20 Weeks to Your Marathon PB

Maintaining consistency in your schedule will help achieve your goals

If you are someone who has ran marathons before but is looking to achieve a new personal best, this is the plan for you. This 20-week plan assumes you can already comfortably run three to four times per week, and your long run is at least 15 kilometres.

In my experience, the keys to success in any marathon-training plan is consistency and getting those long runs in. Keep the easy runs as they are intended to be run: easy. And save your mental and physical energy for those tough workouts on the schedule.

I recommend following the schedule as closely as possible. However, if scheduling changes need to be made, ensure you are not running hard days back-to-back and that you are not doing speed work the day following your long run.

The goal of any training plan should be to get you to the start line healthy. Marathon training is hard on the body and pulling back, every so often, is just as important as building. My intermediate plan is designed with build weeks and recovery weeks, so you make recovery intentional. Listen to your body and take care of it while you move through this training block.


10 KM – 10-kilometre race pace

HMP – half marathon pace

MP – goal marathon pace, i.e., if you want to run a 3:30 marathon, your MP target for workouts is 5:00/km.

RPE – Rate of perceived exertion with 0 being no effort and 10 being max effort. Easy runs should be run at an RPE no greater than 5/10. Take them slower if you feel fatigued. The key for these runs is to build your aerobic fitness and should not be run fast. Keep the easy days easy and the hard days hard!

STRIDES – pickup in pace of 50-100 metres but not an all-out sprint. Jog for 60 seconds between each stride.

Download a PDF of the Guide to 20 Weeks to Your Marathon PB.

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