System Endurance - Executive Marathon Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 04:49
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 04:49
Training Load By Week

A science-based and minimalist 5-month marathon training plan catering to busy athletes of all levels (beginners, intermediate, advanced).

The plan follows the "quality over quantity" philosophy I've put in practice with top-level athletes.

Such a plan allows you to get ready for a marathon without sacrificing sleep, career or family.

Athletes following similar plans I've created have performed competitively at Ironman races on less than 10 hours of training per week (vs 15-20hrs for a typical Ironman training plan).

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Aerobic Run

Purpose: intro to long-distance running. Fat adaptation.

Run in Heart Rate Zone 2 ONLY.

Level 1: 20min as 4min run / 1min walk

Level 2: 30min as 9min run / 1min walk

Level 3: 40min run

NOTES:
- Do this preferably in the morning and on an empty stomach (black coffee or tea are ok)
- Run outdoors if possible
- Start at a very easy jog pace, and let your heart rate naturally rise to Zone 2 gradually
- Hydrate well
- Stay relaxed, breath deeply, and focus on keeping your shoulders loose
- Nice short and quick steps

Sample Day 3
0:45:00
Easy Strength Workout

Purpose: intro to strength training basics. You will be sore after this workout, but you will gradually get used to it over the coming weeks.

**WARMUP**
- 5min Row or jog
- 5min elliptical or jumping jacks

**MAIN SET**

Level 1: 2 rounds
Level 2: 3 rounds
Level 3: 4 rounds

Air Squats x30
- Squats without any weight
- Go all the way down
- Push with your HEEL to stand back up
- Nice and controlled

Rest for 2min

Push-ups x10
- On your toes or knees
- Keep your core tight and your body in a straight line
- Go all the way down until your chest lightly touches the ground, before going back up
- Go up all the way on each rep

Rest for 2min

Walking Lunges x20
- Make your steps as long as possible
- Don't slouch, keep your upper body straight and eyes forward
- Knee to the ground on each step

Rest for 2min

Lat Pull-Down Machine x15
- Use a weight that allows you to do 10-15 reps
- Keep core tight and pull the bar towards your upper chest, hold for 2 seconds and go back up controlled

Butterfly Sit-Ups x20
- Sit down on the ground
- Put the soles of your feet against each other and heels close to your crotch
- Keep your feet against each other when "sitting up"
- Sit-up all the way, touch your toes with your fingers, then go back all the way down

Rest for 2min, then repeat the whole series as per your Level.

NOTES:
- It's fine to do this first thing in the morning in a fasted state if you feel that you have energy
- It's also fine to have a small snack (e.g. banana) before the workout
- It's important to eat some protein and a little carbs within 1 hour of this workout

Sample Day 3
0:10:00
Mobility: Shoulder Mobility Routine

Purpose: This is critical to maintain shoulder flexibility and avoid muscular imbalances which lead to nerve issues / pain.

You will need a PVC pipe/broomstick. Notes below.

- 5x Full neck/head rotation: repeat twice
- 5x forward shoulder rotation
- 5x backward shoulder rotation
- 15x forward arm swings (left)
- 15x forward arm swings (right)
- 15x backward arm swings (left)
- 15x forward arm swings (right)
- 20x forward windmill
- 20x backward windmill
- 5x PVC push, pull, crossover
- 5x per side: PVC figure 8
- 5x PVC good morning or overhead hold
- 10x PVC overhead squats

NOTES:
- When using PVC, as you get more flexible you will be able to narrow your grip.

Shoulder Rotation:
- Arms loose and dangling by your side
- Rotate your shoulder by shrugging and rotating as far forward/backward as you can

Windmill:
- Similar to arm swings but using both arms in an alternating manner
- Imagine someone trying to swim freestyle in a terrible manner! :)

Push, Pull, Crossover:
- Hold PVC with wide grip and keep elbows locked
- Hold PVC overhead
- Push PVC away from you (as if you're trying to pull it apart)
- Pull PVC towards you (as if you're trying to bend it)
- Drop your arms behind your back, then bring them back to the front.
- That's 1 rep

PVC Figure 8
- Hold PVC with wide grip in front of you
- Without changing your hands on the PVC, bring ONE arm overhead until the PVC is behind you
- Bring the other arm overhead to get back to the starting position
- That's 1 rep
PVC Good morning
- Put the PVC on your shoulders behind your neck (as if you're doing a squat)
- Rest your wrists on top of the PVC
- Keep back arched, bend over until you feel the stretch in your shoulders

PVC Overhead
- Same as good morning but instead of putting the bar on your shoulders, you're holding it overhead and trying to keep it as high as possible as you bend over
PVC Overhead Squat
- Hold PVC with wide grip, overhead, elbows locked, arms as far as as possible
- Squat down without letting arms come forward

Sample Day 5
0:30:00
Aerobic Run

Purpose: intro to long-distance running. Fat adaptation.

Run in Heart Rate Zone 2 ONLY.

Level 1: 20min as 4min run / 1min walk

Level 2: 30min as 9min run / 1min walk

Level 3: 40min run

NOTES:
- Do this preferably in the morning and on an empty stomach (black coffee or tea are ok)
- Run outdoors if possible
- Start at a very easy jog pace, and let your heart rate naturally rise to Zone 2 gradually
- Hydrate well
- Stay relaxed, breath deeply, and focus on keeping your shoulders loose
- Nice short and quick steps

Sample Day 6
0:19:59
Balance & Stability

Purpose: to develop those small stabilizer muscles which will help you maintain good posture, keep injury away, and feel healthier overall.

