The schedule I am using is 26 weeks long, with the marathon on the end of the 26th week. Each week in the schedule has the following structure:
- Monday is 45-50 minutes of cross training. This can be swimming, biking, rowing but it has to leave the calves alone.
- Tuesday is a 45-55 minute recovery run. This should be 1 minute per mile slower than your marathon pace.
- Wednesday is a 30 minute marathon pace run run at “intervals” of 2:30 running and 1 min walking. Push the marathon pace slightly. This helps you gradually improve your pace when running.
- Thursday is 45-50 minutes of cross training
- Friday is 45-55 minutes of marathon pace run run at “intervals” of 2:30 running and 1 min walking. This helps you gradually improve your pace when running. Lightly jog at the end of each mile.
The above schedule really never changes throughout the program. It is likely that as your marathon pace improves you will be running Wed and Fri faster and farther as the months go by.
Sunday is one of the following:
- Some weeks are long runs which start at 6 miles and by the end of the program work up to 28 miles. This should be run quite slow, at marathon pace + 2 minutes per mile. The ratio of running to walking is tailored to you.
- Cutback runs. Certain Sunday runs are designed to just give your body a break from all the miles
- Mile repeats. This is special speedwork runs designed to increase marathon pace.
- Taper weeks. The last three weeks before the marathon are taper weeks with vastly reduced weekend runs to make sure you are strong and healthy for the actual marathon
Thats it. 4 days a week running, 2 cross training. You start the program running 15 miles a week and by the end you are over 40.