Run a 4:00 Marathon.
Joe FrielAll plans by this Coach
Train smart with a marathon training plan by Joe Friel, best-selling author and internationally recognized endurance coach.
- Prepare for a marathon (26.2 miles) for a race time of 4:00 (4 hours).
- This 12-week plan is intended for a seasoned marathon runner who has run a marathon within 20 minutes of goal time in the past year.
- Receive two follow-up emails from Joe with more information on the plan (must provide email address at time of purchase).
- If plan is not working for you within the first 2 weeks, you can switch to a plan of equal value or receive a full refund.
“Joe Friel is one of the world’s foremost experts on endurance sports.” —Outside magazine
“Following your plan, I had a great race. Your plan was the fine-tuning I needed.” —Bruce, marathon first-timer
Who is this plan for?
If your goal is to run a marathon in 4 hours, this is the plan for you! This 12-week plan is intended for a runner who has run a marathon within 20 minutes of the goal time in the past year (or a half-marathon in at least 1:50 or a 10K in at least 52 minutes). For the pure runner, the swim and bike workouts provide variety with cross-training options to avoid leg stress, running injuries, and burnout. For the triathlete, you can keep on swimming and biking to maintain your base fitness. For more on the principles used in this plan, read Joe Friel’s article “The Triathlete as Fast Marathoner.”
What does the training look like?
This plan should be started 12 weeks prior to your marathon. You will have 3 weeks of increasing intensity load specific to your marathon goal, followed by 4–5 days of recovery and self-testing before resuming training for the next 4-week period. Alternative cross-training workouts are suggested for recovery days along with easy run options.
What is the weekly volume?
Weekly run-only volume varies from 5–8 hours per week, with most weeks around 7 hours of running. If you do the optional swim or bike workouts, the total weekly run hours decrease by about 3 hours. There is a day off every Monday to allow for recovery and rejuvenation.
Do you need any devices or apps?
You will need a heart rate monitor and a GPS device to make the best use of this plan. Your run heart rate and pace training zones should be set before starting the plan. (For a detailed description of how to set your zones, read this.) Note that this plan does not include expected workout TSS and does not use the TrainingPeaks “Workout Builder” format. TSS, however, is still calculated on completion of every workout.
After your event, please provide feedback on how this plan worked for you. Thanks again for your interest in my training plans, and I hope your training and racing go very well this season.
How it Works
Training Plan Sample Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
|Workouts||Weekly Average||Longest Workout|
|6:11 hrs||3:00 hrs|
|0:50 hrs||0:30 hrs|
|1:36 hrs||1:00 hrs|
Day Off x1
|Workouts Per Week||Weekly Average||Longest Workout|
||6:11 hrs||3:00 hrs|
||0:50 hrs||0:30 hrs|
||1:36 hrs||1:00 hrs|
Training Load By Week
This plan works best with the following fitness devices:
- Heart Rate Monitor
- This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
- Access your training plan anywhere on the TrainingPeaks mobile and desktop apps.
- Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
- Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
- Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
- Syncs daily with other popular apps like Garmin and MyFitnessPal.
This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.Still have questions about this plan?