Chicago Marathon Training Plans

customized for you and the race.

get started | $19.99
  • Smarter Training Plans Smarter Plans
  • Safe Training Plans Fewer Injuries
  • Successful Training Plans Better Results

Chicago Marathon
Training Plans

Custom Training Plans are designed around you and the Chicago Marathon course. We take into account variables that no other training plans can match because we know how important it is to achieve your specific Chicago Marathon goals.

  • Expert Training Plans

    expert plans

    Developed by certified coaches with time-tested results.

  • Runner Specific Training Plans

    Runner Specific

    We know you’re unique. Your training plan should match.

  • Race Specific Training Plans

    race Specific

    Race profile, time of year, and altitude all factor into our plans.

  • Affordable Training Plans


    Custom plans shouldn’t cost more than the race itself.


In 1977, the first Chicago Marathon was run with 4,200 racers. Since then, the Chicago Marathon has become a World Marathon Major and the fourth-largest marathon in the world. Today, over 45,000 people cross the finish line in the Windy City. Held each year on the Sunday before Indigenous Peoples' Day in early October, the Chicago Marathon's fast course beckons both novice and professional marathoners.

Chicago Marathon Training Plan

Whether it’s your first marathon or you’re a seasoned vet, following a thoughtful Chicago Marathon training program is key. Free marathon training schedules are tailored to the average runner, which can lead to injuries caused by under- or over-training. Custom Training Plans offers Chicago Marathon training plans that incorporate cross-training, interval workouts, and more to help you thrive – not just survive – during your Chicago Marathon.

The Chicago Marathon begins in Grant Park. The route passes through 29 different neighborhoods in Chicago, each of which has its own personality, history, and vibe. It can help to divide the course into three portions, each of which is marked by one of Chicago’s professional sports venues: Wrigley Field in the north, the United Center in the west, and Guaranteed Rate Field in the south. The route then loops back to Grant Park and the finish line.

The marathon’s first three miles take the runners through The Loop, Chicago’s downtown area. Early October’s cool temperatures can tempt you to pick up the pace right out of the gate, but it’s important to conserve energy. The flat and fast course encourages blazing-fast first halves, but an unusually fast first 13.1 can spell trouble in the second half. CTP’s Chicago Marathon training plan gets you in the habit of pacing yourself so you can go the distance with confidence.

Heading into Lincoln Park, you will have a chance to enjoy some of the most scenic miles on the course before entering Old Town and Boystown. There, racers enjoy some of the most festive spectators on the course. As the route leaves Boystown, racers near the halfway mark as they head west out of the city past the United Center. This is the point where the crowds thin out a bit, so you’ll need to rely on your inner reserves and training to push on. The route passes down tree-lined streets in lovely neighborhoods before crossing into the Ashland area.

Because the course is very flat overall, the relatively minor climbs up the overpasses in this section can feel brutal. Preparing for your marathon experience with a CTP Chicago Marathon training program readies you for these and other specific challenges you’ll face on this course. Unlike free Chicago Marathon training plans, Custom Training Plans takes your experience level and the course into account so you’ll arrive at the start line ready to tackle any and all challenges.

The dragon dancers at the entrance to Chinatown mark mile 21, and now runners are in the home stretch. A Custom Training Plan for the Chicago Marathon readies you for the final 10K – the final climb to the finish included. Our Chicago Marathon training plans are perfect for runners at every level, whether you’re embarking on a journey from “couch to marathon” or you’ve got dozens of races under your belt. Discover what a customized CTP Chicago Marathon training plan can do for you.

Here’s what you’ll receive in your plan package:

  • Daily Plans


  • Pace Chart

    Pace chart

  • Lift Workouts

    Lift workouts

  • Coaching Letter

    Letter from your coach

  • Mobility Workouts

    Mobility workouts

  • RPE Chart

    RPE chart

  • Running Podcast


  • Motivational Emails

    Weekly motivation email

How Training Plans Work

How it works

  1. Complete our proprietary runner questionnaire so we can get to know you better.
  2. Your custom Chicago Marathon plan is built based on advanced analytics with expert coaching oversight.
  3. Receive your custom Chicago Marathon training plan, lifting + mobility guide, a letter from our coaches, and more within 24 hours.
  4. Finish the Chicago Marathon with confidence.

Our method

  1. Certified Coaches

    With the expertise of USATF certified coaches and physical therapists, we built an advanced model to weigh the effects of runner-specific variables on training outcomes.

  2. Custom Race Profile

    We analyzed unique characteristics of hundreds of races across the country to build a “race profile” into our model that accounts for elevation gain, altitude, time of year, and more.

  3. Training Plan Model

    Our model generates a unique training plan for you and your race, and all plans are reviewed by a coach and hand-tweaked before they make their way to you.