TPS Basic Marathon Plan

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TPS Basic Marathon Plan


Nick Saunders

All plans by this Coach


12 Weeks

Typical Week

5 Run, 2 Day Off

Longest Workout

26.22 miles

Plan Specs

running marathon beginner intermediate masters multi day pace based

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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.
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


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 00:00

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.
  • Precision Hydration Sweat Testing by Andy Brodziak.

Sample Day 1


5km easy to steady run @ Z1-2

Sample Day 3


5km easy to steady run @ Z!-2

Sample Day 4


5km easy to steady run

Sample Day 6


10km easy to steady run

Sample Day 27


10km easy to steady run

Sample Day 82


3km very easy run

Sample Day 84


Race day!!
All the training is done.
Race plan:
Have a nice easy 10min jog before you start the race if you can or you can just walk to the race start and keep moving until the gun goes off. If it is one of the bigger marathons you have to stand around for a long time before you start. Make sure you have gone to the toilet or at least find out where they are along the race route.
Start the first 10km like you would one of your training runs. After 10km settle into a comfortable pace that feels comfortable. You should know what this feels like having done enough long runs. You will be rested and feel a lot better than you did during some of your long run sessions so be careful of this. It can be tempting to push a little harder than you have in training.
Remember your nutrition! Take it @ 8-10km into the marathon and thereafter every 5-6km depending on your pace, every 30min at least. Take fluid on at the aid stations and gels if you are using them.
The race will really start to get hard at @ 30-34km and this is where your training should kick in. You will need to be mentally positive here. You will start to get heavy legs and your pace may slow. It is important to keep your form and maintain the pace as best as you can. Walk through aid stations if it helps give you a bit of a break.

Good luck!!

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