San Francisco Marathon Training Plans

customized for you and the race.

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  • Smarter Training Plans Smarter Plans
  • Safe Training Plans Fewer Injuries
  • Successful Training Plans Better Results

San Francisco Marathon
Training Plans

Custom Training Plans are designed around you and the San Francisco 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 San Francisco 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.


SInce 1977, runners have gathered in the Bay Area in to compete in one of the San Francisco Marathon's many races. During the last weekend in July, close to 20,000 people run at least one of the following races: a 5K race, 10K race, half marathon, full marathon, or ultramarathon (52.4 miles). The San Francisco Bay provides a beautiful backdrop for a race of any distance, and Custom Training Plans can help you get ready for your 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, or ultramarathon with training programs that are tailored to your current fitness level and the unique features of the specific course you'll be running. Our San Francisco Ultramarathon training plans, San Francisco Marathon training plans, San Francisco Half Marathon training plans, San Francisco 10K training plans, and San Francisco 5K training plans are designed by professional trainers to help you safely increase your strength and endurance before race day.

San Francisco Marathon Training Plans

The weekend begins on Saturday with the Saturday 5K, run on a largely flat course around the Embarcadero area. This race is particularly well-suited for beginners, as it avoids many of the hills that longer courses will face. If runners are interested in the “Double Up Challenge,” they can take part in the Saturday 5K and any of Sunday’s races, including the Sunday 5K.

Sunday hosts the weekend’s main events, with six different races on the schedule. The 5K and 10K races stay near the start and finish on the Embarcadero, and like Saturday’s 5K, Sunday’s 5K is also relatively flat. As the mileage increases, so do the hills – the 10K course features as much elevation gain as the first half of the marathon in less than half the total distance. Runners who choose to race a half marathon can opt to run either the first or second half of the marathon course. The first half includes punchy hills; the second half features a long, steady climb. The full marathon course forms a loop that starts and finishes near the Ferry Building. The course passes many of San Francisco’s most notable landmarks, including Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Golden Gate Park. The ultramarathon will follow the full marathon course twice, with only a few minor changes to the second loop.

The San Francisco Marathon has become a staple in the running community and an embodiment of the city’s vibrant spirit. Let’s delve into its storied past:

Origins: The San Francisco Marathon was first held in 1977. The initial years of the marathon saw enthusiastic participation, setting the stage for it to grow into one of the premier running events on the West Coast.

Course Highlights: The marathon’s route is nothing short of a visual treat, offering runners breathtaking views of San Francisco. Participants traverse various city neighborhoods, run along the Embarcadero, pass through Fisherman’s Wharf, and, most notably, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, a defining feature of the race. The diverse terrains, from flat stretches to challenging hills, encapsulate the essence of San Francisco’s varied topography.

Growing Popularity: With each passing year, the marathon garnered increasing attention, not only from the local running community but also from runners nationwide and internationally. The challenging nature of the course, combined with the allure of San Francisco’s landmarks, made it a sought-after race for both competitive and recreational runners.

Additional Races: Recognizing the varying interests of the running community, the event expanded to include additional races, such as half marathons (with two different routes) and a 5K, ensuring that runners of all levels could experience the magic of racing in San Francisco.

Challenges: Like many major marathons, The San Francisco Marathon has faced its share of challenges. The logistics of organizing a race through a bustling city, ensuring runner safety, and navigating the occasional curveballs thrown by San Francisco’s unpredictable weather are just a few. However, the spirit of the marathon and the dedication of its organizers have ensured its continued success.

Modern Day: Today, The San Francisco Marathon stands as a testament to the city’s enduring love for running and community events. The race not only attracts elite athletes aiming for record times but also countless individuals who see it as a way to challenge themselves, achieve personal bests, and experience San Francisco in a unique way.

The San Francisco Marathon, with its deep-rooted history, challenging course, and embodiment of the city’s spirit, has etched an indelible mark in the marathon world. As more runners set their sights on conquering its course, the importance of tailored marathon training plans, suited to tackle San Francisco’s unique challenges, becomes paramount.

San Francisco Marathon weekend offers many options, so we do too. When you choose a training program from CTP, you can select a San Francisco Ultramarathon training plan, San Francisco Marathon training plan, San Francisco Half Marathon training plan, San Francisco 10K training plan, or San Francisco 5K training plan that takes your current fitness level and the race’s course-specific features into account. We’ll help you get ready with running workouts that include hill repeats, intervals, and sprints that build the kind of power and endurance you’ll need to conquer the elevations. With Custom Training Plans’ guidance, you can feel confident in your race prep. Whether you’re aiming for a new PR in the 5K or hoping to complete your first marathon, you can trust CTP’s San Francisco Marathon training plans.

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