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If you are thinking of a fall marathon, spring is the time to sign up and start training. Many of the big fall marathons, such as the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, in October, open for online registration in the spring.
If you survive the online lottery and get into your fall marathon of choice, spring is a great time to get a good mileage base, especially if you didn't run much during the winter. If you are new to marathons, don't worry about a training plan just yet; start building up until you feel comfortable running for at least 45 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. Then investigate some specific training plans, such as those available at runnersworld.com.