Interest in marathon running continues to grow at a record pace. For the first time ever, in 2010 the number runners entering and finishing a U.S. marathon exceeded the half-million mark. Many of those runners completed their very first marathon.One of the first questions from those thinking about running a first marathon is how to go about training to run the 26.2 mile event. There is no shortage of marathon training plans available in running books, magazines, and on the web but almost exclusively the plans available are mileage-based. Those following the plans must log a specific number of miles each training week.Mileage based training programs require courses of known distances to either be mapped out in advance of each run or the purchase of pricey gadgets to keep track of mileage.In A Time Based First Marathon Plan, veteran marathon runner and author Larry Darter offers a simpler alternative. No time is required to map out courses in advance and there is no need for the user to purchase any specialized equipment to track mileage. Instead an alternative approach, time-based training is used. A 16-week training plan features weekly scheduled runs calculated in minutes rather than miles. This approach lends itself to out and back courses where the runner merely runs out half the scheduled time and then turns around and runs back to complete the days training. It is the same approach that Darter used himself to complete his first marathon in a respectable time of just over four hours.Many of those looking for a simple yet effective training strategy to prepare them for a first marathon will find this time-based approach to be less tedious than logging a specific number of miles each training day. In addition to the complete 16-week time-based training plan readers will also find tips on training, hydration, and marathon preparation.