Marathon Plan - 16 weeks

Author

Matty Graham

All plans by this Coach

Length

16 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Other, 3 Day Off, 4 Run

Longest Workout

3:00 hrs

Plan Specs

running marathon beginner intermediate hr based

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Summary

This 16 week training plan has been designed for you if you are stepping up to the marathon distance for the first time or if you struggled through your first marathon and want to perform better next time.
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When it comes to training for a marathon there is so much mixed training advice.
The aim of this training plan is to give you clear and effective advice that will help you to

1) get to the start line with the confidence you have done the required training and
2) get to the finish line and achieve your goal.


This plan was designed in collaboration between Exponential Performance Coach Nick Taylor and Sport Scientist and Performance Coach Matty Graham.

Get an depth preview on the website HERE: https://www.exponentialperformancecoaching.com/marathon

Stats

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 04:37

Matty Graham

Exponential Performance Coaching

My name is Matty Graham, I live in Wanaka New Zealand.

My coaching aim is to provide effective sport science base training programmes and support to help athletes of all levels to perform at their peak and achieve their goals.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

1:00:00
Performance Testing Session

This session is designed to obtain some performance data from you that can be used to determine your personalised heart rate training zones and provide a baseline performance bench mark that you can check back on throughout your training build to monitor your performance gains.

Many heart rate monitors have built in calculations that will automatically calculate your heart rate training zones based on your age predicted maximal heart rate. These calculations are not always very accurate especially as athletes age, so it is recommended that you use the following protocol to determine your heart rate training zones.
Perform a good 20 min warm up. The first 10 min should be at a steady intensity, then perform 5 min HARD to prime your energy pathways and the final 5 min of your warm up should be easy.

Following the warm up, run on a flat course with low traffic and minimal interruptions as fast as you can for 30 min.

After starting, settle into the maximal sustainable intensity that you can maintain for the full 30 min.

After 10 min of running push the lap button on your heart rate monitor so you get an average heart rate for the final 20 min (as this is will give you the best steady state heart rate information to calculate your heart rate zones) if you do not have a lap function, just start your heart rate monitor recording 10 min into the trial.


Following the trial record all data, including distance completed in the 30 min, average speed, average heart rate for the final 20 min and record any other comments.

Following the TT perform an easy warm down and stretch.

See the training notes section for more details.

Sample Day 2

0:30:00
Active Recovery Run

As the name suggests this is a recovery session aimed to help loosen up your legs after or before hard sessions.

You should be running at a very easy pace clocking up the majority of your time in Zone 1-2.

Plan your run so you are on flat terrain and you should aim to finish this session feeling very fresh.

You will likely feel you are running extremely slow to keep your heart rate in Zone 1 and at the beginning of your training you may need to do short jog/walk blocks to keep your heart rate down.

It is ok if your heart rate drifts slightly up in to low zone 2 for s a short time but really work on keeping it down in zone 1.

Sample Day 3

0:45:00
Hill Run - Fasted

These sessions are a semi-structured run working on your strength endurance and threshold.

Get out and let the terrain dictate your work effort. Plan this run to take in a mixture of terrain.

Try and avoid prolonged climbs (>10 min) and instead choose a course that has multiple short climbs (< 5 min).

On the up hills, run at a hard Zone 4-5 intensity focusing on running tall and strong. Use the down hills as a time to recover.

FASTED SESSION NOTES
These sessions work best in the morning as you have fasted over night. Get up in the morning and do not eat breakfast before your run. If you are not able to train in the morning then try and fast for at least 2-4 hours before your afternoon run.

During your run refrain from consuming any food or liquid calories. You will likely find you will become ‘flat’ after about 90 min of running but from this point is where the biggest gains can potentially be made.

Always carry some high carbohydrate snacks and/or fluids with you to get you home if you ‘hit the wall’ completely. If you start to hit the wall, fuel up and push through to the end of your session.

