Training between marathons


I recently conpleted my first marathon (The Great Clarendon), which i enjoyed thoroughly and after 6 months of training i can say im hooked on running (id never ran before this).  The Clarendon marathon was full-on cross country and so i now want to tackle a road marathon as my next goal.

Ive signed up for Edinburgh on May 11th which im really looking forward to, its supposed to be quite a fast course so ive been adventurous and chosen a target of 3hrs30mins.  Ive got a 12week training plan to follow as the build up to the race which im happy with but i would like some advice on how to train between now and the start of my 12week build up to race day.  I want to maintain my current fitness levels but am unsure of how i should be training in terms of weekly distance, individual long runs, session/fartlek training and strength training.  Do i need to keep up all this inbetween races or will running 5miles a day with a 20mile run on a sunday suffice?

 Any advice would be really appreciated.



  • In general one tempo, one speed work session, one long run say up to 13 miles and two or three sessions of easy running should cover it.  Weekly mileage is dependent on what your used to for some folk 40 MPW is high for others it 100MPW.

    Its a long time from now to May enter some 1/2 marathons, 10K's, 5 K's cross country etc its all good experience and will help your marathon running, best of all join a club and listen to all the advice you will be offered

     Good luck

  • I'm a newbie. My nickname is aspirational rather than actual, at the moment! Just ran a 10k in 62mins would like to achieve under 4.30 in Brighton marathon next year. My question is how do I get from my current just getting round, to intermediate by December? Is there a training programme for this anywhere?

    Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • Forty: You don't say how long you have been running for but assuming its not years then answers are the same as above, a bit of speedwork, longer runs and easy aerobic base runs. The simple answer of course is go and run!

    I can well remember the 1st 10K I ever ran in training it took me 67 minutes, within 6 months I ran a 3-40 marathon, so it can be done. There is of course a element of genetics in it all, but hard work can get you a very long way.

    Have fun doing it!

  • Dubai Dave: Thanks for the advice! could you just clarify speed work and tempo sessions pls. (my interpretation of this is say a session of fartlek and a session consisting of a 'best effort' run)   Also, for the easy sessions am i right to just be running around 5/6miles?

    Ive entered into the Gosport half which im looking forward to and gonna try and make 5/10k's a regular thing too.


  • Adam~ Tempo for me is 4 or 5 miles at 1/2 marathon pace, fartlek would be fine. Speed work is more structured say 5 x 1K at 10K pace with a 2 minute jogged recovery between each interval, it could be 8 x 800M or 12 x 400M or as Ive just run tonight 2 x 3K at 5K pce with a 3 minute interval, the possibilities are endless! My easy sessions are 1 hour, distance is how I feel I just run by time.
  • Dear Dubai Dave,

    Thanks for the advice. I have been running lightly for the past year with my main exercise being outdoor bootcamp twice a week. Damaged my achilles 6 monthes before that in my attempts to regain former fitness so was forced to take it easy. I completed the Windsor half marathon many years ago, in just over 2 hours with very little training, but Jimmy Saville did pass me! I ran 800 metres and in 4x100 relay team as a school girl so hoping I have something on my side. I'm already doing some speed work and easy runs, now going to add more time on my legs and get hill training. Also got to shift some weight as I am not doing myself any favours carrying extra baggage! 

    I have ear marked a 10 mile race in early Jan, so I am going to follow a half marathon training plan for that and see how I get on. Will continue bootcamp for cross training. 

    Thanks again.

  • Dave, with little or no 'race' experience other than the actual marathon i completed a few weeks ago how do i gauge what my 10k and 5k pace should be for speed work sessions?  As i was new to running my marathon prep involved downloading a 26week training programme and following religiously but it involved no 'racing' as prep. If it helps, my marathon time was around 4hours.

     Cheers again m8 image

  • Adam: You ran Clarendon in 4 hours so thats probably equivilant to a 3-30 road marathon (especially as it was wet this year, I ran clarendon in 2009 in 3-47 and am a 3-25 marathon runner) So we can assume that your capable of around 1-30 to 1-35 half, 40 -42 min 10K.

    So assume something around 4-30 min/K for 1/2M pace, 4-10 min/K for 10K pace and 4 min/k for 5K pace Once you have some 10K times you can get your paces from

    forty: You will be fine, losing weight helps!

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