Sportstest 16 weeks to Marathon. Saturday race, club runner with target 3:30-4:00

Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 05:45

This is a 16 week training plan designed for club runners and those targeting a 3:30 to 4 hour road marathon and has been prepared by Dr Garry Palmer

Over the period of 112 days, the plan firstly builds training volume, then adds in a significant level of threshold running and ends with a 3 week taper. The taper in achieved by reducing both volume and duration of the sessions, whilst maintaining intensity. It is designed to get you to the start line in the best possible shape, and carefully takes consideration of overload and recovery.

The plan is best targeting to runners who have been running a minimum of 40 km (25 miles) per week for at least the previous 4-8 weeks in a preparation phase. It also assumes they will have previously undertaken at least 2 long steady runs over one hour duration.

The plan uses a combination of target distance (for interval sessions) but is focused on using heart rate based zone running (for longer aerobic efforts), but the athlete can easily switch these metrics to use the plan as duration based or pace based training sessions.

The plan is suitable for any road based marathon. However, please note, it assumes that race day is on a SUNDAY. The plan can be reused for future races.

The sessions prescribed are based on Dr Palmers book Elite Performance Running; From Middle Distance to Marathon

PLEASE NOTE: The weekly and average weekly training hours shown in the summary are incorrect as TrainingPeaks fails to account for the duration of the intensity sessions. This will be corrected when you add your personal metrics for threshold heart rate and threshold pace. Apologies. :-)

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Roll and Stretch

As you get stronger you will also get stiffer. It is really important you maintain mobility and are fully aware of any niggles that could potentially hamper your performance. Get on top of them before they halt you in your tracks!

If in doubt get advice from a Sports Physiotherapist who has experience of working with runners, and get them to show you some specific stretches that are relevant to you.

Sample Day 2
0:45:00
41TSS
Steady endurance 45 mins

The bread and butter of your fitness is to develop the best cardiovascular fitness possible. These sessions may (at first) appear tedious, but holding a fixed heart rate will ensure you get an excellent whole body work out. This session is not too long so you should recover fairly quickly from it.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
54TSS
Steady endurance 60 mins

The bread and butter of your fitness is to develop the best cardiovascular fitness possible. These sessions may (at first) appear tedious, but holding a fixed heart rate will ensure you get an excellent whole body work out. An hour will give you a great workout, without being too demanding on the system, so these are really beneficial to your fitness.

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
Roll and Stretch

As you get stronger you will also get stiffer. It is really important you maintain mobility and are fully aware of any niggles that could potentially hamper your performance. Get on top of them before they halt you in your tracks!

If in doubt get advice from a Sports Physiotherapist who has experience of working with runners, and get them to show you some specific stretches that are relevant to you.

Sample Day 5
0:45:00
41TSS
Steady endurance 45 mins

The bread and butter of your fitness is to develop the best cardiovascular fitness possible. These sessions may (at first) appear tedious, but holding a fixed heart rate will ensure you get an excellent whole body work out. This session is not too long so you should recover fairly quickly from it.

Sample Day 7
1:30:00
80TSS
Steady endurance 90 mins

The bread and butter of your fitness is to develop the best cardiovascular fitness possible. These sessions may (at first) appear tedious, but holding a fixed heart rate will ensure you get an excellent whole body work out. At the end of the session your legs will know they have worked, but with good post-exercise recovery practices you should recover really quickly.

Sample Day 8
0:30:00
Roll and Stretch

As you get stronger you will also get stiffer. It is really important you maintain mobility and are fully aware of any niggles that could potentially hamper your performance. Get on top of them before they halt you in your tracks!

If in doubt get advice from a Sports Physiotherapist who has experience of working with runners, and get them to show you some specific stretches that are relevant to you.