BSX Athletics: Beginner Marathon - 1.5 to 5.75 Hours per Week

Average Weekly Training Hours 01:50
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 01:50
Training Load By Week

This marathon training plan is a good fit for beginners and other runners who need or prefer a low-volume program. The plan is 18 weeks long and features four runs per week. It also includes five lactate threshold tests, in Weeks 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15. These tests are opportunities to use BSX Insight to measure your progress and adjust your training zones. Be sure to complete a lactate threshold test before you start the plan in order to establish your initial zones. You should also be able to run comfortably for at least 4 miles before you start.

Like all BSX Insight/Matt Fitzgerald Training Plans, the Beginner Marathon Plan is based on the 80/20 Rule, which stipulates that 80 percent of total training time is spent at low intensity and the remaining 20 percent at moderate and high intensities. This approach is scientifically proven to produce better results for runners of all levels. See for yourself!

Sample Day 1
0:20:00
Foundation Run 20

Warm-up for 5 minutes in Zone 1. Then run for 15 minutes in Zone 2.

Sample Day 3
0:20:00
Foundation Run 20

Warm-up for 5 minutes in Zone 1. Then run for 15 minutes in Zone 2.

Sample Day 5
0:20:00
Foundation Run 20

Warm-up for 5 minutes in Zone 1. Then run for 15 minutes in Zone 2.

Sample Day 6
4mi
Long Run 4

Warm-up for 0.5 mile in Zone 1. Then run for 3.5 miles in Zone 2.

Sample Day 8
0:20:00
Speed Play 20 (5x20)

Warm up for 5 minutes in Zone 2. Then run for 15 minutes in Zone 2, sprinkling 5 efforts in Zone 5 lasting 20 second each throughout this segment. It doesn't matter when you do these efforts, but be sure to allow enough time to fully recover from each before you start the next one.

Sample Day 10
0:20:00
Fast Finish Run 20 (5)

Warm up for 5 minutes in Zone 1. Then run for 10 minutes in Zone 2. Then run for 5 minutes in Zone 3.

Sample Day 12
0:25:00
Foundation Run 25

Warm-up for 5 minutes in Zone 1. Then run for 20 minutes in Zone 2.