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A 16 Week Marathon Training Plan (For the over 50 - good for age ability - sub 4hour runner)


Peter Wilby

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16 Weeks

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Plan Description

We would love to hear about your dreams, your progress and your highs and lows with this plan. Don't be a stranger. Following completion of this you should be confident for your marathon event.

To support your training as you follow this plan you are given access to the INNER CIRCLE on www.petewilbytriathlon website. Here you can chat with other training plan athletes and access videos to the drills and techniques used in the plan. You also receive great discounts on other services like ADVENTURE SWIMS around the English Riviera.

This marathon training plan is aimed at the older, experienced runner. It comprises of 16 weeks and 100 hours of training geared towards a sub 4 hour marathon. The idea of this plan is to promote robustness and reduce the likelihood of injury. This the plan includes a strength and core training cycle.

The theory is that when the athlete reaches 50+ his/her muscles are breaking down everyday. Pure endurance training further breaks down muscles but, unlike younger athletes, older athletes do not repair and therefore respond less well to endurance training.

Strength training decreases the rate at which older athletes muscles breakdown. The strength cycle in this plan works on the functional movements and stabilisation of running. Short and long reps are used to increase top speed. This combination of training is allowing for more scope to raise lactate threshold one (the most important factor of fitness for any marathon runner) and maximise the response to training for experienced runners aged 50+.

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
3:56 hrs 2:50 hrs
1:23 hrs 1:00 hrs
Day Offx2
—— ——
0:39 hrs 0:30 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
3:56 hrs 2:50 hrs
1:23 hrs 1:00 hrs
Day Off
—— ——
0:39 hrs 0:30 hrs

Training Load By Week

Pete Wilby



My name is Pete Wilby. I am triathlon and open water swimming coach based by the sea in Teignmouth, Devon, UK. I coach triathletes and open water swimmers from beginner, right through to World Championship level.

My mission is to coach with a holistic perspective that helps people to excel. To summarise my philosophy, I have designed the LENS acronym (Life, Endurance training, Nutrition and Strength). This is how I - and I hope you will too - will view training and coaching.