28 Week Intermediate Marathon Training Plan (6 month)

This 28 week, or 6 month, marathon training plan involves 4 runs per week, along with 2 resistance training sessions. Even though it is not required that you do a marathon prior to this program, you should be able to run 45 minutes without stopping, and also be used to exercising on a regular basis. This plan would suit a 2:50-4:30 marathoner.

Sample Day 1
Use this day to look ahead, practice any drills you see, and famliarize yourself with the next few months, which will form the crux of your marathon prep.

Sample Day 3
Test

Go to a track. Warm-up easy jog 15-20 minutes. Subtract 20 beats from your blood lactate threshold, then run 1 mile (4 laps) at that number. Do not stop running, but split your lap at this point and record time, avg heart rate and rating of perceived exertion on a 1-10 scale during that first mile. Do this again for the second and third mile, staying at that aerobic heart rate range. Also record avg heart rate for the entire 3 miles. Cool-down run 10-20 minutes.

Sample Day 5
Test

Go to a track. Warm-up easy jog 15-20 minutes. Subtract 20 beats from your blood lactate threshold, then run 1 mile (4 laps) at that number. Do not stop running, but split your lap at this point and record time, avg heart rate and rating of perceived exertion on a 1-10 scale during that first mile. Do this again for the second and third mile, staying at that aerobic heart rate range. Also record avg heart rate for the entire 3 miles. Cool-down run 10-20 minutes.

Sample Day 7
Aerobic practice

Find track or open flat space. Warm-up 20 minutes, then run 2-3 miles with the heart rate as low as you can get it. Observe what type of changes you can make to your relaxation, your forward lean, you stride frequency and stride length, and arm movement to allow yourself to still run, without the heart rate rising up into Zone 4. Once you've figured it out, leave the flat space and run another 2-4 miles on a flat or slightly rolling course, continuing your easy gait. Cool-down jog 10-20 minutes.

Sample Day 8
Easy recovery jog.

Monday or Tuesday, complete easy recovery jog in Zones 1-2 for 45-60 minutes.

Sample Day 9
Multi-Sport Stability Ball Force

Superset all exercises in this routine, beginning with pushups to planks. The final exercise (the sit ups) will be done solo, with just 30 seconds rest after each set.

Sample Day 10
Strides

40-60 minute aerobic run in Zones 2-3. Every 4-6 minutes, include a "pick-up stride" of 20 to 30 seconds of fast running where your focus is on maintaining good running form and getting your feet UP off of the ground quickly. Strides get you out of the rut of always running slowly (plodding), without adding undue biomechanical stress or inducing too much fatigue.

Ben Greenfield
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Ben Greenfield

I coach groups, teams and individuals from around the world for triathlon, cycling, swimming, running, obstacle racing, adventure racing, bodybuilding, muscle gain, fat loss, anti-aging and cognitive performance.

A full list of my consultation, coaching and training services is at http://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, where you can see my concierge Ultimate coaching , and also 20 and 60 minute consultation and pre-written training and nutrition plans.