Marathon - 16 week improvers training plan

 

Week Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
1 15mins easy Rest 10min easy run. 10min ‘steady’ run. 10min easy run = 30mins Rest 10min easy run. (Then 1min hard run, 3min easy run) x 4. 10min
easy run = 36mins
Rest Run 50mins easy run.
2 20mins easy Rest 10min easy run. 15min steady run. 10min easy run = 35mins Rest 10min easy run. (Then 2min hard run, 3min easy run) x 4. 10min
easy run = 40mins
Rest Run 60mins easy run.
3 20mins easy Rest 10min easy run. 10min ‘tempo’ run. 10min easy run = 30mins Rest 10min easy run. (Then 3min hard run, 2min easy run) x 4. 10min
easy run = 40mins
Rest Run 60mins easy run.
4 20mins easy Rest 10min easy run. 15min ‘tempo’ run. 10min easy run = 35mins Rest 10min easy run. (Then 3min hard run, 2min easy run) x 5. 10min
easy run = 45mins
Rest Run 1hr 15min easy run. Practice your hydration and refueling
strategies.
5 25mins easy Rest 10min easy run. 20min ‘tempo’ run. 10min easy run = 50mins Rest 10min easy run. (Then 4min hard run, 2min easy run) x 5. 10min
easy run = 50mins
Rest Run 1hr 30min easy run. Practice your hydration and refueling
strategies.
6 30mins easy Rest 10min easy run. 30min ‘tempo’ run. 10min easy run = 50mins Rest 10min easy run. (Then 5min hard run, 3min easy run. Repeat 4x)
10min easy run = 52mins
Rest Run 1hr 45min easy run. Practice your hydration and refueling
strategies.
7 30mins steady running Rest 45mins steady running Rest 55mins steady running Rest  Run 1hr 55 steady. Practice your fuelling and hydration strategies.
8 Rest Run 10min easy. (Run 30s fast. Jog 60s. Repeat 4x) Run 10min
easy = 26mins
Rest 3 30mins easy running Rest Race Half Marathon. Practice your race day preparation.
What is your marathon race pace? If you run a half marathon
your finish time will give you an approximate indication of your
marathon finish time. Double your finish time (in minutes) and
add 10% to estimate your target marathon time.  
Rest
9 1 Run 20mins easy. Rest 10mins easy, (5mins steady, 5mins faster, 5mins easy) x2. 10mins
easy. = 50mins
Rest 5min easy run. 20min steady run, 10min brisk run, 5min easy run
= 40mins
Rest Run 2hr 10 easy pace. Practice your fuelling and hydration
strategies. run 
10 25mins easy running Rest 10mins easy running, (10mins at marathon pace, 3min jog rec) x
2, 10mins easy = 46mins
Rest 15min easy run, (5min fast run, 2min easy run. Repeat 5x) 15min
easy = 65mins
Rest Run 2hrs 30min easy pace. Practice your fuelling and hydration
strategies.
11 30mins easy running Rest 10mins easy running, (15mins at marathon pace, 3min jog rec) x
2, 10mins easy = 53mins
Rest 15min easy run, (5min fast run, 1min easy run. Repeat 5x) 15min
easy = 60mins
Rest Run 2hrs 45min easy pace. Practice your fuelling and hydration
strategies
12 45mins easy run Rest 20mins easy run Rest 15mins easy run Rest RACE DAY (10 MILES, OR A HALF MARATHON)
13 30mins easy running Rest 15min easy, run 40mins at ‘marathon race pace’. Run 15min easy
= 70mins
Rest Run 15min easy, (8min fast, jog 2min easy. Repeat 4x) Jog 15min
easy = 70mins.
Rest Run 3hrs easy. Wear the kit and running shoes you plan to
complete the marathon in to check they are comfortable.
14 25mins easy running Rest Run 10min easy, (5mins tempo, 5mins easy) x 3, 10min easy =
50mins
Rest Run 45min steady Rest   Run 1hr 30min easy. Practice your fuelling and hydration
strategies. Wear the kit and running shoes you plan to complete
the marathon in to check they are comfortable.
15 1 Rest or 25mins easy running Rest Run 10min easy, run 15min at marathon race pace then run
(4x60secs brisk runs with 60sec walking recovery) Run 10min easy
= 43mins
Rest 30mins easy running Rest 60mins easy running.
16 20mins easy running Rest Jog 10min easy. Run 1 mile at marathon race pace, jog 10min
easy, run 1 mile at marathon race pace, jog 10min easy
Rest 10mins easy running Rest Bournemouth Marathon Festival; Good luck. Start sensibly.
Stick to your race and pace plan. You’ve done the training,
you’ve prepared for this event and you are physically and
psychologically ready to go the distance. Relax, have fun and
enjoy yourself. 
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. For a planned sub 3 hour marathon you are running just under 7 minutes a mile. They help build pace judgement and even paced running. It is important to note that unless you are very experienced or have good guidance, it is unusual to run all of your weekly long run at your planned race pace. 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.

Repetition/Interval training (8×800)

Repetition or interval training are a feature of schedules where you are really committed to improving and bringing the best out of yourself whatever your standard. You do not have to be an elite or even good club standard runner to run the advanced schedules. Rather you have probably a background of a few years of training fairly hard at any distance from 10k up to marathon and understand how faster paced running or running “out of your comfort zone” once a week has helped you improve.

Interval or repetition running, are efforts run at faster than your planned marathon race pace. Impossible to give more than general guidance as it is such an individual area and depends a lot on where you are starting from and what your goal is and is usually best done under guidance from a group environment or a coach or experienced personal trainer. 4x 800 is one example which can build to 8x 800 as the schedule progresses. You run the 800 metres or whatever the chosen distance is at the faster pace. Then walk or jog 400metres very easily before repeating the faster distance again etc. For marathon training long intervals of at least 800m or longer (1000m or even a mile) are acknowledged to be most beneficial.

Hill Repeats

These are a variation on repetitions on the flat. They are a great variation with a similar benefit of building leg strength. Find an incline of approx 4-600 metres or one that will take about 2 minutes. Run hard up the hill and slightly over the crest, turn around and jog slowly down the hill before repeating the run up again etc