Can You Walk A Marathon Without Training?

Can you walk a marathon without training?

A marathon is quite a feat, but walking sounds more doable, so can you walk a marathon without training?

The 26 miles of a marathon are a rather significant distance, so when wondering if you can walk a marathon without training, it depends on how fit you are.

These are not events that anyone can just try on a lark. It's not uncommon for people to train for months or even years to be able to run a marathon. So why do people think they can just sign up for a marathon and walk it?

They Underestimate The Distance

They underestimate the distance
An average person can walk around miles per hour; so the marathon could take 13 hours at that pace

If you're already physically fit, you might be able to walk a marathon without training, but not if you're out of shape. 

The total distance of a marathon probably doesn't seem too far to people who are used to commuting that amount every day. Many people assume that they can walk a few miles or that they have gone hiking over rough terrain for a similar distance, so they must be able to complete the 26 miles of a marathon.

An average person can walk around miles per hour; so the marathon could take 13 hours at that pace. That's assuming, of course, that they have the stamina to walk for that long.

There Are Time Constraints

Even if a person has the stamina to walk for that long, most marathons will not allow them to do it. Marathons have to be held in a set amount of time; the roadways they usually need must be cleared to allow traffic to pass after a few hours. For this reason, most marathons have time limits on how long they will allow runners to participate.

A lot of marathons have constraints in place that force participants to leave the course if they do not complete certain checkpoints by an allotted time.

For example, Disney marathons have a limit of 16 minutes per mile. That means participants who do not clear the first mile in 16 minutes are disqualified. There is another round of disqualification at the end of the second mile at 32 minutes.

A 16-minute mile is a fast walking pace for many people, which gives runners ample time if they need to stop running for a little while to walk for a bit before trying to run again. However, someone who just wants to stroll the course will discover that they will not be able to keep up, and they will likely become disqualified.

How To Prepare For A Marathon?

Can you walk a marathon without training?
Start by ensuring you can run a 5k, 10k, and a half-marathon

There are options if you're a runner who wants to try a marathon but is concerned that you won't finish it. Start by ensuring you can run a 5k, 10k, and a half-marathon. Once you can run the entirety of a half marathon, it's time to try a full marathon.

Even if you have to walk for some of the distance of the full marathon, the fact that you'll be able to run over half of it should ensure that you will meet the minimum pace requirements.

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our explainer on is a marathon a sport.