How Fast Can You Run A Marathon if You Haven’t Trained?

How fast can you run a marathon if you haven’t trained is a common question I get asked often. Well, it all depends and it isn’t an easy question to answer either. The reason being is without training for a marathon you really are in the unknown.

It comes down to what your genetic capability is as well. There are people who have never run a marathon who can hit a home run the first time they compete. That being said, there are others who will really struggle with the distance even if they do train for it. I know because I was one of those people.

I ended up running 2.19.35 for the distance but I could have never come close to this time without training for it. Furthermore, I would have been lucky to run 3.30.00 with no training. So, how fast can you run a marathon if you haven’t trained for it is going to be dependent upon a few things.

How Fast Can I Run A Marathon Without Training For It?

What is training anyway? The act of putting in consistent training day in and day out. It is a matter of building your endurance by conducting long runs, tempo runs and track sessions to name a few. Do you come from an athletic background? Well, you will have an easier time of running a marathon without training for it.

Athletes or people who have some form of high level of activity will have a less difficult time running 26.2 miles. Obviously, you are not trying to break a 3 hour marathon right off the bat. That being said, being a cyclist, someone who does yoga, a swimmer or other athlete is used to getting his or her heart rate up. So, thanks to that this athlete will at least be somewhat better prepared to run the marathon.

Can You Run A Marathon Without Running Any Mileage Before The Event?

The short answer is yes. There are people who do this all the time. Will you run the entire marathon from start to finish without stopping? Well, although possible you may have to a few times. One, it is not like a 5K. It is a 26.2 mile event that requires a great deal of physical and mental effort on your part.

That being said, pretty much anyone who has a strong enough desire to run a marathon without training can start and finish one. It may take a few hours to several hours to complete it but certainly doable.

I would certainly not advise anyone to run a marathon without training for one. In addition, I have created training programs for both beginners and advanced-level runners as well as running courses. These are resources I highly recommend and have been designed to help you get the most return on investment.

How Fast Can You Run a Marathon if You Haven't Trained

How Long Should I Train To Run A Marathon?

I recommend 16 to 20 weeks if you have never trained for a marathon in the past. Are you already an athlete and seeking to run your first marathon? Well, 8 to 12 weeks may be a better bet for you.

It really comes down to your background and what you are capable of. There are athletes who have a great deal of physiological talent who can run a marathon fairly quick with little training. That being said, there are others like me who have to train for years to run the marathon fast.

Your goal may not be to run a marathon under 2 hrs and 20 minutes. Perhaps, it is just to start and finish one which is awesome. So, you have to form a plan where you can get the highest return on investment as you can. This is why I created the RunDreamAchieve Academy. I also create running videos at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel to help runners as well.

Can I Run A Marathon Without Training At All?

Yes, you can. That being said, I can assure you that it will not be a pleasant experience. You can make up for it as long as you are taking in enough fluids and sufficient calories throughout the event.

It may be a good experiment to see what you are capable of doing by trying this. I will add that it may not be the most wise decision. It would be one thing if you were running a 5K or a 10K without training. It is a whole other decision to try to run a marathon without running a step. What I would advise is make a walk-run plan. You don’t have to run the entire distance especially if your goal is to start and finish.

The goal is to complete the 26.2 mile distance. So, plan on running a specific amount of time then walk. Repeat this process throughout the event and you will most likely start and finish your marathon. There are numerous concerns you have to keep in mind doing this without training. You could cause an unwanted injury like shin splints, strain a muscle or long-term join t damage.

Should I Run A Marathon Without Training?

Well, I don’t want to say to not do it. I think people that are determined to do something are going to go for it regardless. All I am saying is be mindful of the things I have discussed within this post leading into your event.

It is always wise to run at least a few miles each week for 12 to 20 weeks leading into a marathon. The reason being is you have trained your ligaments and tendons to be adjusted to training. They will be reminded of what you are asking of them leading into your marathon.

So, how fast can you run a marathon if you haven’t trained? I think someone with a lot of talent could run a marathon anywhere from 3 to 4 hours without training. There may be a rare few who could break 3 hours without training thanks to their genetic talent.

That being said, this is the exception, not the rule. The majority of people who run marathons at least run a few miles prior to participating in these events. I never ran a marathon without training for one nor would I have ever tried. The reason being is I respect the distance and know what it asks of athletes.

Can you run a 5K or 10K without training? Yes and you’ll be able to recover much faster from these shorter events. That being said, the marathon can still be an enjoyable experience if you walk and run it. I think a combination of walking and running the distance shouldn’t give you too much of an issue. Again, I strongly advise running some miles before ever trying to run a marathon. That being said, if you make it fun and disregard time you can run a marathon without training for it.

Closing Thoughts

My best recommendation is to visit the RunDreamAchieve Shop. There are numerous running programs for beginner level marathon runners. In addition, I have created courses at the RunDreamAchieve Academy designed for athlete seeking to compete in this event.

Again, you can run a marathon for fun without training for it. I think if you do a mixture of walking and jogging you will be able to finish. In addition, you’ll finish it and have a great time doing it. That being said, if you plan on running the entire distance without training? Well, you may be asking too much out of yourself. Remember, have fun with this if you are going to sign up for a marathon without training for it.

Furthermore, do not expect a fast time. Of course, this more than likely isn’t your goal which it shouldn’t be. It should be to go out there and have a great time with your family or friends. You can always go for a specific time the more experience you gain running marathons. I hope this article has been helpful to you. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

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