You Can Run A Marathon. Yup. You.
It used to be that running a marathon was a big deal. I mean, 26.2 miles is a hell of a long way to run. In fact, it's so long that the first guy to do it, Phidippides, died of exhaustion after making the trek from Marathon to Athens. Or so the story goes. Well, that was a long time ago.
Now, celebs like Oprah and P Diddy Diddly Dang Doofus are running marathons. Even your jackass friends are running them. Marathons: not just for recovering alcoholics anymore. So, what's your excuse? Sure, you're busy. It sounds like a pain in the ass. Running is boring.
Sadly, all these things are true. But the fact remains that someday soon, EVERYONE will have run a marathon but you. I mea, are you really gonna back away from an athletic endeavor that OPRAH was able to complete. (Actually, she was able to knock out the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:30, which is pretty effin' impressive. So I'm gonna stop Oprah-bashing right now.)
So sack up and get it done. At the risk of sounding like a caricature, you'll drop wait, get in shape, and spend some time outside. The fact that you can be really smug around your friends and walk around all day wearing a medal is just an added bonus.
If you're so inclined, you can run as hard as you can every day until you run 26 miles, then decide you're ready for a marathon. However, if you place a premium on your time and efforts, there are more efficient ways to go about doing it that have been time-tested. You can create your own training log and schedule, but if you're starting at square one, runningwise, you're served just as well following one of these schedule. For instance:
The furthest you'll ever run in training is 20 miles, but, as the chart shows, your training will require a fair amount of time. 6,000 minutes. Or 100 hours over 4.5 months. But you get to tell that hot chick in the Whole Foods checkout line about your "first marathon." And don't worry, you don't have to tell her that it was also your "only marathon." She can figure that out on her own.