Training schedules

Hello.  I could really do with some advice in negotiating training schedules.  I am a slow runner but I have a fair amount of stamina.  My PB for a half-marathon is currently 2:07 and I am aiming for sub-4:30 at next year's London Marathon.  My concern is this: all the marathon schedules seem to advise not very long, long runs, and a fairly conservative weekly mileage, certainly to start with.  I regularly run (slowly, obviously) around 13-15 miles on a Sunday without much problem, just because I want to, and shorter, faster runs before work during the week.  All the 16-week schedules I have seen recommend much shorter long runs (e.g. the RW Ultimate Schedule for sub-4:30 says only 6 miles in the first week).  I am worried that if I follow a training schedule to the letter, I will lose the ability to run long and then I will stuff up the marathon.  Should I add on the extra miles anyway to keep my stamina and momentum up?  Or, by running fewer miles, will I actually recover better (I am over 50 but in good health) and therefore be able to run each session better?  Any constructive advice really appreciated.  (And sorry if someone has already asked this and been answered, and I missed it.)


  • joddlyjoddly ✭✭✭

    I'd say it would make sense to start the "long run" at a distance you feel comfortable with (12-13 miles), perhaps every other week, and see whether going longer on a Sunday carries over into the weekday faster work. If it doesn't, then carry on building so you get up to 18-20.

    It is said that ideally the total of your five longest runs should be 100 miles, but that's probably a bit much for a first marathon, so maybe 4 x 20. The 18-20s can take a lot out of you, so if you can schedule them to be every other week that's best. Listening to your body is the most important thing.

     Good Luck!

  • ClagClag ✭✭✭
    Come on over to the Shades marathon thread and ask her for a copy of your plan. It's tried and tested and there are a number of folks who have ran decent times off it who are similar ability to yourself.
  • You could try the RW smart coach on the top left roller-menu. I guesstimated your starting info and it put you on 14 miles long run by week 3 of 16 - seems about right?

    RW Smart coach

  • Thanks so much, all, for the feedback - all eminently sensible and shall investigate as recommended.  Wishing you a lovely run this weekend!
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