“Insights from the Apple Heart and Movement Study: Understanding Marathon Training Habits”

I’m not one to attempt a marathon, but the latest findings from the Apple Heart and Movement Study shed light on the training habits of those who do.

According to data released by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, over 1,500 participants in the study completed an estimated 2,623 marathons between November 2019 and January 2024.

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Apple Heart

Here’s a snapshot of how participants utilized their Apple Watch for walking and running:

Since the study’s inception in Apple Heart November 2019 through January 2024, over 197,700 participants recorded at least one walking workout, while about 99,400 recorded at least one running workout.
More than 50% of participants who engaged in either exercise achieved a 5k distance or more at least once in each respective category.
The study also posed an intriguing question: if all running and walking workouts were combined, how long would it take participants to cover the marathon distance of 26.2 miles?

In April 2023, out of 76,114 Apple Heart participants who logged a walk or running workout, 22.8% covered a distance of 26.2 miles or more. On average, participants would complete a marathon in 90 days or fewer, with some taking up to 334 days due to less frequent exercise sessions.

As for training tips gleaned from the study:

Most runners undergo at least four months of training leading up to a marathon, with a gradual mileage buildup and a tapering period in the final month to ensure adequate rest.
After completing a marathon, rest and recovery are crucial, with runners advised to ease back into training with a light week following the event.

The top 10% of participants ran approximately 16 miles more per week than the middle 10% leading up to race day.While these insights may not personally inspire me to embark on a marathon journey, they offer valuable guidance for those considering the challenge.

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