This 14 week plan takes the beginner step by step through the training needed to complete your first marathon. Increasing time on your feet and gradually building the miles up is the aim. For a first timer they will usually require a 13 or 14 weeks build up program to give themselves the best chance of completing the 26 plus miles of a Marathon.

The Long Slow Distance Run

  • The long slow runs (LSD) is a major building block in the weekly training schedule.
  • The aim is to building your stamina to maintain the all-important “time on your feet”.
  • Also enables your body to get used to burning fat, a much-needed requirement if you’re to finish your marathon comfortably.
  • Also try to do these LSD runs with a partner – it prevents the boredom from setting in if you’re new to marathon training.

Easy weeks

  • Continual weekly increases in mileage will undoubtedly cause fatigue and tiredness – which often leads to injury!!
  • Build in an easy week every 3 or 4 weeks.
  • Maintain the number of runs required but keep them ‘low tempo’ and not so long in distance.
  • Don’t add on another 3 miles just because you’ve run at a slower pace.
  • Equally don’t run a fast 10k simply because it’s a short run.
  • Allow your body to re-build its strength; you’ll be surprised the way you bounce back the following week.
  • NEVER INCREASE YOUR MILEAGE OR LONGEST SESSION BY MORE THAN 10% - Often, another sure way of bringing on injury and stress fractures if you do!

Nutrition and Rest

  • Two of the most important elements of marathon training are “fuel and rest”.
  • Beginners should have at least two rest days each week within their program.
  • This is something that is often over-looked but essential if you want to maintain an un-interrupted training program.
  • As for fuel – Ferrari’s don’t run on diesel so approach this part of your marathon program with care.
  • If you fail to fill up with the best quality then expect to slow down when you least expect it!!

You’ll see from the weekly mileages how your training will arc up to a peak, hold on a bit then “taper” down just before your race day. Follow that map and you’ll not go far wrong. If you adopt a series of peaks and troughs and erratic training throughout your program then your “Big Day” will probably be a less enjoyable experience for you.Consistency is key to good performance.

Weeks 1 to 4

Below is an example of the first four weeks of a beginners Marathon Training Schedule. Remember doing too much too soon will most likely lead to injury - consistency is key!

Week 1

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 20 mins jog

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 20 mins jog

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 20 mins jog

Sunday - 5 mile jog/walk - Plus stretching and loosening

Week 2

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 25 mins jog

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 20 mins jog

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 25 mins jog

Sunday - 90 mins walk/jog plus stretching

Week 3

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 25 mins jog

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 20 mins jog

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 3 mile jog

Sunday - 7 – 8 mile walk-jog, stretching and loosening

Week 4

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 25 mins jog

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 25 mins jog

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 20 mins jog

Sunday - 10 mile walk-jog plus stretching and loosening

Weeks 5 to 8

By week 8 you’ll be running some serious mileage of between 25 and 30+ miles per week and a number of things will be happening to you. Probably weight loss, not a problem, as it’s only excess fat you’ll be burning that you do not want to be carrying. However you will need to maintain a good level of carbo fuel within your diet, which may seem like you’re always eating.

Week 5

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 30 mins jog

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 30 mins jog

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 20 mins jog

Sunday - Race 5 miles or 10k

Week 6

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 30 mins easy

Wednesday - 30 mins steady

Thursday - Rest

Friday - 20 mins jog

Saturday - 20 mins steady

Sunday - 12 miles walk / jog

Week 7

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 30 mins steady

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 5 mins jog warm up, 2 miles timed run, 5 mins jog

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 20 mins easy off road

Sunday - 10km race or 12 miles walk / jog

Week 8

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 40 mins steady

Wednesday - Warm up jog, 2 x 1 mile timed, jog warm down

Thursday - 30 mins easy

Friday - 40 mins steady

Saturday - Rest

Sunday - Run / Walk 10 miles race or 13 miles easy run

Weeks 9 to 12

It’s likely that by now you will have a good idea of your average pace per mile – so you can re-calculate your training program from minutes to miles. Do try to stay with the gradual build, a little under or over on a session is no big issue but always stay within the parameters of your program.

Week 9

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 25 mins easy

Wednesday - Warm up jog, then 2 miles timed run, then 5 mins jog

Thursday - 40 mins steady

Friday - 30 mins easy

Saturday - Rest

Sunday - 15 miles jog / walk

Week 10

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 25 mins very easy

Wednesday - Warm up, then 3 miles brisk, timed

Thursday - 40 mins steady

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 20 mins on grass

Sunday - Half Marathon Race, walk 5 mins after 1 hour if needed.

Week 11

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 25 mins easy off road

Wednesday - 10 mins warm up jog, then 5 miles steady

Thursday - 30 mins easy

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 30 mins easy

Sunday - Jog / Walk 18 miles, take drinks, take your time.

Week 12

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 25 mins very easy

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 6 - 9 miles steady

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 20 mins easy

Sunday - Race 10 miles, or 18 miles easy.

Weeks 13 to 14

Marathons should only be finished at the “Finish Line” not halfway through by impatient Novice training regimes. When you’ve a couple of marathons under your belt you will have amassed a huge amount of knowledge about yourself and what’s achievable by you – and a confidence that may not have been seen before by you and those around you! Good luck.

Week 13

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 20 mins easy

Wednesday - 45 mins steady

Thursday - Warm up, then 8 miles timed

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 20 mins easy

Sunday - 13 miles steady - practice your pre race routine!

Week 14

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 25 mins jog

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 10 min jog, 1 mile at race pace, 5 mins jog.

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 15 mins jog and stretch

Sunday - Race Day!

 

 

 

 

 

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