Marathon Training Plan

Training by effort, not pace can produce great results

Marathon Training Plan
Photo: Isaac LeBlanc

This is an advanced program for those running about 7.5 – 8 hours per week and six days of running. If this is beyond your current level, reduce volume by dropping one of the easy runs and lowering the volume of some of the easy days.

Aim to build your long run to two hours leading up to these final 16 weeks before your marathon.

I’ve written workouts to be run by effort rather than pace, as I find this avoids placing undue expectation on any given workout, and also allows for a potential breakthrough. It can take a bit of time to get used to this style if you normally consult a watch for pacing. It will get easier with practice.

If you have a time goal for your race, as you close in on race day shift away from effort-based workouts and start dialing in on goal pace.

Working with a coach can help you get the most out of your running, but above all I encourage you to listen to your body. Nobody knows you as intimately as you know yourself. Learn to listen to signs your body needs to back off a bit, or is ready for more.

Download a PDF of the Marathon, 16-Week Training Plan.


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