It’s impossible to train for a marathon and not learn significant life lessons.
Goal: Run an impressive marathon without losing strength or muscle mass as too many athletes tend to do when they decide to run an impressive marathon.
Equipment: Traditional Gym Equipment – Bench, Dumbbells, Barbell, Cable Stack, Pullup Bar, Bands, Ab Cart, Physioball. Running shoes would be a good idea also.
Workout per week: 6 total (1x Interval Run, 1x Progressive Distance Run, 2x Easy Runs, 2x strength sessions)
Gym Membership Required? Yes. Or a well stocked home gym with the equipment listed above.
Length: 12 weeks
The intention of this program is to build you up to run a competitive marathon while maintaining your strength and lean muscle mass. You’ll be running 4 days per week and doing resistance training 2 days per week. Weekly mileage ranges from 24-35 miles per week and the program includes a 3 week taper.
For your training runs, you’ll have two EASY RUNS per week, an INTERVAL RUN (Wednesday), and a progressive LONG RUN (Sunday). Starting in week 4, your interval run will become a Maximum Lactate Steady State run which you can think of simply as long interval training (instead of 4 minute intervals, you’ll be doing 12 minute intervals.)
Easy runs should feel comfortable. Somedays you’re going to run a bit faster. Somedays you’re going to run a bit slower. That’s normal. Most runners need to be reminded to slow down on their easy runs. The intention here is more about accumulating miles and less about running fast.
The hard pace on your interval day should be challenging but consistent. In other words, the final interval shouldn’t be slower than the first interval. These will be the fastest you run all week. If you’re new to interval training, I’d rather see you start bit slower than you might expect and finish strong versus starting fast and pooing the bed.
For your long runs, the first two miles and the final two miles will be easy. The bulk of the run will be done at your Marathon Race Pace. If you don’t know your Marathon Race Pace, make a conservative estimate. After your first race, you’ll know.
Here’s a pacing chart to help you dial in your various runs:
As always, around if you need me.
When your legs get tired run with your heart,
Week 1 – 6
Feel free to move your training days around if necessary, but try to follow the same cadence of non-consecutive runs and lift.