Are you an experienced runner who needs a tune-up before your next marathon? Here’s a plan to get you ready for 26.2 miles in 3 months.
How long is it? 12 weeks minimum
How many days per week will I run? 5-6
How many miles each week? Peak week is 55
What’s my longest long run? 20-22 miles
Will there be speedwork? Yes
What’s my race plan/goal? To run faster
- HMP = Half-marathon pace
- MP = Marathon pace
- Strides are 75-150 meters
|1||8 miles & 10 strides||Rest||9 miles||Rest||5 miles||13 miles (8 at MP)|
|2||11 miles||Rest||8 miles (4 at HMP)||Rest||5 miles||15 miles|
|3||8 miles & 10 strides||4 miles||11 miles||Rest||4 miles||16 miles (10 at MP)|
|4||5 miles||10 miles (5 at HMP)||11 miles||Rest||5 miles||17 miles|
|5||Rest||12 miles||Rest||9 miles (4 at HMP)||5 miles||16 miles|
|6||5 miles||10 miles & 3×2000||12 miles||Rest||6 miles & 6 strides||15 miles (12 at MP)|
|7||6 miles & 6 strides||12 miles||Rest||12 miles (7 at HMP)||5 miles||20 miles|
|8||8 miles & 5×800||11 miles||Rest||4 miles & 6 strides||13 miles (15K tune-up)||17 miles|
|9||7 miles & 6 strides||10 miles & 4×1200||Rest||11 miles||4 miles||20 miles|
|10||8 miles & 5×800||6 miles||Rest||4 miles & 6 strides||11 miles (10K tune-up)||16 miles|
|11||7 miles & 8 strides||8 miles & 3×1600||Rest||5 miles & 6 strides||Rest||12 miles|
|12||6 miles||7 miles (2 at MP)||Rest||5 miles & 6 strides||2 miles||Race Day!|
Here are five adages to live by during training:
Bigger base, bigger mileage
Experienced runners will benefit from more quality miles. Run longer and more often than before to see changes on race day.
Experienced runners no longer run to log miles at an easy pace. You should be incorporating speed, hills, tempos, and recovery paces into runs.
Be confident, be cautious
Because you’ve done it before, you know you can do it again. But remember that you will have to work harder to see results.
Don’t forget rest
Easy days and/or rest are crucial. Every day of running shouldn’t be at race pace. Incorporate a recovery week every 3-4 weeks in the cycle with reduced mileage and easier workouts.
Race with a plan
Have your goal pace mapped out by mile or at regular intervals such as every 5K. But allow for flexibility in that plan so that if you aren’t exactly on target, you won’t feel frustrated in the early stages of the race.
Carissa Liebowitz has run the Boston Marathon as well as dozens of marathons and half marathons. You can follow her running adventures on Strava, Instagram and her blog.