This page is designed for people that have some running background. If this is your first marathon, and you have not run any long races, then it will be more helpful to train at the level that will provide you more benefits. For those that consider themselves experienced runners, if you have not broken 1 Hour for a 10k or 9 minutes for a mile then you are overreaching and should move down a level. There truly is not that much difference anyhow in the training method between under 5 hours and over 5 hours.
The overall concept is to start building your Base. In this section, we will focus on both strength and endurance training, but we will do it in a way to minimize the chances for injury.
Most of you will be incorporating "active" walking in your runs. The motto is to run easy/ walk strong. This means your walking pace should be at a pace where you are recovering, but the walking pace is still strong enough to cover ground. This is almost counter intuitive. Most people would think that they should run hard then rest for a bit once they are truly tired. Running is all about efficiency, especially in the marathon. If one can cover ground at a sustainable pace, then your overall time will be faster. Running at an easy pace, you will be able to cover more ground before you have to walk. Some people, by the end of base training, will find they can actually run an easy pace for a sustainable length of time without having to take substantial walk breaks. It is crucial for every person to find their own balance. One rule is to make sure your walk breaks are essentially the same throughout the run. If you find your walk breaks are three times longer at the end of the run compared to the beginning, then it is necessary to make an adjustment. It may be best to base your walk run ratio by time. For some, that may mean 2 minute run followed by a two minute walk. For others, it may be a three-minute run followed by a minute walk. There is not any magic formula.
During the buildup phase, we will introduce the Long Run. This run is the center piece of this workout system. This is the workout that will provide you the most benefits. There is more about this run information in the Long Run section.
Unlike other training, programs, you will never do a long run over 18 miles. There are some training programs that will have you run up to 26 miles just to prove you can do it. It is my strong belief that unless you intend to do ultra marathons even experienced runner should not train over 18 miles. Certainly those with lessor experience should be extremely careful when they are out exercising over 2 hours.
Many other systems allow you to take the day off after the Long Run. It is my suggestion that it is better taking the second day off after the long run. The day after the long run is perhaps the second most important run of the week. Doing this short run real easy will help you recover quicker. It will flush out the lactic acid and help return blood to those overused muscles. This in turn allows you to be more productive during the week. After any hard workout, you are more prone to injuries the next day. Never run a race or a hard workout the day after your Long Run! For those that simply can not get a run in the day after a long run then at least try to take a walk after dinner. This will help your workouts later in the week.
It is necessary to understand that the short runs during the week are not supposed to be hard runs. Understandably many people at this level have time constraints on just how much time one can put toward the effort of training for a marathon. There may be a tendency to try to run hard on the short runs to make up for the lack of time to out in longer runs. This is fundamentally wrong. This manner of thinking leads to undo stress on the body which can lead to injuries. There is greater benefit running 4 miles at a slow relaxed pace, than 3 miles and a hard exhausting pace.
Click this link to see your training schedule. Schedule for Marathon Training.
Click this link to see your training schedule Schedule for Marathon Training for between four and five hours. (note this is for the first 10-14 weeks. Go to the workout section for the last ten weeks