Beginners Marathon Plan
Length: 12 weeks
“Designed for someone reasonably fit who can comfortably complete a 10km distance…
yet is looking to run their first marathon.“
The plan follows a structure of 4 training days a week with two easy days (Monday & Friday) a faster run day (Wednesday) and a longer run day (Sunday).
The days don’t need to be set in stone but it is best to follow them in sequence, taking an easier training day after a harder training day.
Easy training days
These constitute an easy run for endurance and recovery. Run these really gently and your body will thank you for it! Running easy promotes economical running action, improves cardiovascular efficiency and gets oxygen to the muscles which can promote recovery.
The faster run day usually takes the form of a jog warm up then sets of faster running and slower running (e.g. 6 x (2’ faster, 2’ slower) means 2 minutes of faster running then 2 minutes of slower running repeated 6 times). Don’t worry too much about how fast ‘faster’ should be. Just run at a harder effort than usual then make sure you use the slower running to get to a place where you feel you can work hard again – no matter how slow that is! If you complete these sessions each week you will improve your power, speed endurance and running efficiency!
If you’re a novice you might think speed is irrelevant if your goal is completing the distance, however training at a faster speed to increase power/efficiency .etc makes your usual run pace feel much easier. There are also 3 ‘hill rep’ sessions. Simply find an incline near where you live, run up it hard for a minute then jog back to the start. Repeat as many times as required – these really build leg strength for later training efforts!
Long run day
The most important day!
The gradual increase in miles and time should get your body ready for the marathon distance ahead. Your confidence will also grow as you complete runs close to the marathon distance.
The 16 and 20+ mile runs are especially important. If you feel unconfident in building to these distances, try including some long walks on your rest days. These don’t need to be frequent and can be sociable with a lunch stop or a trip somewhere interesting.
Walking is easier than running and can get you used to being on your feet for long periods of time. Included in the long run days are some test races where you can get used to preparing yourself for a race. Just enjoy these events and tick them off as milestones on your road to the marathon, don’t put any pressure on yourself! After a long run or race good recovery is essential!
Eat a meal rich in carbohydrate, protein and good fats as soon as you can after your run, and if this isn’t possible within 20 minutes of completing the run, try a MyProtein recovery product such as RE:CHARGE.
Other essential supplements for Marathon training include Whey Protein Plus, Total Nutrigreens, BCAA’s and L-Glutamine which assist in a quicker and fuller recovery to train harder and faster more frequently.
Above all keep your training enjoyable! If it becomes a chore you won’t want to do it…
Of course there will be days where the weather is rubbish and you need to force yourself out of the door, but where possible try picking new routes in interesting places, invite a friend to train with you or see about joining in training with a local running club.
Running clubs usually welcome members of all abilities and generally have no obligation on joining in with their training nights!
…Good luck and enjoy!
Tom’s Manchester Marathon Plan
Build up after Dublin Marathon (27/10/14 – 10th in 2.24)
– 2 weeks off
– 8 weeks averaging 50mpw in easy runs