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beginner full marathon

Marathon Training Program

Before Starting

Before starting a marathon training program, you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training.  This marathon and marathon training should not be taken lightly.  Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step!  You should be comfortably be able to finish a 10K (6.2 mile) distance before beginning a marathon 12 – 16 week training plan.

 Recommended Beginner Marathon Training Program

Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday*

Sunday*

Total

1

Rest

4 miles

**XT –rest

1 hour

XT or rest

4

6 miles

15 – 16

2

Rest

4 miles

XT or rest

1 hour

XT or rest

4

7 miles

15 – 16

3

Rest

4 miles

XT or rest

6 miles

XT or rest

Rest

8 miles

18 – 19

4

Rest

4 miles

XT or rest

6 miles

XT or rest

Rest

9 miles

18 – 19

5

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

4 miles

XT or rest

5K race

6 – 8 miles

19 – 21

6

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

7 miles

XT or rest

Rest

10 miles

22 – 24

7

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

7 miles

XT or rest

Rest

12 miles

22 – 24

8

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

8 miles

XT or rest

Rest

12 miles

25 – 27

9

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

8 miles

XT or rest

Rest

14 miles

25 – 27

10

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

4 miles

XT or rest

Rest

5 miles

24

11

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

9 miles

XT or rest

10K race

16 miles

30 – 32

12

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

9 miles

XT or rest

Rest

18 miles

30 – 32

13

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

10 miles

XT or rest

4miles

20 miles

39

14

Rest

5 miles

XT or rest

10 miles

XT or rest

4 miles

10 miles

29

15

Rest

3 miles

XT or rest

5 miles

XT or rest

3 miles

5 miles

16

16

Rest

3 miles

XT or rest

3 jog

XT or rest

2 jog

MARATHON

 

* runhers will publish the fall training weekend run schedule – so the Saturday and Sunday “long runs” may be either day – with the other day being a rest or cross training day. 

** XT is cross training which can include biking, core workouts, upper body workouts, yoga, pilates, stretching, etc.

 Tips & Terms

The following is the running terminology used for training – obviously, the more experience you have – the more training options and speed/track workouts you will use for form, technique and conditioning.

Easy Runs

This means running totally comfortable and controlled.  When running alone or with your runhers training partner or group, 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 easy: You’ll still burn about 100 calories for every mile that you run.

Long Runs and/or LSD (Long, Slow Distance)

These are any steady run at or longer than race distance designed to enhance endurance, which enables you to run longer and longer and feel strong doing it. A great long-run tip: Find a weekly training partner around your pace and ability for this one.   You’ll have time to chat about anything that comes up.

Speedwork

 This means bursts of running shorter than race distance, some at your race goal pace, some faster. This improves cardiac strength, biomechanical efficiency, running economy, and the psychological toughness that racing demands.

Race Day Rules

Run slower than you feel like you should be running over the first 12-13 miles. Look around; chat a bit with those around you. And walk if you need to through the aid stations, drink fluids, take a little break, then slowly resume your running.