Option 1: Yoga session with balancing focus
Option 2: see below.

(See bottom of note for instructions)

- Bosu Ball Squat: 3x10
- Swiss Ball/TRX lunge: 3x10
- Single-leg deadlift: 3x10
- Single leg hop 3x10

NOTES:
*Bosu Ball Squat*
- Bosu ball is the gym item that looks like half a sphere
- Put the Bosu Ball plastic side up close to a wall
- Stand with your feet close to the edges in the middle of the plastic circle
- SLOWLY drop in a squat until your hips are parallel to the floor
- Pause and stabilize yourself, then stand back up
- Maintain good form, knees should never go in front of toes / head high / back arched

*Swiss Ball/TRX Lunge*
- Rest the top of your back foot either on top of a medium size Swiss Ball or in the loop of a TRX
- Get into a lunge position, do not let your knee go in front of your toes, catch your balance
- Contract your glutes and explode back up, catch your balance and go again
- Switch sides

*Single leg deadlift*
- Stand with arms by your side and feet shoulder width apart
- Put your hands on your waist, keep your shoulders back, lower back arched
- SLOWLY: start bending at the waist, lifting 1 leg behind you without bending your knee, dropping your chest. By the end of the movement, your chest and leg should be in a straight line and both parallel to the ground
- Hold, catch your balance, contract your glutes and slowly go back up
- Repeat for the other side
- To Make it harder: fully extend 1 or both arms above your heard during the movement, at the bottom of the movement, tap the ground with your fingers on the outside, middle and inside of your foot

*Single leg hop*
Do this barefoot.
- Stand with arms by your side and feet shoulder width apart
- Raise one foot off the ground and keep it there for the entire set
- Stabilize yourself, then do a little hop, then catch your balance and repeat (all on the same foot)
- Switch sides

Sample Day 7
0:45:00
Easy Strength Workout

Purpose: intro to strength training basics. You will be sore after this workout, but you will gradually get used to it over the coming weeks.

**WARMUP**
- 5min Row or jog
- 5min elliptical or jumping jacks

**MAIN SET**

Level 1: 2 rounds
Level 2: 3 rounds
Level 3: 4 rounds

Air Squats x30
- Squats without any weight
- Go all the way down
- Push with your HEEL to stand back up
- Nice and controlled

Rest for 2min

Push-ups x10
- On your toes or knees
- Keep your core tight and your body in a straight line
- Go all the way down until your chest lightly touches the ground, before going back up
- Go up all the way on each rep

Rest for 2min

Walking Lunges x20
- Make your steps as long as possible
- Don't slouch, keep your upper body straight and eyes forward
- Knee to the ground on each step

Rest for 2min

Lat Pull-Down Machine x15
- Use a weight that allows you to do 10-15 reps
- Keep core tight and pull the bar towards your upper chest, hold for 2 seconds and go back up controlled

Butterfly Sit-Ups x20
- Sit down on the ground
- Put the soles of your feet against each other and heels close to your crotch
- Keep your feet against each other when "sitting up"
- Sit-up all the way, touch your toes with your fingers, then go back all the way down

Rest for 2min, then repeat the whole series as per your Level.

NOTES:
- It's fine to do this first thing in the morning in a fasted state if you feel that you have energy
- It's also fine to have a small snack (e.g. banana) before the workout
- It's important to eat some protein and a little carbs within 1 hour of this workout

Sample Day 7
0:10:00
Mobility: Shoulder Mobility Routine

Purpose: This is critical to maintain shoulder flexibility and avoid muscular imbalances which lead to nerve issues / pain.

You will need a PVC pipe/broomstick. Notes below.

- 5x Full neck/head rotation: repeat twice
- 5x forward shoulder rotation
- 5x backward shoulder rotation
- 15x forward arm swings (left)
- 15x forward arm swings (right)
- 15x backward arm swings (left)
- 15x forward arm swings (right)
- 20x forward windmill
- 20x backward windmill
- 5x PVC push, pull, crossover
- 5x per side: PVC figure 8
- 5x PVC good morning or overhead hold
- 10x PVC overhead squats

NOTES:
- When using PVC, as you get more flexible you will be able to narrow your grip.

Shoulder Rotation:
- Arms loose and dangling by your side
- Rotate your shoulder by shrugging and rotating as far forward/backward as you can

Windmill:
- Similar to arm swings but using both arms in an alternating manner
- Imagine someone trying to swim freestyle in a terrible manner! :)

Push, Pull, Crossover:
- Hold PVC with wide grip and keep elbows locked
- Hold PVC overhead
- Push PVC away from you (as if you're trying to pull it apart)
- Pull PVC towards you (as if you're trying to bend it)
- Drop your arms behind your back, then bring them back to the front.
- That's 1 rep

PVC Figure 8
- Hold PVC with wide grip in front of you
- Without changing your hands on the PVC, bring ONE arm overhead until the PVC is behind you
- Bring the other arm overhead to get back to the starting position
- That's 1 rep
PVC Good morning
- Put the PVC on your shoulders behind your neck (as if you're doing a squat)
- Rest your wrists on top of the PVC
- Keep back arched, bend over until you feel the stretch in your shoulders

PVC Overhead
- Same as good morning but instead of putting the bar on your shoulders, you're holding it overhead and trying to keep it as high as possible as you bend over
PVC Overhead Squat
- Hold PVC with wide grip, overhead, elbows locked, arms as far as as possible
- Squat down without letting arms come forward