Active4Life Marathon - Sub 4 hour Plan

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week

This marathon plan is designed for runners who currently run 30 to 40 kilometers and whose goal is to complete the marathon distance in less than 4 hours. The plan starts 18 weeks before your goal marathon. You should have at least one year of running experience before starting the programme and should be have the capacity to train at least 4 days and 50 – 60 kilometers per week. To run a sub 4 hour marathon you should be able to run a half marathon in about 1 hour 55 minutes and a 10km in about 52 minutes. (These are estimates only that serve as a guide to your marathon potential).

Sample Day 2
3.73mi
Light Run

Run at a comfortable pace. This is only the start of the programme and you don't want to kill yourself on the first day! Your pace should be easy enough that you are able to talk and you should feel you could carry on at the end if you had to.

Sample Day 4
3.73mi
Light Run

Very easy run. Again resist any temptation to do more than the schedule says. It is still a long journey.

Sample Day 5
3.73mi
Light Run

Run at conversation pace.

Sample Day 7
9.32mi
Long Slow Distance (LSD)

LSD runs are all about time on your feet and not pace. If you need to walk then you may, but make sure it is a brisk walk and try to limit your walk to minute. In the beginning you might want to try a run/walk strategy of run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute.
Also keep the pace at an effort where you can still talk and resist the urge to push hard, even if feeling good.

Sample Day 9
4.97mi
Light Run

We are still taking it very easy.
Run at talking pace.

17 Weeks still to go. Resist any panic to rush your training.

Sample Day 10
4.97mi
Light Run

Run at talking pace

Sample Day 12
3.73mi
Steady Run

Start out easy. During the run build the effort to where you are going hard enough that conversation is difficult, yet easy enough that you can get a few words out. The run should leave you feeling a good tired, but not totally exhausted.

80-85% Effort

Kathleen Shuttleworth
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Active4Life

With over 12 years of coaching experience and 30 years competitive athletic experience, Coach Kathleen offers customised training programs designed to suit each runner's individual needs. Whether you are a beginner, seasoned veteran, weekend warrior or racing snake.

Coach Kathleen is a well known specialist in developing young endurance athletes . Age specific junior squad training is offered all year round in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa.