Sub 2h40 marathon plan in 15 weeks

Author

Erich Felbabel

All plans by this Coach

Length

15 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Day Off, 5 Run

Longest Workout

26.22 miles

Plan Specs

running marathon advanced time goal pace based

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Summary

This program is for serious runners with several Marathons and Half-Marathons under their belt.

If you've been running 2h45 or 2h50 marathons...and would like to break through the 2h40 barrier....then it is for you.

On a 5 sessions per week (2 recovery days usually Monday and Friday). 3 aerobic runs per week and 2 specific runs (intervals or threshold runs, and long runs).

Averaging between 65 and 85 km per week. Actually not that much compared to some other programs or athletes running 2h40.

The program is built over a 15-week period to build up a strong aerobic and anaerobic base for Marathon running.

Feel free to give it a try and post comment if it helped you achieve a PB.

Happy training & healthy running!

Stats

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 05:30

Erich Felbabel

I coach athletes in TRIATHLON, CYCLING and (trail) RUNNING.
Helping them to achieve their goals (Kona qualifications, PB).

Most coaching material comes from my own experience (racing at elite level in long distance triathlon under some great coaches between 2008 and 2012).

Inspirational coaches that deeply impact(ed) the way I look at coaching & racing: Arthur Lydiard, Jack Daniels, Joe Friel, Bret Sutton, Brad Hudson, Gregoire Millet, Matt Fitzgerald, Denis Riché and many others!

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

0:56:00
8.08mi
Aerobic run

Easy aerobic run
Slightly hilly preferred

Finish by 6 fast lanes at the end
(i.e. not sprinting! Walk...and accelerate slowly within 20-30 meters, then decelerate over 20-30 meters and walk again for 30 seconds to 1min)

Pace: 4'15 to 4'30
(slower if needed)

It must feel easy
AEROBIC (Can discuss with somebody without any problem)
Don't push

Sample Day 2

1:15:00
9.32mi
Short intervals on the track (400m)

3km warmup at 4'15 to 4'30

10x 400m in 1'12 with 400m recovery jogs

3km cool down at 4'15 to 4'30

If this is new to you (i.e. short 400m reps...) take it easy and run them in 1'15 or 1'20 at first...Maybe do only 4 or 6 reps total.

This track session is very demanding on the body! Don't underestimate it. And it is better to cut it short or slower early in the program.

Sample Day 3

0:56:00
8.08mi
Aerobic run

Easy aerobic run
Slightly hilly preferred

Finish by 6 fast lanes at the end
(i.e. not sprinting! Walk...and accelerate slowly within 20-30 meters, then decelerate over 20-30 meters and walk again for 30 seconds to 1min)

Pace: 4'15 to 4'30
(slower if needed)

It must feel easy
AEROBIC (Can discuss with somebody without any problem)
Don't push

Sample Day 5

1:20:00
11.18mi
Long run at Marathon pace

3km warm up at 4'15 to 4'30
15km at 3'43 pace

(Sub 2h40 marathon is slightly below 3'48 pace per km...Often your long run will be faster than this pace. However to make it worth, you do not want to be too fast...especially so early in the program you may not be in race fitness! Feel free to run it at 3'50 or 3'55... it is still a real long effort)

Sample Day 6

1:00:00
7.46mi
Easy aerobic run

12 to 13km
One hour or less

Easy day

Choice of place

Stay aerobic at all times

Sample Day 8

0:56:00
8.08mi
Aerobic run

Easy aerobic run
Slightly hilly preferred

Finish by 6 fast lanes at the end
(i.e. not sprinting! Walk...and accelerate slowly within 20-30 meters, then decelerate over 20-30 meters and walk again for 30 seconds to 1min)

Pace: 4'15 to 4'30
(slower if needed)

It must feel easy
AEROBIC (Can discuss with somebody without any problem)
Don't push

Sample Day 9

1:45:00
9.94mi
Short reps

Focus here is on the technique rather than pace
Get the legs moving
Aiming for 180 cadence (or 90 counting only 1 foot). To be honest, you may be at 80, 85, 90 already... it depends a lot on your size and weight and experience in running. Basically 90+ is the best place, shorter contact times...but a heavy weight runner might be fine at 80 too. The key is to stay at this cadence during the whole marathon despite fatigue kicking in.

3km warm up at 4'15 to 4'30 pace

4x (600m - 500m - 400m - 300m - 200m)
Pace is from 10k pace down to 1500m race pace on the 200m - building

Key is to have same splits across the 4 reps for each runs

Take 2min between reps (walking/resting)
& 5min between sets

2km cool down

Sub 2h40 marathon plan in 15 weeks

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