BEYOND TRAINING: 20 Week "Polarized" Marathon Training Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 07:10
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 07:10
Training Load By Week

This "Polarized Training" plan is based on the healthy training concepts that Ben Greenfield teaches in his book "Beyond Training" and also in the article at http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/03/best-ways-to-build-endurance/

It relies on the 80/20 principle, Maffetone style training, and an emphasis on high quality aerobic efficiency and economy to allow for optimum endurance building and marathon preparation without doing lasting damage to the body.

This 20 week (5 month) plan is perfect if you are a beginner to advanced runner who has ample amounts of time to train (15-25 hours per week), would rather focus on long distance training rather than high intensity intervals, and also want to ensure you stay completely healthy in the process of pursuing your endurance goals.

Sample Day 1
0:45:00
45 Min Run - Aerobic Pace

Steady aerobic run at your MAF pace - Take 5-10 min to slowly build HR to target rate and cooldown 5-10 min at end of run.

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Strength Workout A - Marathon Phase 1 (Stability)

Workout A) Complete 3 Rounds in Circuit Form (after completing all reps in exercise "A1", move to exercise A2) A1) Bird Dogs x 8E A2) Dead Bugs x 8E A3) Side Plank Hold x 20 sec E Complete 3 Rounds in Circuit Form (after completing all reps in exercise "A1", move to exercise A2) B1) Pushup x 8-12 B2) Band Row x 8-12 B3) Single Leg RDL with Reach x 8-12 E

Sample Day 2
0:30:00
30 Min Run - Aerobic Pace

Steady aerobic run at your MAF pace - Take 5-10 min to slowly build HR to target rate and cooldown 5-10 min at end of run.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
60 Min Run - Aerobic Pace

Steady aerobic run at your MAF pace - Take 5-10 min to slowly build HR to target rate and cooldown 5-10 min at end of run.

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Strength Workout B - Marathon Phase 1 (Stability)

Workout B) Complete 3 Rounds in Circuit Form (after completing all reps in exercise "A1", move to exercise A2) A1) Mini Band Lateral Walks x 15 A2) Mini Band Monster Walks x 15 A3) Glute Bridge x 15 Complete 3 Rounds in Circuit Form (after completing all reps in exercise "B1", move to exercise B2) B1) Goblet Squat (mini band resisted just above knees) x 8 B2) Band Horizontal Woodchops x 8 E B3) Single Leg RDL (bodyweight) x 8 E

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
RECOVERY DAY #1

Recovery Day! Do 1 of these 2 Options: 1) Get a Massage - Find a local sports massage therapist who understands the demands that marathon training takes on the body. 2) Foam Roll and Mobility Protocol: How to foam roll: Lay on a soft surface with your foam roller and apply pressure to each tender area of the body for 20-30 seconds or until you feel a "release" of about 70% of the discomfort. On a scale from 1-10 (1 being easy and 10 being excruciating pain) you should feel about 6-7. Most foam rollers are not hard enough, so be sure to get one with appropriate stiffness for your level. I recommend "the grid" or "rumble roller". Quality foam rollers can be found at www.performbetter.com Foam Roll the following areas: Thoracic Spine Latissimus Dorsi Pectorals Quadriceps IT Band Adductors Calves Peroneals Dynamic Stretching Mobility Routine: Complete 2-3 rounds through: Front Leg Swings x 20 each Side Leg Swings x 20 each Walking Lunge with Side Reach x 5 each Lateral Lunge x 5 each Walking Cradle Stretch x 5 each side Inchworms x 5 Worlds Greatest Stretch x 5 each side

Sample Day 5
0:30:00
30 Min Run - Aerobic Pace

Steady aerobic run at your MAF pace - Take 5-10 min to slowly build HR to target rate and cooldown 5-10 min at end of run.

Ben Greenfield
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Ben Greenfield

I coach groups, teams and individuals from around the world for triathlon, cycling, swimming, running, obstacle racing, adventure racing, bodybuilding, muscle gain, fat loss, anti-aging and cognitive performance.

A full list of my consultation, coaching and training services is at http://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, where you can see my concierge Ultimate coaching , and also 20 and 60 minute consultation and pre-written training and nutrition plans.