It is critical that following these sessions that you nail your recovery nutrition to maximise your adaptations to these sessions. This is an advanced training method an should not be attempted by those athletes unaccustomed to long run or those with conditions the impair blood glucose regulation.

See the nutrition guide for more information about these fasted sessions.

Sample Day 5

0:50:00
Tempo Run - 20/20/10

Tempo runs are designed to increase your body's ability to hold higher sustainable race speeds. These sessions are structured around changing your intensity at different time throughout the run.

For todays run:

20 min steady zone 2
20 min tempo zone 3
10 min warm down

In this session start out at an easy Zone 1 intensity building to Zone 2 as you warm up.

Following 20 min of this steady running you would step your intensity up to Zone 3 holding a strong tempo effort for 20 min. In the final 10 minutes of this session you would slow your intensity to Zone 2 and then Zone 1 as you warm down for 10 min.

Sample Day 6

1:15:00
Long Run - Fasted

These sessions should be performed at a steady conversational pace spending the majority of your time in Zone 2. With the aim of gradually building up your aerobic base and body's ability to run for prolonged periods of time.


Try and perform as much of this run off road on garden paths, trails and grass verges as possible to help decrease the risk of overuse and repetitive impact injury



FASTED SESSION NOTES
These sessions work best in the morning as you have fasted over night. Get up in the morning and do not eat breakfast before your run. If you are not able to train in the morning then try and fast for at least 2-4 hours before your afternoon run.

During your run refrain from consuming any food or liquid calories. You will likely find you will become ‘flat’ after about 90 min of running but from this point is where the biggest gains can potentially be made.

Always carry some high carbohydrate snacks and/or fluids with you to get you home if you ‘hit the wall’ completely. If you start to hit the wall, fuel up and push through to the end of your session.

It is critical that following these sessions that you nail your recovery nutrition to maximise your adaptations to these sessions. This is an advanced training method an should not be attempted by those athletes unaccustomed to long run or those with conditions the impair blood glucose regulation.

See the nutrition guide for more information about these fasted sessions.

Sample Day 8

1:00:00
Steady State Run -Fasted

During these runs aim to run at a steady intensity aiming to spend the majority of your time in Zone 2.

Your heart rate may drift up into Zone 3 at times on hills but work on spending the majority of your time in Zone 2.

These sessions should be slow enough so you can go for the planned time relatively comfortable and are designed to let your body gradually get use to running for that period of time.

You should finish these sessions feeling relatively fresh and wanting to do more.

FASTED SESSION NOTES
These sessions work best in the morning as you have fasted over night. Get up in the morning and do not eat breakfast before your run. If you are not able to train in the morning then try and fast for at least 2-4 hours before your afternoon run.

During your run refrain from consuming any food or liquid calories. You will likely find you will become ‘flat’ after about 90 min of running but from this point is where the biggest gains can potentially be made.

Always carry some high carbohydrate snacks and/or fluids with you to get you home if you ‘hit the wall’ completely. If you start to hit the wall, fuel up and push through to the end of your session.

It is critical that following these sessions that you nail your recovery nutrition to maximise your adaptations to these sessions. This is an advanced training method an should not be attempted by those athletes unaccustomed to long run or those with conditions the impair blood glucose regulation.

See the nutrition guide for more information about these fasted sessions.

Sample Day 9

0:30:00
Active Recovery Run

As the name suggests this is a recovery session aimed to help loosen up your legs after or before hard sessions.

You should be running at a very easy pace clocking up the majority of your time in Zone 1-2.

Plan your run so you are on flat terrain and you should aim to finish this session feeling very fresh.

You will likely feel you are running extremely slow to keep your heart rate in Zone 1 and at the beginning of your training you may need to do short jog/walk blocks to keep your heart rate down.

It is ok if your heart rate drifts slightly up in to low zone 2 for s a short time but really work on keeping it down in zone 1.

Marathon Plan - 16 weeks

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