About Let's Do This
About Marathons in the United States
With the biggest crowds and magnificent cityscapes, marathons make up some of the most spectacular races held in the United States. People run marathons (or 26.2 miles) for many different reasons from a personal challenge to a public cause. What's consistent is the determination that brings everyone together to push through to the finish. The Boston Marathon alone has raised over $297 million for charity since 1986, and with an average time of 3h44m it is the fastest marathon in the United States.
What are the best marathons?
Top of the list is the Boston Marathon, the oldest annual marathon in the world and one of the six World Marathon Majors, attracting over 500,000 spectators. If you're thinking of participating, Chicago Marathon and Twin Cities Marathon both have reputations for being fast courses and will provide you with the best chance to run a qualifying time. There are many more fantastic marathons throughout the US, the LA Marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon, New York Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon and the Houston Marathon are all big races and run through October to March.
How long will it take me to run a marathon?
The world record for women was set, in London, by Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain in 2003 at 2h15m25s minutes and is proving tough to beat. The men's record was beaten in Berlin in 2018 by Eliud Kipchoge and at 2h01m39s is pushing close to breaking the elusive 2 hour barrier.
The average time to finish the Boston marathon is 3h44m. This is significantly faster than the global average of around 4h13m for men and 4h42m for women. Don't focus too much on what others are doing, keep your own pace and don't worry if you are overtaken by Superman, he is super after all. It is worth pointing out that finishing times are greatly affected by the course. Some marathons are particularly fast (e.g. A1A, Phoenix), and the average time for different marathons can vary - it's best to check our course descriptions for each race to get a better understanding of finishing times.
How do you train for a marathon?
Training for a marathon takes a lot of motivation. Make sure you carve out time in your busy schedule to train, you can download our free 16 week training plan, with nutrition and race tips included. Regardless of whether you're entering your first race or looking to hit a new PR, we recommend around 16 weeks as the right time frame to prepare you for a marathon.