Run a sub 4:00 marathon- 16 week marathon plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 06:33
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 06:33
Training Load By Week

This is a 16 week marathon training plan designed for a runner who has a goal of completing the race in under 4 hours. This plan is designed using traditional training periodization with 3 building weeks followed by 1 recovery week. Within the progression of each block of training, the purpose of the long run advances. This plan includes speedwork, tempo runs, and active recovery sessions.

Included in this plan are 4-5 runs each week. The weekly mileage starts at 27 and works up to a peak of 49. Wednesdays are used for recovery days and Saturday is your long run. Every Sunday is an optional crosstraining day.

This plan also includes strength training twice a week for the first 8 weeks of the plan. These will be exercises that you can do at home or in a small gym which don't require the use of much equipment.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
6.5mi
Baseline 5k run test

Warm up for a minimum of 20 minutes including several short accelerations. Then run 5k on a track or measured course at race pace. Record your total time, average pace, and average HR. Your average HR will be your LTHR for future workouts and your average pace will be your Threshold pace for future workouts.

Sample Day 4
0:40:00
Core Strength Routine #1

Walk for 5 minutes, then use a foam roller on your hamstrings, quadriceps, calfs, and IT bands. Pictures of these exercises are located under the attachment tab (paper clip icon) when looking at this in Training Peaks. Then do the following exercises: #1 Crunches - 3 sets of 15-25 #2 Lying Back extention - 3 sets of 10-15 #3 Plank - 3 sets of :20-:40 seconds #4 Bananna - 3 sets of :20-:40 seconds #5 Jacknife with ball - 2-3 sets of 10-12 #6 Slow swim with ball - alternating arm/leg 3 sets of 10-12

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
6.5mi
Work uphills, zones 1-3 - Force

Run a hilly course. Heart rate in zones 2-3 on uphills. Otherwise heart rate/pace in zones 1-2. Avoid heart rate zones/pace 4-5. Take it easy on the downhills.

Sample Day 6
2:15:00
14mi
BASE Long run

Warm up for 15 minutes including some short surges. Then 115 minutes at 9:00-9:15. Do not exceed zone 2 effort!!! 15 minute cooldown.

Sample Day 7
0:45:00
Crosstrain Day

Today is a crosstrain workout. Choose any activity that is not weight bearing. Examples are cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, etc. Maintain an aerobic pace throughout your session.

Sample Day 9
0:40:00
Core Strength Routine #1

Walk for 5 minutes, then use a foam roller on your hamstrings, quadriceps, calfs, and IT bands. Pictures of these exercises are located under the attachment tab (paper clip icon) when looking at this in Training Peaks. Then do the following exercises: #1 Crunches - 3 sets of 15-25 #2 Lying Back extention - 3 sets of 10-15 #3 Plank - 3 sets of :20-:40 seconds #4 Bananna - 3 sets of :20-:40 seconds #5 Jacknife with ball - 2-3 sets of 10-12 #6 Slow swim with ball - alternating arm/leg 3 sets of 10-12

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
6.5mi
Cru intervals, 8 min

BT: Cruise intervals. Warm-up well. Then do 3-4 x 6 minutes. Build to pace, 8:15-8:30 (2 minute recoveries). Relaxed form! Listen to breathing.

Scott Iott
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Training Bible

Specializing in endurance athletes : triathletes, cyclists, runners as well as swimmers.

Specializing in endurance athletes : triathletes, cyclists, runners as well as swimmers.