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12 Week Basic Marathon Plan

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12 Week Basic Marathon Plan


Nick Saunders

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12 Weeks

Plan Description

This marathon programme is for the pure runner who just wants to focus on finishing a marathon.
It is distance based and will ensure you get to your race day able to finish. It is progressive in distance. Your longest period of training is week 9 where you have the option to get in up to 64km.
It is a simple programme to follow. You run on feel. You can use any GPS device to measure your distance or use one of the many platforms available to plan your run routes such as Map My Run.

To run a marathon to your full potential it is important to get the mileage in. So many people who enter marathons will not do enough long runs. You are running a touch over 42km on the day. If you want to get through the marathon and finish without hobbling the final 10km you need to get at least one 32-35km run in your lead up to the race. From week 4 you are running 45km in the week. Your longest week will be 64km if you do all the run sessions. You have days off to ensure you recover and are ready for your longer weekend runs.
If you have any injuries or feel unwell during the plan it is important to make sure you get the injury looked at by a professional. If unwell take a day or two off, if you are still unwell after the we recommend you get checked out.

Below is a scale that you can use to judge your effort if you don't use anything like a heart rate monitor.
Intensity Scale of 1-10:
1= an easy walk
2= a steady walk
3= a fast walk
4= a very slow jog
5= an easy jog and able to talk
6= a steady jog
7= a steady to fast jog - hard to talk
8= a fast run - out of breath - if you can talk you are not going fast enough!
9= fast run that you can only sustain for @ 90sec
10= a sprint or max effort - although max you should still feel in control and keep your form and technique under control.

It is also important to work out your nutrition plan for your race day. You can do this on your long Sunday runs. Use either an energy gel or sports drink. Check with your race organiser what they will be providing on race day. Check the gels if any they are providing and energy drink provided. You should also check what the average temperature is. You can add a race in on any of the weeks after the 4th week to practise pacing, using nutrition as well as the race clothing and shoes you intend to wear on race day.

Email if you have any questions

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Run x5
31mi 26mi
Day Off x2
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
31mi 26mi
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

Nick Saunders

Triathlon Performance Solutions Ltd

Triathlon Performance Solutions (TPS) is a UK based coaching company and offers:

  • Coaching for all distances
  • Our athletes are coached locally and remotely through TrainingPeaks
  • March winter training camp in Fuerteventura
  • Online training plans for all distances from sprint distance to Ironman

  • 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.

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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.

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