Your Ultimate Marathon Training Plan

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1 Page 1 of 7 raining :Race raining Print this Page Your Ultimate Marathon raining Plan Whether you want to your first marathon or your fastest, you've come to the right place. By Doug Rennie Sure, the 5-K is friendly, the -K classic, and the half-marathon a selfesteem pumping "long distance". But none of these has the cachet that is the marathon's alone. From the time you finish your first shorter, the specter of the 26.2-mile Full Monty hovers in your mind. Something that one day you want to do. Have to do. Will do. Why? Because, like Everest, the marathon is there. Because it gives the ordinary person an opportunity to do something extraordinary. And for those who have finished a marathon, and now want to one, well, we're here for you, too. So, ready to commit to your first finish or your fastest time? Good. hen read through our three ner profiles, figure out which of our plans fits you best, go to the matching -week schedule--and get going. Schedule ips Beginner You've 15 to a week for at least six months, completed a 5-K or -K--perhaps even something longer. You can five or six without collapsing afterward and want to gradually become a stronger ner able to finish your first marathon, in the words of Portland, Oregon, coach Bob Williams, "feeling good and excited to another one in six months." Your Plan Surprise, you're going to train just three to four days a week and gradually increase your weekly mileage from around 15 to 35-plus a week. he biggest key of all will be to gradually increase your mileage, especially that of your weekend long. "he beginner needs to focus almost entirely on the long " says Anaerobic Management coach Jon Sinclair (anaerobic.net), "but it's also good to throw in a little hillwork and some aerobic intervals on alternate weeks to bolster your stamina and to liven up your training." Lastly, we're going to have you ning two low-key s to get the feel of competition before the big day. Intermediate You regularly to 30 a week, and have done so for a year or more. You do a weekly long of eight to and have some experience with tempo s or intervals. You've -K s, probably finished a half-marathon, maybe even a full marathon. But now you have a specific marathon goal time in mind, and you want to do the training to make it a reality. Your Plan "Long s are the basis of marathon training, but at this level it's important to add some intensity to the program," says Sinclair. So, you'll gradually increase the length of the weekly long to adapt your mind and body to the rigors of ning nonstop for several hours. But ning 18 to at a time isn't all you need, so you'll supplement these s with some higher-effort ning twice weekly, sustained tempo s at your halfmarathon pace. hese promote aerobic strength and efficiency and will help you find that groove you'd like to be in when you a longer, according to Sinclair. You'll also be doing a smattering of speedwork. Advanced You're a ning veteran, someone who's been at it for at least three or four years and logs 35 to 40 a week. You've regularly, if cyclically, included serious interval training in your regimen. You've d them all from 5-K to the full marathon and now want to score that most prized ner's achievement: the PR, the absolute fastest 26.2 you're capable of.

2 Page 2 of 7 Your Plan "You'll have to be willing to hit 50 a week," Sinclair says. "For an advanced marathon effort, inadequate just won't cut it." At this level, your goal is to learn how to maintain a strong, solid pace for several hours. So, along with the standard long s, you're going to spend two days a week developing stamina at halfmarathon, -K, and 5-K pace. On hursdays, you'll be served a marathon goal pace/tempo/cruise combo platter--an extended effort that develops focus, strength, and the capacity to hold a strong pace as fatigue sets in. "Long s and mileage get you to the finish line," says Sinclair. "Intensity in your training will get you to the finish line faster." Your First Day Here's when to start your -week Runner's World training plan for 7 fall and early winter marathons. 5 raining Universals Marathon Race Date Start raining Marine orps /31 7/12 New York ity 11/7 7/19 Richmond, Virginia 11/13 7/26 Philadelphia 11/21 8/2 Seattle 11/28 8/9 al International 12/5 8/ Honolulu 12/12 8/23 Rest his means not merely no ning. It means a day off, period. "Active recovery" is an oxymoron. Repeat All of your non- training weeks will be repeated. hat is, weeks 1 & 2, 6 & 7, and so on, will be the same. his lets you make adaptations in pace and recovery based on your experience the first time around--an opportunity to master one cycle before moving on to the next, more rigorous one. Go Soft In training, on even grass or hard-packed dirt whenever possible to reduce impact. Hydrate Wisely Drink the same carbo fluids in training that you will use in the marathon. No need to add stomach problems to the stress of day. Become Race Fit Short s (5- to -K) are terrific fitness boosters that let you much faster than your marathon goal pace--an effort that you just cannot replicate in training, no matter how motivated you are. So all three schedules feature two s because, according to a recent study, efforts can dramatically boost aerobic capacity and lactate threshold. his can only help your marathon performance. Beginner Plan Week M W F S S otal 1*, 4:00 U 2, 4:00 U 3, 5:00 U 4, 5:00 U 5, 3x2:00 AI 6, Rest Rest Rest 6 Rest Rest Rest 6 Rest Rest K 6-8 Rest 7 Rest Rest , Rest 7 Rest Rest

