Are you an experienced runner who has taken some time off from the marathon, but are ready to come back to 26.2? Here’s a plan that might be perfect to get you back in form:
How long is it? Up to 20 weeks (reduce if your base is strong)
How many days per week do I run? 4-5
How many miles each week? Peak week is 43 miles
What’s my longest long run? 20 miles
Will there be speedwork? Yes
What’s my race plan/goal? To run faster
You’ll rest or cross-train on Mondays and Thursdays. Your Wednesday or Saturday run can be dropped every 3 to 4 weeks if you need more rest and recovery time.
|1||6 miles||3 miles||6 miles||3 miles||8 miles|
|2||6 miles||3 miles||7 miles||3 miles||9 miles|
|3||7 miles||3 miles||7 miles||3 miles||10 miles|
|4||6 miles||3 miles||6 miles||3 miles||12 miles|
|5||6 miles & 4×800||4 miles||6 miles||3 miles||10 miles|
|6||7 miles & 5 tempo||3 miles||6 miles||3 miles||12 miles|
|7||7 miles & 3×1600||4 miles||7 miles||3 miles||14 miles|
|8||7 miles & 6×800||4 miles||7 miles||2 miles||12 miles (or 10K race)|
|9||6 miles||4 miles||6 miles||4 miles||16 miles|
|10||7 miles & 5 tempo||4 miles||6 miles||3 miles||18 miles|
|11||8 miles & 8×800||3 miles||7 miles||3 miles||20 miles|
|12||7 miles & 3×1600||5 miles||8 miles (5 at MP)||3 miles||15 miles|
|13||6 miles||5 miles||6 miles||2 miles||18 miles (or half marathon)|
|14||6 miles & 4 tempo||4 miles||6 miles||3 miles||20 miles|
|15||7 miles & 5×1200||6 miles||7 miles||4 miles||18 miles|
|16||9 miles & 10×800||5 miles||8 miles (5 at MP)||4 miles||15 miles|
|17||6 miles||5 miles||8 miles||3 miles||20 miles|
|18||7 miles & 5 tempo||5 miles||6 miles||3 miles||16 miles|
|19||7 miles & 3×1600||4 miles||5 miles||3 miles||10 miles|
|20||4 miles||5 miles (2 at MP)||3 miles||2 miles||Race Day!|
Here are five adages to live by as you train:
Proceed like a beginner
Especially in the beginning, build to speed and distance like you are just starting. This will stave off injury and frustration.
Adjust goals often
Really pay attention to your effort. After building your base back, revise your goals to be faster or slower depending on how you feel. Keep adjusting as necessary.
What worked before may not work now. A 22 miler might give you the confidence you need on race day. Or you might need an extra rest day. Know thyself.
Use shorter races to give yourself a gauge of fitness throughout the cycle. These can be great indicators of what to expect for your goal race.
If you fear the slow process of another comeback, recover with a reverse taper. Take up to a week off with complete rest if needed depending on race effort. Ease back into walking or easy running for another week or two before adding on miles.