Marathon - Absolute Beginner and First Timer Schedules

Week Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
1 Rest 20mins steady walk  Rest  30 mins brisk walk/easy run Rest 10 mins steady walk/20mins easy run/10 mins easy walk Rest
2 Rest 30mins steady walk Rest 10 mins brisk walk 3×5 easy run 10 mins easy walk = 37mins Rest 15mins steady walk, 25mins easy run, 10mins steady walk = 50mins Rest
3 Rest 30mins steady walk Rest 10mins brisk walk, 20mins easy run, 10mins easy walk = 40mins Rest  15mins steady walk, 30mins easy run, 10mins steady walk = 55mins Rest
4 Rest (Brisk walk for 5mins, easy run for 5mins) x 4 = 40mins Rest 10mins brisk walk, 20mins easy run, 10mins brisk walk = 40mins Rest  10min steady walk, 20min easy run, 10min steady walk, 20mins easy run = 60mins Rest
5 Rest (Brisk walk for 3mins, easy run for 7mins) x 4 = 40mins Rest 10mins brisk walk, 25mins easy run, 10mins brisk walk = 45mins Rest  15min steady walk, 20min easy run, 15min steady walk, 20mins easy run = 70mins Rest
6 Rest (Brisk walk for 2mins, easy run for 8mins) x 4 = 40mins Rest 10mins brisk walk, 30mins easy run, 10mins brisk walk = 50mins Rest  10min steady wa;l. 25min easy run, 10min steady walk, 25mins easy run = 70mins Rest
7 Rest (Brisk walk for 1mins, easy run for 9mins) x 4 = 40mins Rest 10mins brisk walk, 35mins easy run, 10mins brisk walk= 55mins Rest  10mins steady walk, 30mins easy run, 10mins steady walk, 30mins easy run = 80mins Rest
8 Rest 10mins easy run (1min tempo run, 2mins walk/jog) x 6. 10mins easy jog = 38mins Rest (10mins run, 5mins walk) x 4 = 60mins Rest  5min steady walk, 35min easy run, 5min steady walk, 35mins easy run = 80 mins Rest
9 Rest 12mins easy run (2mins tempo run, 2mins jog/walk) x 6. 12mins jog = 48mins Rest (12mins run, 3mins walk) x 4 = 60mins Rest  40min easy run, 5min steady walk, 30mins easy run, 5mins walk, 20mins easy run = 1 hour 40 mins Rest
10 Rest 15min steady run (3min tempo run, 1min walk) x 6. 15mins easy run = 54 mins Rest 30min easy run Rest  Race 10k or half marathon Rest
11 Rest 30mins steady run Rest 10min easy run (then 8min tempo run, 2min easy run) x 3. 10min easy run = 50mins Rest  25min easy run, walk 5min, 25min easy run, walk 5min, 25min easy run, walk 5min, 25min easy run = 1h 55min Rest
12 Rest 35mins steady run Rest 10min easy run, 10min steady run, 10min fast run, 10min steady run,
10min easy run = 50mins
Rest (35min easy run, 3 min walk) repeat 4x. = 2 hours 32mins.
Practice your fuelling and hydration strategies.
Rest
13 Rest 40min run easy Rest 10min easy run, 40min ‘tempo’ run. Faster than your marathon race
pace. 10min easy run. = 60mins
Rest  5min brisk walk, 1hr easy run, 5 min brisk walk, 1hr easy run, 10min
brisk walk, 30mins easy run, 10mins easy walk = 3hr
Concentrate hard on this run. Practice your fuelling and hydration
strategies.
Rest
14 Rest Run 20min easy Rest  10min easy run. Run 30min at marathon ‘race pace’, 10 min easy run=
50mins
Rest  1hr 30 min easy run. Wear the kit and running shoes you plan to
complete the marathon in to check they are comfortable.
Rest
15 Rest Run 25min easy  Rest Run 5min easy. (Run 30sec fast, Walk 30s. Repeat 4x.) Run 5min easy. Rest  1hr easy run Rest
16 20mins easy running. Rest 5min easy run. Run 1 mile at marathon race pace. Run 5min easy
run.
Rest 10mins easy running Rest Bournemouth Marathon Festival: Good luck. Start sensibly. Stick
to your race and pace plan.  
Alternative exercise or cross training is there to use slightly different muscle groups to running, give variety and build all round strength and fitness. It can be swimming, cycling or walking, or a game of squash, tennis or 5 a side. Or it can be an exercise, yoga or pilates class.

Tempo Runs
Tempo runs (sometimes called threshold runs) are runs where after a 10-15 minute warm up you run at a sustained pace for anything from 20 min up to an hour with a 10-15 min slower jog at the end. You are running hard, possibly just below your normal 10k pace, but not flat out. And the distance and effort should be such that you do not finish feeling exhausted. As with interval runs, it is such an individual area, to recommend individually.

Pace Runs
Pace runs are training runs, run at approximately your estimated race pace. That is if you are aiming for a 3 hour 30 marathon averaging approx 8 min miles.(5 min km) then your pace runs are run at 8 min miles. They help build pace judgement and even paced running. The long training run is there to build endurance, not speed, and running your long run at a faster pace than you are ready for could lead to you taking longer to recover each week and upset the steady gradual improvement all schedules are designed to bring.