Marathon Training Plan (Intermediate - 20 Weeks)

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:22
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:22
Training Load By Week

Welcome to the WhittleFit 20-week marathon training plan. The plan is written for intermediate athletes (who have ran consistently in the past and have run at least a half marathon).

This plan is based around four to five runs per week, with one rest day and two days of strength & conditioning.

The plan starts with a base phase of ten weeks. The aim of this block of training is to establish your aerobic base. This phase will lay the foundations for you to increase the intensity and develop power and speed in the following eight week build phase. The plan then leads into your race with a two weeks peak phase.

You will undertake test weeks on week 1, 5, 9, 13 and 17. The overall training volume during these weeks is lower than the week previous. This is to allow some recovery from the previous block of training and freshen you up for the next block of progressive work.

The results from the test are used to create heart rate (HR) and / or pace zones. These intensity zones are used to guide you through training sessions to ensure you stress the body the correct amount during each session to get the desired overall training effect and strike the balance between stress and recovery.

Until you test and calculate training zones you can train using rate of perceived exertion (RPE). There is a guidance sheet attached on RPE.

Good luck with your marathon!

Sample Day 2
0:30:00
30.8TSS
Aerobic Run - RPE

A consistent run at a medium effort. Finish the final 5' easy to cool down. Do not look to work hard here, aim to finish feeling like you could run much further at this effort.

If using heart rate (HR) or pacing zones then look to average Z2. The test at the end of week 1 will establish these if you do not any to work off initially.

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
30.8TSS
Aerobic Run - RPE

A consistent run at a medium effort. Finish the final 5' easy to cool down. Do not look to work hard here, aim to finish feeling like you could run much further at this effort.

If using heart rate (HR) or pacing zones then look to average Z2. The test at the end of week 1 will establish these if you do not any to work off initially.

Sample Day 6
0:55:00
84.2TSS
LTHR / Pace Test - Run

Lactate Threshold Heart Rate Test or Threshold Pace Test. The results from this test are used to create your training intensity zones for HR and/or Pace. The zones make sure that we strike the right balance in your training so you can train consistently and progress. Retesting then tracks progress and re-calibrates your training zones.



Warm Up

20' thorough warm up. Build you effort gradually over the first 10 minutes. After 10 minutes Insert 6 x 40-60M efforts at above your goal test effort to really 'rev' up the engine. Take your time with the warm up so that you are ready to hit your goal pace for the test.


Test:


30' Best Effort. A Hard, controlled but uncomfortable effort. The last 10 minutes should be really challenging but you should be able to maintain your pace, just.


5'-10' Cool Down. Light running, walking and stretching.

Take your average HR for the final 20 minutes of the test. This is a good indication of your threshold HR.
Your average pace for the whole test is your threshold pace and can also be used to create pacing zones.

Click your name on the training peaks calendar then 'zones' and input the HR and pace values. Select the 'Joel Friel for running' method. Click 'Apply' and then 'Save.'

Sample Day 9
0:30:00
33.4TSS
Aerobic Run - HR or Pace.

A consistent run at a medium effort. Finish the final 5' easy to cool down. Do not look to work hard here, aim to finish feeling like you could run much further at this effort.

Using heart rate (HR) or pacing zones look to average Z2.

Sample Day 14
0:45:00
47.8TSS
Endurance Run - HR or Pace

The aim here is to build endurance, your ability to run consistently for a long time. Look to maintain good running form but do not try to run fast or hard.

Sample Day 34
0:55:00
84.2TSS
LTHR / Pace Test - Run

Lactate Threshold Heart Rate Test or Threshold Pace Test. The results from this test are used to create your training intensity zones for HR and/or Pace. The zones make sure that we strike the right balance in your training so you can train consistently and progress. Retesting then tracks progress and re-calibrates your training zones.



Warm Up

20' thorough warm up. Build you effort gradually over the first 10 minutes. After 10 minutes Insert 6 x 40-60M efforts at above your goal test effort to really 'rev' up the engine. Take your time with the warm up so that you are ready to hit your goal pace for the test.


Test:


30' Best Effort. A Hard, controlled but uncomfortable effort. The last 10 minutes should be really challenging but you should be able to maintain your pace, just.


5'-10' Cool Down. Light running, walking and stretching.

Take your average HR for the final 20 minutes of the test. This is a good indication of your threshold HR.
Your average pace for the whole test is your threshold pace and can also be used to create pacing zones.

Click your name on the training peaks calendar then 'zones' and input the HR and pace values. Select the 'Joel Friel for running' method. Click 'Apply' and then 'Save.'

Sample Day 39
0:47:00
57.7TSS
Sweet Spot - HR or Pace

Sweet spot sessions provide a good boost to your sustainable speed and power. Aim for consistent effort/pacing through the interval. Keep working through the recovery without letting the effort drop into Z1.

Mark Whittle
|
WhittleFit

Whoever you are and whatever your goals might be, WhittleFit are here to guide you on your triathlon and endurance sports journey. Our goal is to design and develop endurance training programs that really work for you, the individual.

We have plans available to you for:

  • Triathlon
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Strength Training