3 Page 3 of 7 8, 7:00 U 9, 7:00UU, 3x3:00 AI 11, 12, 13, 9:00 U 14, 9:00 U 15 Rest 3, 3X3:00 AI Rest 3, Including 3x2:00 AI 24 Rest 8 Rest Rest Rest 8 Rest Rest Rest -K Rest 9 Rest Rest Rest 9 Rest Rest 18 Rest Rest Rest 3, 3x2:00 AI Rest 3-mile Rest 2-mile Marathon Definitions Aerobic Intervals (AI): imed repetitions (of 2:00 to 3:00 ) slightly faster than your normal training pace-- enough to make you breathe harder, but still not go anaerobic (panting, gasping, verge-of-out-of-breath). Jog slowly after each repetition until you are refreshed enough to the next. otal Uphill ime (U): he total number of you spend ning semivigorously up inclines--could be repeats up the same hill or total uphill time over a hilly loop. Easy Runs: mean totally comfortable and controlled. If you're ning with someone else, you should be able to converse easily. You'll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don't. Here's some incentive to take it : You'll still burn about 0 calories for every mile that you. Long Runs: are any steady at or longer than distance designed to enhance endurance, which enables you to longer and longer and feel strong doing it. A great long- tip: Find a weekly training partner for this one. You'll have time to talk about anything that comes up. Speedwork: means bursts of ning shorter than distance, some at your goal pace, some faster. his improves cardiac strength, biomechanical efficiency, ning economy, and the psychological toughness that racing demands. Race Day Rules: Run slower than you feel like you should be ning over the first 12?13. Look around, chat a bit with those around you. And walk through the aid stations, drink fluids, take a little break, then slowly resume your ning. Intermediate Plan Week M W F S S otal 1 Rest

4 Page 4 of Rest Rest 2 4x1 mile (1:00) 2 4 Rest 2 4x1 mile (1:00) x0 S 3 5x0 S 5 x1,0 3 6 Rest 2 2x2 3 7 Rest 2 2x2 3 8 Rest 2 3x2 (2:00) 3 9 Rest 2 3x2 (2:00) 3 Rest 2x1,0 2x400 SI 11 Rest 2 4x2 (2:00) :00 5:00 U 4:00 5:00 U 70-5: :00 -K x800 S 3 4x1 mile 4x1 mile 90- Rest -K

5 Page 5 of Rest 2 4x2 (2:00) 3 13 Rest 3x1 mile 3x800 SI 14 Rest 3x1 mile 3x 800 SI 15 Rest :00 :00 U 90-8:00 :00 U x400 SI x400 SI Rest 3 Rest Rest Rest 2-mile Marathon Definitions Goal Pace (): Your per-mile goal marathon pace. empo Runs (): For 11- Marathon Goal Pace (M) (4:48:25), :28 (1 mile); for - M (4:22:12), 9:31; for 9- M (3:55:58), 8:34. Recovery is slow ging for the number of in parentheses. ruise Intervals (): For 11- M, 9:56 (1 mile), 7:49 (1,0); for - M, 9:02 and 6:47; for 9- M, 8:07 and 6:06. Recovery is half the distance of the repetition. Speed Intervals (SI): For 11- M, 4:52 (800), 2:26 (400); for - M, 4:17, 2:08; for 9- M, 3:50, 1:55. Recovery is equal distance (e.g., 400 for 400 repeats). otal Uphill ime (U): he total number of you spend ning semi-vigorously up inclines-- repeats up the same hill or total uphill time over a hilly loop. Warmup/ooldown: Run 15 followed by 4x0m strides before each uesday/hursday session and 15 at the end. Strides (S): Gradual, smooth accelerations over 0 meters (straightaway on a track), ning fast and controlled over the middle third--but NEVER SPRINING--then just as gradually decelerating. Walk to full recovery after each. Race Day Rules: "Go to even 15 seconds per mile slower than your goal pace for the first 5?8," counsels coach Bob Williams. You will see a big payoff later. When things start to get interesting, say at 18 to, you? ll have some gas in the tank. Advanced Plan Week M W F S S otal 1 x1 mile WH 40

6 Page 6 of 7 2 x1 mile 3 Rest 8, 4 Rest 8, 5 Rest 2x3 6 Rest, 7 Rest, 8 Rest 2x1 mile 2x1 mile 9 Rest 2x1 mile 2x1 mile Rest 2x4 11 Rest 12, :00 U 12 Rest 12, :00 U 13 Rest 8, x x x x x x x1 mile 2x800 SI -K s Rest -K WH Rest 8 4 4x1 mile

7 Page 7 of 7, 15 x400 SI 2x800 Rest 2 2x800 2x400 SI 4 3 2x800 SI 2 2x800 2x400 SI Rest 3-mile Marathon 37 Definitions Goal Pace (): Your per-mile marathon goal pace empo Runs (): For 8:00 Marathon Goal Pace, (M) (3:29:45), 7:38 (1 mile); for 7:00 M (3:03:32), 6:39; for 6:00 M (2:37:19), 5:43. ruise Intervals (): For 8- M, 7:14 (1 mile), 3:37 (800); for 7- M, 6:19 and 3:09; for 6- M, 5:25 and 2:43. Recovery is 2-3 for mile repeats, 1-2 for 800s Speed Intervals (SI): For 8- M, 3:27 (800), 1:42 (400); for 7- M, 2:59 and 1:30; for 6- M, do 2:36, 1:18. Recovery is 2-3 for 800 repeats, for 400s. Warmup/ooldown: Run 15 followed by 4x0m strides before each uesday/hursday session, and 15 at the end. Sunday Long Run adaptations: "" means "fast finish" (do tempo pace for the final 15 of the ); "WH" means "with hills" (do part of your over a hilly or undulating course). otal Uphill ime (U): See Intermediate schedule. Strides (S): Gradual, smooth accelerations over 0 meters, ning fast and controlled over the middle third--but NEVER SPRINING--then just as gradually decelerating. Walk to full recovery after each. Race Day Rules Start slowly, force yourself to hold back-- the first mile 15- seconds slower than goal pace. You know the drill. Moreover, "Have a goal time for each 5-mile split and hit it," advises coach Bob Williams. "his will ensure that you reach your finish goal time." Back to article opyright 06 Rodale Inc. All rights reserved.

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