14 Week Training Plan (Intermediate) - Boston Marathon

Average Weekly Training Hours 01:55
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 01:55
Training Load By Week

This training plan is for those wishing to run the Boston Marathon. It is a 14-week build up ideally, but if you only have 12 weeks or 10 weeks or 6 weeks to go it can still provide some guidance about how to prepare. I used my knowledge of the science of performance (I have a PhD in physiology) and my experience as an athlete (2:23 marathon PB at Boston) and coach (individual athletes and team) to provide a comprehensive training plan which includes supplementary strength work to stay injury free.

My major training philosophy is STRESS + REST = GROWTH

There are two main goals of this training plan to help you run your best marathon.

1) Become a better overall runner. The inclusion of 10k pace work, strides, hill work, and circuits are all meant to improve you as a runner in general. This variation in any training plan provides various kinds of stresses and allows a broad overall growth and improvement in running. Rest is a critical component to the training plan and added in appropriately.

2) Be prepared for miles 20 - 26.2. The last 10k of the marathon is the second half of the race. Nothing simulates it like race day itself. Still to help you prepare for that last 10k of the race I have included workouts that focus on running marathon pace on tired legs (at the end of long runs) and to help increase your ability to burn fat, rather than use all of your muscle glycogen stores, by a medium long run targeted mid week.

Sample Day 1
14mi
Long Run - Easy w/2 @ MP

Easy for first 11 miles.
Next 2 miles at Goal Marathon Pace (MP)
1 mile easy.

Practice taking in calories especially right before the MP section. Practice with what you plan to use in the marathon.

Sample Day 8
16mi
Long Run - Aerobic Effort

Start off easy and work into aerobic effort.

Water is okay, but try not to take in any calories.

Sample Day 15
17mi
Long Run - Easy w/2 @ MP

Easy for first 13 miles.
Next 2 miles at Goal Marathon Pace (MP)
2 miles easy.

Practice taking in calories especially right before the MP section. Practice with what you plan to use in the marathon.

Sample Day 22
16mi
Long Run - Easy w/3 @ MP

Easy for first 13 miles.
Next 3 miles at Goal Marathon Pace (MP)
1 miles easy.

Practice taking in calories especially right before the MP section. Practice with what you plan to use in the marathon.

Sample Day 29
20mi
Long Run - Aerobic Effort

Start off easy and work into aerobic effort.

Water is okay, but try not to take in any calories.

Sample Day 36
20mi
Long Run - Easy w/3 @ MP

Easy for first 13 miles.
Next 3 miles at Goal Marathon Pace (MP)
4 miles easy.

Practice taking in calories especially right before the MP section. Practice with what you plan to use in the marathon.

Sample Day 43
16mi
Long Run - Aerobic Effort

Start off easy and work into aerobic effort.

Water is okay, but try not to take in any calories.

Matthew Laye PhD

(PhD in PhD in
Coach of the Boise Billies in Boise, ID
Former collegiate XC and track runner.
100-mile US National Trail Champion (13:17)
2:23:32 Marathon PR (Boston)
Expertise in trail running, road racing, ultras.