I received an email from a friend the other day and he asked me to look over a marathon plan he downloaded off of the Internet. A quick look over the plan and I immediately thought it was too much volume.

And a few months ago, a friend of mine sent me an email and he asked me for my opinion on a marathon plan he found in some book he purchased. Looking over the plan, I immediately thought there wasn't enough frequency.

Every so often, a friend asks me for an opinion and I feel like it's time to say -- "This is how I would do it."

Technically -- this is how I do it.  This is not too far off from how I train for a standalone or Ironman marathon.

So let's get to the plan.  What you see below is a grid with a bunch of links which lead to different pages.  In the left column, there are links which lead to tips I think are helpful for preparing for a marathon.  Go through all of the links in advance and then go through the links again as you enter each week of training.

For each day, you will find links which lead to the specific instruction for that day.  The pacing for this specific plan should prepare someone for a 3:59 marathon.  Drop me a line and I can give you the pacing for different finish times.

Prior to starting this plan, I would expect the athlete to be in half marathon shape.  Otherwise, the ramp up of the long run will be too much.

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
01 off 30 45 30 off 45 110
02 off 30 45 30 off 45 120
03 off 30 45 30 off 45 100
04 off 30 45 30 off 45 120
05 off 45 45 30 off 45 135
06 off 45 45 30 off 45 100
07 off 45 45 45 off 30 165
08 off 45 45 30 off 45 90
09 off 45 45 45 off 30 165
10 off 45 45 30 off 45 90
11 off 45 45 45 off 30 60
12 off 30 30 30 off 20 race
13 walk walk walk        

[ There is an issue with the above table rendering correctly in certain versions of Firefox.  It renders well in IE and Safari.  Sorry if it looks weird, ]

One final note -- on Week 09, the long run is approximately 2:45 in duration.  Personally, I think the amount of time it takes to recover is greater than the benefit of running longer, especially with mid pack athletes.  That said, if you feel you're accomplished, can recover quickly or any number of reasons I'm not listing, below is a link to the three hour version of this run.

180 Minute Long Run

This plan details 12 weeks of marathon training. It is a live document and as such, this document may change from time to time. 

Reader assumes all liability for use and this plan does not meet anyone's safety requirements.  This plan is meant for educational purposes only.   Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. List each check separately by bank number. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Postage will be paid by addressee.