16 Week Marathon Training Plan (Intermediate)

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

This is an intermediate training plan peaking at 70 miles per week and is suitable for athletes who can consistently run 50+ miles per a week.

This training plan 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.

Sample Day 1
0:20:00
Foam Roller Routine

Injury Prevention Routine to Take 10-20 minutes. Self Myofacial release routine to hit the following muscles: Soleus Gastroc IT Band TFL Quads Adductors Piriformis (Lacrosse ball, or trigger point ball) Psoas (Lacrosse ball, or trigger point ball) Chest (Lacrosse ball, or trigger point ball) Thoracic Area Info found here: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/10-Self-Myofascial-Release-Exercises-for-Runners.htm

Sample Day 2
5mi
Aerobic Run: Easy Pace

Easy Run

If the goal of the run is recovery then the pace should skew towards the slower range while if the goal is “steady aerobic” or aerobic then the pace may skew towards the faster end of the range. Running faster than E pace on runs prescribed for E will not make you faster, but instead may lead to excessive stress, fatigue, and inability to complete the harder workouts. If you are fatigued and find it difficult to maintain the paces within this zone. NOTE: running slower than easy pace on occasion maybe prescribed as pure recovery run.

o Continuous runs of any length

o 65-79% of HR max

o Rating of perceived exertion (5-6/10) – conversational pace – able to speak in paragraphs

Sample Day 2
0:25:00
Lower Legs Workout

Aimed to strengthen calves, feet, ankles.
Walk in toes (barefoot in possible) 2x 30meters, heels pointed straight back, heels points in, heels pointed out
Eccentric calf raises, 3x20 reps
Jump squats, 3 x 8 reps
Downward facing dog, 4x hold for 10s
Wall stretch hold for 1 min each leg x 2
Foam roller, or trigger point ball roll out, 3 minutes each leg
Info here: http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/how-to-take-care-of-your-calves

Sample Day 3
0:10:00
Simple Core Workout

Nice Routine I Found from Paul Lind, HS XC coach in Challis Idaho. Can be done dailyAbductors (foot dorsiflexed) - 15 each leg x 2 Adductors - 15 each leg x 2 Bicycles - 30 seconds Crunches - 30 seconds Dips (single leg bridge dip) - 15 each leg x 2 Side Plank Dips - 15 each side x 2 Fire hydrants (any variation) - 15 each x 2 Plank - 60 second hold Push Ups - 30 seconds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOOEzxmG87Y

Sample Day 3
7mi
Marathon Paced Workout

1.5 mile warm up
4 miles @ MP
1.5 miles cool down.

• Marathon (MP): This is the estimated pace that you can run a marathon at. It is not a perfect estimate and depends on the distance of the race used to calculate training paces. For some that are underdeveloped aerobically it may estimate to quick of a pace, for others lacking speed they maybe be capable of running a faster pace. It is used in training to practice running at marathon pace. Running at this pace improves marathon specific performance.

o 5 – 90 minute interval or continuous runs

o 80-90% of HR max

o Rating of perceived exertion (7/10) – comfortable hard. Able to speak in single sentences.

Sample Day 4
5mi
Aerobic Run: Easy Pace

Easy Run

If the goal of the run is recovery then the pace should skew towards the slower range while if the goal is “steady aerobic” or aerobic then the pace may skew towards the faster end of the range. Running faster than E pace on runs prescribed for E will not make you faster, but instead may lead to excessive stress, fatigue, and inability to complete the harder workouts. If you are fatigued and find it difficult to maintain the paces within this zone. NOTE: running slower than easy pace on occasion maybe prescribed as pure recovery run.

o Continuous runs of any length

o 65-79% of HR max

o Rating of perceived exertion (5-6/10) – conversational pace – able to speak in paragraphs

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
Glute Workout

Pick a 4-5 from the following list of exercises found here: http://redefiningstrength.com/glute-activation-10-exercises/ 1. Glute Bridge 2. Donkey Kick 3. Fire Hydrant 4. Hip Circles 5. Posterior Plank 6. Band Monster Walks, Side Shuffle 7. Clams 8. Bird Dog 9. Reverse Hypers (Single Leg Reverse Hypers) 10. Side Plank with Leg Lift

Matthew Laye PhD
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https://www.sharmanultra.com/drmattlaye

(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.