Can You Run A Marathon With No Training?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 22, 2012
  • Updated Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:57 AM UTC
The "Jedward" brothers recently completed the L.A. Marathon off no training. Photo: BBC

The BBC tries to answer the question.

There are many opinions about the right level of training necessary for running a marathon, but how about no training?

Is it possible to complete the 26.2-mile distance with no advanced preparation?

The BBC recently covered this topic and reported on two men, Jedward – aka John and Edward Grimes – who supposedly ran last weekend’s Los Angeles Marathon on a whim, straight off a flight, with no training whatsoever.

“Jedward” aren’t the only people who have made this claim.

When he was a competitive runner, David Bedford, the current director of the London Marathon, apparently decided to enter the 1981 edition of the race while in a nightclub during the early hours before the race.

Grandstand commentator David Coleman had challenged Bedford, who says he completed the race, but was filmed throwing up along the course after stopping.

But not all runners have been successful with this concept. Reality television star Jade Goody was hospitalized in 2006 after attempting the London Marathon with no substantial preparation.

For More: BBC


Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter