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16 Week Marathon Training Plan (Advanced)


Matthew Laye PhD

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16 Weeks

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Plan Description

This is an intermediate training plan peaking at 90 miles per week and is suitable for athletes who can consistently run 70+ miles per a week.

It is a 16-week build up ideally, but if you only have 14 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.

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Run x6
68mi 26mi
Strength x6
1:55 hrs 0:30 hrs
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
68mi 26mi
1:55 hrs 0:30 hrs
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • GPS

All supported devices

Matthew Laye PhD

PhD in Medical Physiology
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.

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