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Marathon training plan: Intermediate

Marathon training plan: Intermediate

If you’re working towards a marathon and aiming for a time of around four hours check out this 18-week training plan

Background

» Club member, runs regularly and competes in all local events including cross country and road races ranging from 5km to half-marathon
» Trains five to six times per week and runs for 60-70min on a Sunday
» Been running for three years or longer
» Aims for PBs, however enjoyment and socialisation play a major role in involvement as well as team events

Overview

» Targeting to complete the marathon distance in around 3hr 45min – 4hr 15min
» Aiming to run the whole distance
» Training with a group of 12 or so similar ability runners on club nights and with around 2-3 training partners also targeting the same marathon as you on other nights

Training

» Most runs are based on ‘time-on-feet’ with sessions at slower than marathon pace, marathon pace and half-marathon pace plus some 10km speedier runs to improve running efficiency
» When specific build-up begins (around 12 weeks prior to race) focus will be on pace judgement
» Fastest race pace target (3hr 45min) is around 8min 30sec per mile which is around 7½ miles in an hour
» There is no need to run the marathon distance in training – consistency of training will give greater benefits

Advice

» Set training goals and try to stick to them
» Wear the right footwear for your biomechanics (get professional help)
» Aches and pains will be encountered – make sure you differentiate between these and a potential injury
» If too tired or achy, don’t be afraid to miss a training day or two or even deviate from the training plan
» Try some cross-training at a gym (elliptical machine) if you feel too achy for a few days or if the winter weather becomes too dangerous
» Try varied routes and some softer surfaces in daylight hours to alleviate the stresses and strains on muscles and joints
» Keep focussed and cut down on alcohol and eat healthily. You will burn many more calories in your training – these need to be replaced correctly
» When trying to run at a pre-determined pace select a flat route as hills will play havoc with your target speed
» Look for some build-up races as part of your training. A half-marathon or longer (not a marathon) around 10-12 weeks before your marathon would be perfect, plus some 10km races to hone your speed and act as fitness tests. These also make a welcome break from the tedious training plan!

WkSunMonTuesWedThursFriSat
11hr run STMP40min run MP or RestClub night: 8x3min @ HMP with 1min rec40min run STMPClub night: 5x5min @ HMP with 2min recRest50min run STMP
21hr 10min run STMP40min run MP or RestClub night: 6x4min @ HMP with 2min rec40min run STMPClub night: 12x2min @ HMP with 1min recRest50min run STMP
31hr 15min run STMP45min run MP or RestClub night: 9x3min @ HMP with 2min rec40min run STMPClub night: 3x8min @ HMP with 2min recRest1hr run STMP or possible 10km race
41hr 20min run STMP45min run MP or RestClub night: 3x10min @ HMP with 3min rec40min run STMPClub night: 14x2min @ HMP with 1min recRest1hr 05min run STMP
51hr 30min run STMP50min run MP or RestClub night: 10x3min @ HMP with 1min rec40min run STMPClub night: 2x15min @ HMP with 4min recRest1hr 05min run STMP
61hr 40min run STMP50min run MP or RestClub night: 15x2min @ HMP with 1min rec40min run STMPClub night: 30min @ HMPRest1hr 05min run STMP
71hr 40min run STMP (12 week build-up begins)50min run MP or RestClub night: 40min @ MP40min run STMPClub night: 2x20min @ MP with 5min recRest1hr 10min run STMP
81hr 50min run STMP55min run MP or RestClub night: 50min @ MP40min run STMPClub night: 4x10min @ MP with 4min recRest1hr 10min run STMP or possible HM race
92hr run STMP60min run MP or RestClub night: 60min @ MP40min run STMPClub night: 4x10min @ MP with 4min recRest1hr 15min run STMP
102hr 10min run STMP60min run MP or RestClub night: 70min @ MP40min run STMPClub night: 3x15min @ MP with 4min recRest1hr 15min run STMP
112hr 10min run STMP60min run MP or RestClub night: 70min @ MP40min run STMPClub night: 3x15min @ MP with 4min recRest1hr 20min run STMP or possible 10km race
122hr 20min run STMP70min run MP or RestClub night: 80min @ MP40min run STMPClub night: 2x25min @ MP with 5min recRest1hr 20min run STMP
132hr 30min run STMP70min run MP or RestClub night: 80min @ MP40min run STMPClub night: 2x25min @ MP with 5min recRest1hr 20min run STMP
142hr 40min run STMP70min run MP or RestClub night: 3x20min @ MP with 5min rec40min run STMPClub night: 80min @ MPRest1hr 20min run STMP
152hr 50min run STMP70min run MP or RestClub night: 3x20min @ MP with 5min rec40min run STMPClub night: 80min @ MPRest1hr 20min run STMP
163hr run STMP70min run MP or RestClub night: 3x20min @ MP with 5min rec40min run STMPClub night: 80min @ MPRest1hr 20min run STMP
171hr run STMP30min run MP30min run STMP30min run STMP20min run STMPRestRest
18RACE DAY!RestRestRestRestRestRest

Note:
STMP = slower than marathon pace
MP = marathon pace
HMP = half-marathon pace
In sessions where reps are stated, include at least a 10min warm-up and 10min cool-down

» Looking for a beginner training plan? You can find one here. An advanced training plan can be found here

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