Before you start any marathon training plan, much sure you have a solid running base. I recommend running 3–4 times a week (25-30 miles per week) for at least 6 months. Without a foundation in your running plan, you put yourself at risk for injury.
8 mile run
A semi long run after your rest day (Sunday)
4-6 mile speedwork run plus 30 minute core workout (weights or yoga)
Speedwork is a key element to improving your time. It can be done on the road, a track or even a treadmill.
Bart Yasso (the chief running officer at runner’s world magazine) says:
“You need speed work because if you are doing your long run at the proper pace it should be a long slow distance run. The speed work teaches the body to run fast while the long run gives you the endurance. Short tempos runs build endurance and leg speed. Your body will get used to that fast cadence the more you do.”
Each week add one mile. Start at 10 miles and work your way up to 20. Allow yourself an extra two weeks before the marathon to taper and rest. When I started to train for the Boston marathon, I made it a goal to run 40 miles a week. I would adjust the milage on the remaining days according to how far my long run was for the week.
Long run schedule:
Week 1: 10 miles
Week 2: 11 miles
Week 3: 12 miles
Week 4: 13 miles
Week 5: 14 miles
Week 6: 15 miles
Week 7: 16 miles
Week 8: 17 miles
Week 9: 18 miles
Week 10: 19 miles
Week 11: 20 miles
Week 12: 8 miles
Week 13: rest week (2-3 mile walk or hike)
Spin class (cross training) plus core workout
Adding a spin class to your weekly workout strengthens different muscles in your body and will provide greater muscular balance. It gives your joints a break from the wear and tear of running, while still getting your heart rate up and improving your endurance.
4-6 miles of a hill workout or hill repeats
I have the benefit of living right next to a mountain that I can run up on a weekly basis. If you live in an area that is flat you could try running up stairs at a football stadium and find bridges or other ways to get this workout in. Your hill workout and long runs are the most crucial part of your training. Since I have incorporated hill workouts into my training I have seen the most improvements in my time and performance.
Yoga plus 6-8 mile run
Runners can benefit greatly from yoga. It not only improves flexibility, strength and balance, but it helps to eliminate running related injuries. Poses are effective for stretching out tightness in areas common from running like your glutes, hamstrings, IT band. It also flushes out built up lactic acid and other toxins. Most importantly, yoga builds a strong core. A strong core helps you to maintain proper running form and late in a race when you are tired, it stabilizes your body, helping you to maintain your pace. After I ran the Boston marathon, two days later, I was out running again. I had little to no soreness and I am able to attribute this all to yoga!
“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; then suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
Saint Francis of Assisi