Pittsburgh 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

Pittsburgh Marathon
Training Plans

Custom Training Plans are designed around you and the Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh 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.


The first Pittsburgh Marathon was held in May of 1985. Since then, the festivities have grown to include a half marathon and a 5K race. Close to a quarter-million spectators will cheer on more than 40,000 runners over the course of the first weekend in May. Whether you're registering for one of your first 5K racing experiences or you're there to smash a previous PR on the hills, Custom Training Plans can help. We offer Pittsburgh Marathon training plans, Pittsburgh Half Marathon training plans, and Pittsburgh 5K training plans that can be customized to fit your current fitness level, your goal pace, and even your schedule.

Pittsburgh Marathon Training Plan

The weekend begins on Saturday with the Pittsburgh 5K. Many of Sunday’s competitors choose to take part in the Steel Challenge, which entails running the 5K along with either the half marathon or full marathon the next day. The 5K course takes runners on a point-to-point course that begins next to PNC Park and runs through the North Side before crossing the Roberto Clemente Bridge and finishing at the official finish line downtown. With few elevation changes to speak of, it’s equal parts mellow preview for the next day’s races and a great place for future Pittsburgh marathoners to dip their toes into the water.

The Pittsburgh Marathon and Half Marathon start bright and early the next day, giving runners a jump on what can sometimes be warmer-than-expected conditions. The marathon and half marathon courses start on Penn Avenue in the Strip District, an area of Pittsburgh that athletes participating in the full marathon will see again later in the race. The course then crosses three bridges over the Allegheny River, starting with the Sixteenth Street Bridge. The route makes a brief detour back into the Cultural District via the Rachel Carson Bridge, then back again to the North Side over the Andy Warhol Bridge. The gentle rises of the bridges will present the most elevation changes during the first section of the course.

Runners will pass the National Aviary on the way toward the West End Bridge over the Ohio River, the second of three rivers the course will cross during the marathon. The route then travels down Carson Street on its way to the Birmingham Bridge over the Monongahela River, where the half and full courses split. The half marathon course loops back toward downtown to the finish on a flat, easy course.

The marathon moves on to tackle the famed hill into Oakland at mile 12. Though the course profile makes it look steep, it is a steady climb that you can prepare for with a customized CTP Pittsburgh Marathon training plan. Our plans incorporate workouts that are specifically created to help you conquer the miles of gently rolling hills that you’ll face in the Shadyside, Point Breeze, Homewood, and East Liberty neighborhoods. Once racers descend the final hill leading to Liberty Avenue, the end is in sight, and it’s a nice flat ride to the finish line near Point State Park.

Get ready for your race using a program from Custom Training Plans. Every one of our Pittsburgh Marathon training plans, Pittsburgh Half Marathon training plans, and Pittsburgh 5K training plans gives you workouts that are customized to your level of fitness. By incorporating hill repeats, sprints, intervals, and other drills, you can line up feeling confident in your ability to climb and descend to the finish line.

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 Pittsburgh Marathon plan is built based on advanced analytics with expert coaching oversight.
  3. Receive your custom Pittsburgh Marathon training plan, lifting + mobility guide, a letter from our coaches, and more within 24 hours.
  4. Finish the Pittsburgh 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.