless runners I understand would say the same.

Here’s the thing: we all care about running form. We read books, watch videos, and also listen come podcasts around how to have the perfect stride, gait, and posture. Allow me simply say that Your finest Stride indigenous Runner’s world is absolutely amazing! Like, a finish game changer for her running form. 


If you haven’t trained come walk a marathon, it will be hard to keep a 15 minute speed for the totality of the race. This makes longer cutoff times really important. That said, few of these much longer cutoff times optimal at 7 or 8 hours. This still calls for a pretty quick clip, specifically if you haven’t trained for it. Believe me, friend don’t desire to make friends with the street scan crew. 

Even jug runners understand that there is only so much that your hours of training can prepare you for. Negative weather, injuries, the personality is bad moods, wardrobe malfunctions, an innovation disasters – they have the right to all rotate a good run right into a disaster. Training won’t prepare you for everything. But, there are a many things that training will certainly prepare you for. 

Maybe you learn throughout training that you can not eat a certain type of gel or else you’ll acquire the runs. Possibly you find out the a particular pair that shorts do you chafe for this reason badly the you’d rather run naked. Possibly you realize the you in reality don’t choose listening to her favorite podcast for hrs on finish while you’re in pain. 

Training no just around building up physics stamina, the also about learning. Completing a marathon without training is like arriving for a last exam without having done any kind of of the homework. There’s a factor why the homework exists. Friend don’t desire to be captured off guard in ~ mile 17 by things you didn’t recognize you required to know.

Runners space really great at gift bored. Even better, being bored and also being in pain. Yes nothing quite prefer being at mile 13 of your run, currently tired of her playlist and also dreaming the a stack of waffles, knowing that you’re only halfway done. 

Mentally, a marathon is challenging, even if it is you’re walking or running. In fact, it could be more difficult if she walking provided the thin amount that time you’re the end on the course relocating your feet. This is a many monotony. And, as the monotony grows, so does the physical discomfort. Pretty fun, right?

It’s really vital to understand what hours of go feels like from a mental standpoint. What mental games do you have at the prepared for when you get bored? What podcasts or music playlists are the best to obtain you v those toughest miles? What milestones will store you motivated? all of this stuff might not sound important now, however it yes, really really is.

Make sure that you mentally ready to finish a 6-9 hour long physical feat.

As we’ve speak about way too lot now, 26.2 miles is no joke. Even if it is you’re running, walking, crawling, biking, or also hoverboarding, this is a long distance. Heck, 26.2 miles is a lot of ground to cover in my Honda. 

For me, I’ve gotten awful shin splints after wade a 10k. Ns can’t imagine what that would have turned right into after wade a marathon. Blisters, muscle strains, exhaustion, dehydration, on and on and also on. There room a many things that deserve to go dorn if you haven’t prepared for them.

Walking in ~ a brisk speed for together a long duration of time is something that your body might not be supplied to. Unlike you daily walks about town, marathon walking will certainly strain muscle in methods they haven’t been strained before. You’ll need to connect your muscle with more intensity for longer than ever before. 

And, we’re not simply talking around your legs. Running and also walking is a complete body experience. In fact, friend may find your ago or eight to be the very first things to come to be sore during a race. The factor for this is due to the fact that we often put every one of our energy into our foot without realizing the our backs, cores, and also arms also do quite a bit of heavy lifting.

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If you attempting come walk a marathon without training, my guess is that you’ll end up with an injury or two.

Nope! I have run a variety of marathons and am very familiar with every one of the physical and also mental pain that’s involved. Also so, ns wouldn’t decide to to walk a marathon morning without any type of training. I’m simply not ready for all of the mental and physical ramifications. Wade a marathon in 7 hours is a fully different beast than running one in 3. That a beast i haven’t ready to tame yet. 

If I want to go a marathon, i would enable myself a few months the training. I would lay out a variety of weekly walks, including a long walk. Ns would additionally factor in a few days of overcome training. Physically, i would want to make certain that my body was prepared for the slim volume of hours that I would be security on mine feet. 

Mentally, ns would require to number out brand-new tricks to acquire me indigenous the begin line to the complete line. I’m assuming this would should be various tricks because a 7 hour marathon and also a 3 hour marathon space in completely different psychological territories. Provided how holy ghost restless i get, ns would need to build bigger mental reinforcements come walk a marathon rather of operation one. 

If you planning come walk a marathon, it’s ideal to take part time come train. When overcoming 26.2 miles, there’s simply too lot that have the right to go dorn to leaving it approximately chance. Walking a marathon deserve to be an amazing experience though! obtain some training under her belt and also start walking in the direction of that end up line. 


Hey, ns Diana! i’m an job-related therapist and a lengthy distance runner. I’ve run an ext races 보다 I can count native 5ks through full marathons, including the Boston Marathon. Appropriate now, my PR because that the marathon is 3:09 and also 1:26 because that the half. I’m a bit obsessed with running and sharing what i’ve learned along the way. Stop crush part running objectives together!