Do you have dreams of running a marathon? Have you been running for awhile and wish to take your training to the next level? Here are several marathon training plans that you can find online to choose from. Remember to listen to your body and take plenty of time to rest and recover throughout your training. Choose the marathon training plan that best fits your schedule and your ability level or even mix and match a bit.
1. Jeff Galloway Marathon Training Plan (To Finish):
Jeff Galloway has trained thousands of amateur runners to run and finish the marathon strongly. The key point to Jeff Galloway’s training program is the run/walk interval method. He strongly encourages all runners to incorporate walk breaks into their running from the very beginning. That strategy includes race day. The different intervals (ex. 3 min run / 1 min walk) is based on the time you can run a mile (the “Magic Mile”). You will reach the marathon distance in training before the actual event. This program does not try to get you to the finish line in a certain amount of time. This is a minimal training program. You will only run three days a week. There are two thirty minute runs during the week and one long run on the weekend. The goal is to finish and to finish strong. There will be plenty of time in the future to reach for a PR (Personal Record).
2. Hal Higdon Marathon Training Schedule-Novice
Hal Higdon is best known for his contributions to Runner’s World Magazine and for his best-selling book Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. There are actually two levels of Novice training plans but Novice 1 is probably better for someone who is running a first marathon and Novice 2 is good for someone running a second marathon. Both of these programs only go up to a twenty mile training run three weeks prior to the actual marathon event. You will be running four days a week on this program. There is three maintenance runs during the week of varying distances and one long run on the weekend. Hal Higdon also offers a Week 0 plan for properly recovering after race day.
3. The Rookie Marathon Training Plan
The Rookie Marathon Training Plan was devised by experts at Runners World Magazine for first time marathon runners who rarely, if ever, run or race past six miles. You will run five days a week with a variety of runs during the week, a long run on the weekend, and a recovery run the day after your long run. This training plan is more detailed because it incorporates various types of runs into the plan instead of just running steady. There is the Tempo Run, the Fartlek, the Kenyan Outback, the Track Ladders, the Yasso 800’s, and Hill Repeats. You will peak at twenty miles in your Long Run. You will be in good shape to run a marathon at the end of this program.
4. Cool Running Beginner Marathon Program
Cool Running is well known for its extremely popular Couch-to-5K training plan. But, this useful website if full of so much more and that includes a marathon training program. This program also has you running five days a week with fartleks, hills, and mile repeats. You will peak at the actual marathon distance of twenty-six miles three weeks prior to race day.
There are all kinds of marathon training plans available on-line for free as I have mentioned above. You can also find training plans that you can purchase that include coach tips, training logs, etc. You can also purchase a book that will take you through a training program chapter by chapter, such as The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer. It is all up to you and you personality and your goals. Remember to be smart about it. Listen to your body and take a step back if you have to to prevent injury. Above all, have fun and relish in your accomplishment.