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Before You Register for a Walking Marathon

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Updated April 21, 2014

Portland Marathon Finish Line

Portland Marathon Finish Line

Wendy Bumgardner ©

Congratulations for making the commitment to walk a marathon. The 26.2 mile challenge requires months of training and planning. Tackle it one step at a time.

Which Type of Marathon?

There are two types of marathons for walkers. The first type is the running marathon that also allows slow runners and walkers. These are organized with runners in mind and set up according to their needs, with a closed course free of traffic, timing and awards for age groups and categories, and may include a judged racewalking category. The second type is the true walking marathon, designed for and by walkers. It may not have timing, a closed course, or awards based on time.

When and Where

Give yourself nine months to fully train for a marathon if your maximum walking distance is six miles or less now. If you have already walked a marathon or other endurance event, give yourself 2-3 months to recover fully in between. When traveling, arrive 3-4 days in advance to adjust to time zone, temperature, humidity and elevation.

Charity or Not?

Walkers can walk a marathon for charities such as the Leukemia Society and Arthritis Foundation. The walker benefits by having a walking coach, group training walks, team support getting to and through the marathon, and motivation to carry through for their sponsors. The drawback is having to raise a significant amount of money for the charity, usually over $2500.

Marathon Training

How should you train to walk a marathon? Use our complete training guide to get ready.
How to Train to Walk a Marathon

Receive a weekly email newsletter with your walking training schedule, tips, and lessons on how to walk a marathon or half-marathon.

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