First Time Marathon Training Plan (18 Weeks)


Jason Walkley

All plans by this Coach


18 Weeks

Typical Week

4 Run, 2 X-Train, 1 Day Off, 1 Custom

Longest Workout

20 miles

Plan Specs

running marathon beginner intermediate pace based

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The FIRST Time Training Program is designed for runners looking to complete their first marathon.

Previous marathon training results indicate that runners are able to run a successful marathon running only 3 days a week, following a specific training plan, and cross-training. The recommended plan is with Key Run #1 run on Tuesday, Key Run #2 run on Thursday and the long run completed on the weekend. Runners can do the three key workouts in any order throughout the week; however, allow at least one day between the key workouts. Runners are to either cross-train or complete easy runs on other days of the week.

The paces in training program are based on current best 10K RACE pace.

Key Run #1, the pace is 45 seconds faster per mile than your current 10K pace.
Key Run #2, the pace is slightly slower than 10K race pace but faster than average training pace. This pace is referred to as “tempo” or “threshold” pace, 15-30s per mile slower than 10K race pace.
Key Run #3, the pace is determined by your Proposed Marathon Pace ( PMP = 10K pace plus 45 seconds). For the 45 minute 10K performer, PMP = 8:00 /mile pace (7:15 plus 45 seconds).


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 02:11
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 02:11
Average Weekly Breakdown

Jason Walkley


9 x Ironman Finisher (9:16 PB) and World 70.3 Championship Finisher
Represented Great Britain Age-Group Team at Sprint, Middle and Long Distance Triathlon and Duathlon at 3 x World Championships and 3 x European Championships, All top 10 Finishes.

Level 3 Personal Trainer Coach
Level 4 Sports Massage and Injury Prevention
Level 3 Gym Instructor
Level 3 Sports Nutrition
Level 3 Sports Physiological Testing

Blood Lactate and performance tester

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1


The purpose of this session is to promote aerobic efficiency and to aid active recovery.
Your effort level is set according to your heart rate, pace (from your VDOT results) or rate of perceived exertion as shown by the following ranges;
(On flat terrain, intensity will equal your pace as determined by your VDOT, e.g. Threshold Intensity = Threshold Pace)
Level 1 (L1) – Walking/Jog, 0-68% LTHR, 0-2 RPE
Level 2 (L2) – Easy pace, 69-83% LTHR, 2-3 RPE
Level 3 (L3) – Marathon pace, 84-94% LTHR, 3-4 RPE
Level 4 (L4) – Threshold pace, 95-105% LTHR, 4-5 RPE
Level 5 (L5) – Interval pace, 106%< LTHR, 6-7 RPE
Level 6 (L6) – Repetition pace, 106%< LTHR, 7-10 RPE
Level 7 (L7) – Max Effort
Warm Up:
Jog easily (L1) for about 5 minutes as your systems wake up.
Main Set:
Run at Easy Intensity (L2) for the rest of the session.
Aim to focus on breathing and technique as you are running. In this session, it is key to hold the Easy Intensity whether you are going uphill or downhill or along the flat.
Cool Down:
Stretching and then compression and ice if necessary.

Sample Day 2

Key Run Workout #1 Week 1

10 minute warm-up
6 x (1 minute at key pace then 3 min. easy)
10 minute cool-down

Sample Day 3


Crosstrain - Bike, swim, walk with purpose for 30-45 minutes

Sample Day 4

Key Run Workout #2 Week 1

2 miles easy, 
2 miles @ Tempo pace
2 miles easy

Sample Day 6

Key Run Workout #3 Week 1

Distance: 8 miles 
Pace: PMP + 30 sec./mile

Sample Day 7


Crosstrain - Bike, swim, walk with purpose for 30-45 minutes

Sample Day 7

Weekly Update

To help with better understanding for the whole week (a Bigger picture) and to ensure that trends in qualitative data are also as consistent as quantitive data.

Please can you enter a set of metrics (weight, overall feeling, injury, soreness, HRV etc) to allow me to cross reference that against how you are doing.

Could you also please write in a short reflection on how you felt the week has gone.


(Once complete can you also ensure the 'completed session' has been filled on on the left.)

First Time Marathon Training Plan (18 Weeks)

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