Marathon training: beginner

Weeks Phase Miles Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Base Base 25 6 easy 3 thresh 6 easy 10 slow
16 Base 27 3 fartlek 6 easy 3 thresh 3 easy 12 slow
15 Base 29 6 easy 4 easy 4 thresh 3 easy 12 slow
14 Base 29 6 easy 4 easy 4 thresh 3 easy 12 slow
13 Strength E 22 2 hills 4 easy 4 fartlek 3 easy 9 slow
12 Strength 31 4 hills 6 easy 4 thresh 5 easy 12 slow
11 Strength 34 3 hills 6 easy 4 thresh 3 easy 18 slow
10 Strength 34 3 hills 6 easy 4 fartlek 5 easy 16 slow
9 Speed E 26 4 easy 5 easy 3 interval 1 strides 13 (race)
8 Speed 35 4 fartlek 6 easy 4 interval 5 easy 16 slow
7 Speed 34 4 thresh 4 easy 3 interval 3 easy 20 slow
6 Speed 35 4 fartlek 6 easy 4 interval 5 easy 16 slow
5 Speed E 28 3 thresh 6 easy 4 interval 3 easy 12 slow
4 Peak 35 4 fartlek 6 easy 2 interval 3 easy 20 slow
3 Taper 25 3 thresh 6 easy 1 interval 3 easy 12 slow
2 Taper 18 2 fartlek 4 easy 1 interval 3 easy 8 slow
1 Taper 8 + race 3 strides 3 easy 2 easy 26.2 race
Sample interval sessions:
Wk 9 12 x 400m at 5km pace; 45 secs recovery
Wk 8 2 sets of 3 x 1000m at 3km pace; 120 secs recovery; 1 lap jog between sets
Wk 7 3 sets of 4 x 400m at 800m pace; 150 secs recovery; 1 lap jog between sets
Wk 6 400m, 600m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m,  1200m, 800m, 600m, 400m (+5 secs/lap as +distance); 60 secs rec (90 after 4/5/6)
Wk 5 4 x 1600m at 5km pace; 90 secs recovery.
Wk 4 6 x 600m at 1500m pace; 120 secs recovery
Wk 3 5 x 400m at 3km pace; 45 seconds recovery;
Wk 2 10 x 200m at 400m pace; 180 secs recovery

One Response to Marathon training: beginner

  • Hi Owen – this looks great. I actually paid $20 for a program for beginner marathoners by Hal Higdon who you have recommended elsewhere in the book, and is generally thought to be something of an authority. However, his approach is to run 4 days (yours is 5) and also the “long slow” days at weekend start at 6 miles (week 1) and increase in a roughly linear way to around 20. You advocate going much higher much earlier. I think your approach here is more realistic – I do feel like I can do more mileage than I am on Higdon’s program at present, and I worry that I’m not pushing hard enough in terms of mileage. Any thoughts on Higdon’s more “softly-softly” approach?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Search website