Advanced 24-Wk Marathon Training Plan - Power-Based

Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 02:18

This is an advanced marathon training plan for an athlete that is interested in setting a personal best and/or being competitive within their age group or overall ranking. This training plan is prescribed and individualized based on run power, run pace, heart rate, and Rating of Perceived Exertion (1-10 scale) and assumes that an athlete has the equipment necessary to run. This training plan includes a mixture of road running, resistance training performed in a gym, and cross-training (other aerobic activities of the athletes' choice). An athlete should have experience racing marathons and should have a well-developed level of fitness before participating in this training plan, including at least 18-24 months of consistently running at least 5-6 times per week with a mixture of both aerobic running and speed-work. Additionally, it is recommended that the athlete have performed strength training on at least 1-2 days per week over the past 18-24 months, or at least have a basic foundation of strength upon which to build with strength training as this training plan includes a progression of heavy strength training and plyometrics. Finally, it is recommended that the athlete has the ability and basic competency to run without pain.

Note: When viewing the weekly training volume preview on TrainingPeaks, keep in mind this training plan includes both a mixture of time-based sessions and distance-based sessions; so the weekly training volume will be expressed in terms of both time and distance.

This training plan comes with a few documents/resources that will prove useful to athletes while following. along to the prescribed plan:
1. Instructional Booklet - Contains basic educational and background material that will help the athlete successfully complete the training plan and learn about the training process
2. Exercise Technique Guidebook - Contains pictures and descriptions of over 80 exercises that will help the athlete successfully complete training sessions prescribed within the plan
athlete successfully complete training sessions prescribed within the plan
3. Training & Racing Zones Chart - This will be useful in documenting your run power, pace & heart rate zones to be used during training and racing; these zones will bet set by performing tests regularly throughout the training plan

Basic equipment needed to successfully complete the run sessions within this training plan include:
-running shoes
-run-specific power meter (Polar, Stryd, etc.)
-proper run clothing and attire
-GPS run watch
-heart rate monitor (chest strap or arm strap is ideal over wrist-based heart rate monitors on watches)

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Run-Specific Threshold Power (TPo), Pace (TPa) and Heart Rate (THR) Test

Threshold Power (TPo)/Pace (TPa) is typically defined as the maximal power/pace that can be maintained for ~60 min, and it is closely related to lactate threshold. Threshold heart rate (THR) is the maximum heart rate you can sustain for ~60 minutes and is also related to your lactate threshold.

Lactate is a by-product of anaerobic energy metabolism during exercise, and lactate threshold is the point at which lactate accumulates in the blood at an exponential rate during exercise, leading to fatigue if that effort is sustained much longer. The following video describes lactate threshold, as well as VO2 max, in a little more detail:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O__oZjw8Ljc

Determining TPo/TPa/THR is important for a) setting power and heart rate training zones and b) tracking progress over time by repeating this test. In order to determine TPa/THR, perform the following

1. Warm-up for 5-10 min, building speed slowly until you get close to your estimated threshold run effort

2. Perform a 20-minute time trial in which you aim to achieve the fastest possible power, pace or furthest possible distance over the 20 minutes
*Your average power for the 20-minute time trial multiplied by 0.95 is your run-specific TPo.Your average speed for the 20-minute time trial multiplied by 0.95 is your run-specific TPa. Your average heart rate for the 20-minute time trial multiplied by 0.95 is your run-specific THR.

3. Perform a 5-10 min cool-down, running at a very easy pace, walking if you need to

After performing this test, open up the "Training & Racing Zones" spreadsheet attached to this training session. Calculate your TPo, TPa & THR zones based on the results of this test.

Finally, update your training zones in Training Peaks by going to your profile settings. If you are not sure how to do this, click on the following link to learn how: https://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/204073584-How-to-Set-your-Thresholds-and-Calculate-your-Zones

Sample Day 2
3mi
Easy Recovery Run

This is an easy run to promote recovery; this type of run should feel slow. Be sure to slow yourself down if you see your pace or heart rate drifting higher and higher throughout the run.

For run training sessions in this plan, you will notice that they are prescribed to you based on both a pace range (min/mile) and Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE). However, it will be useful for you to look at your heart rate profile after completing run workouts to make sure that you maintained an average heart rate or spent most of your time at a heart rate that is associated with the purpose of the session. For example, in a recovery session, you would want to see your heart rate for the session stay in the recovery zone that was established in your TrainingPeaks profile after performing your run test yesterday. For a long, slow distance run, you would want to see that you maintained a heart rate in the aerobic zone. Looking at your heart rate profile after a session can be a useful way to see if adjustments to intensity or effort level need to be made.

Also, I would HIGHLY recommend getting into the habit of doing 5-10 minutes of static stretching after every single run session. This is simply a good habit to get into and can help you from getting too tight. Injuries are not necessarily caused just by having tight muscles, but tightness across muscles and joints can lead to you compensating with improper run technique, and this can ultimately lead to injury.

Take a look in the Exercise Technique Guidebook and choose some stretches to work on after each run session. I would recommend focusing on the hips, gluten, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and shoulder girdle.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
Total-Body Strength Training - Strength Focus - Advanced 1

The purpose of this session is to build strength in more complex movement patterns and to develop a strong foundation of strength upon which to build on in more advanced power-focused sessions.

Warm-Up
-5 min light aerobic activity (walking, light jog, etc.)
-your choice of 5-6 dynamic stretching exercises (see Exercise Technique Guidebook)

Main Set
Perform the following exercises one-by-one with 2 min of rest between sets:

-BB deadlift 4 x 5 reps
superset w/
Cable core rotations 3 x 15 reps e/ side

-DB incline chest press 4 x 5 reps
superset w/
Exercise-ball knee tucks 3 x 30,45,60 sec

-Step-ups (onto box/bench) 4 x 5 reps
superset w/
-DB rear-delt flies 4 x 10 reps

Cool-Down
-your choice of 5-6 static stretching exercises, hold each for 1 set of 30-60 sec

Sample Day 4
6mi
LSD Aerobic Run

This is a steady aerobic run at an effort level of RPE 5-6. Keep this run steady and conversational, but a bit faster than your easy recovery pace.

Sample Day 5
0:30:00
36TSS
Easy Recovery Run + 10x30 Sec Strides - PWR

The purpose of this run is to get the leg speed turning over and to promote recovery. The strides are short efforts in which you build up your speed to a near sprint. Take 30 seconds of walking between each stride to let yourself fully recover.

Sample Day 6
8mi
LSD Aerobic Run - Strength Run Optional

This is a steady aerobic run at an effort level of RPE 5-6. Keep this run steady and conversational, but a bit faster than your easy recovery pace.

If you have access to hills in your area, feel free to include some hills for this run as running hills at an aerobic pace will help develop overall strength and durability in your legs, leading to you being able to hold together form and effort level longer and deeper into races. This is optional as not everyone has access to hills, but if you do, I would recommend including some hills throughout your long runs. Remember, however, that just because you are adding in hills, you want to work on pacing yourself up and down the hills to keep this run aerobic.

Sample Day 7
3mi
Easy Recovery Run

This is an easy run to promote recovery; this type of run should feel slow. Be sure to slow yourself down if you see your pace or heart rate drifting higher and higher throughout the run.

Ryan Eckert, MS, CSCS
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