Pimp my plan!

I`m thinking of this:-


Hopefully it`ll be my second marathon. I`ve been running for 4 years and done lots of other races. Usually I run about 100 miles or so a month, at the mo.

Is the above link a decent looking schedule?


  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    am no marathon expert, but from what I've seen people I know do, i'd say any of the below would be good ideas

    • Only 2 runs of 20miles or more, a lot of people go with 4-5
    • Vague talk of tempo and fartlek, only 1 mention of "7miles race pace", and that's 2 weeks before the race!  Othewise no sustained Marathon Pace (MP) miles, ie building to 8-12miles at MP after a warm up and with a cool down
    • Midweek long run peaks at 10miles, a lot of 8s and 9s, could up this to a 12-14 if needs be
    • No half marathon race to trial Marathon pace out 4-6weeks before the main event
    • No 20mile race to get through to get a taste for a long run under race type conditions and to give confidence

    Now I know that a lot of these things make up an "optimum" training plan, and might be a bit overblown when your peak mileage is barely 50 from that schedule, but a couple of tweaks from that list would help i'm sure image

    I'd be a little worried about adding too much though, as if your usual mileage is only 25 a week, even 45-48 is going to be huge after a mere couple of months of that plan.

  • Thanks SG. A lot of that makes sense.

    My first mara peaked mileage at about 38 and I`ve done a few weeks well over 30 recently  - ? I would definitely add in more races and like the idea of a longer than HM one. I am concerned about the MP because, although I reckon I know what I should be looking at, it is tough to do those sort of sessions because it is very hilly where I live.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    In that case you'd have to think about MP effort rather than MP pace. Using a heart rate monitor is not something I've ever done, but a lot of people swear by them. Otherwise find a circular route that you can do as laps...for instance I often use a 0.9mile circuit for my MP stuff, and do 6,7,8 laps or whatever the duty is.

    Mileage wise, it's about what you're used to, and what you can fit in. I often do 60+ miles a week, and only race up to half distance. However, some do as little as 20miles and complete marathons. Personally i wouldn't want to be running a marathon off less than 50, as it'd surely be a world of pain image

  • I won`t go down the HR route at this stage but the loop idea seems spot on (dull as but effective!). In my case it may be up and down a stretch of road towards town.

    For my first marathon, I did about 5 runs at 18-19 miles and just one at 21 so I`d like to build on that if possible and I also wanted / expected to do some runs at 10ish in mid-week so I`ll look at that.

    In terms of overall mileage, I think I should make it going by the `rule` of building 10% a week with the occasional plateau. I`m also thinking of allowing 17 weeks for the 16 week programme so that I`ve got leaway for an easier week somewhere if needs be - ?

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Yep, some good plans there Mr Toe.  Should definitely set you up for a good attempt.

  • Not much to add to SGs comments. I am in a similar position, training for my second marathon. For an advanced plan, I would have expected to see 5 or 6 long runs of 20+ miles. I wouldn't be happy with two @ 20+

    Midweek I will be including a medium long run (10 to 14 miles). This and the Long Run will have some mileage at MP. I did up to 10 miles at my target marathon pace for my 1st race.

    I have about 3 local half marathons scheduled. Two of these will be raced (one 4 weeks out), and one will be in the middle of a long run - I will run this at MP.

    Tempo runs - I do 5 to 6 miles at my half marathon pace.  If I could only do this, or 5 x 1600m due to time pressures, I go for the Tempo session.

    Regarding training on the flat, and living in a hilly location - I had the opposite problem. Its fairly flat here , and I was running a hilly marathon. I believe in getting your training race specific, and for me this meant driving a few miles until I found a loop that included steep climbs.


  • Thanks AR. I concur regarding the racing. I do like to have a few in there. Not quite sure where to fit HMs in. If I race one but my schedule says that I should be running longer, is it ok just to tag a plod on the end or do a few miles before?

    I will also need to work on the pacing of my LDRs. I do tend to push them pretty close to my max in terms of effort but I really need to reign it in, don`t I, for time on feet - ?

    I have started my plan 2 days early. That gives me a little bit of space and I was eager to crack on. It means my LDRs will be on Fridays for a fair while but that`s ok and makes a Sunday race more doable, I guess.

  • No problem tacking on some miles before or after a HM  -you'll get time on your feet, plus the race. I have a trail HM this weekend. I will be jogging to the start, and jogging back (approx 8 - 10 miles in total). I'm running the race at my intended marathon pace. Later in  the training plan I have a HM which will be raced at HM pace.

    Yes - keep your LDR's controlled in terms of pace. They shouldn't be run at your max effort. You will burn out. I use McMillan to get my long run pace. Most of my long runs are in this zone, with some specific sessions run quicker. e.g. this weekend I had 18 miles, with 10 run at my Marathon Pace. This was a tough session. Last week, I had 20 miles at my long run pace - a nice, easy pace which builds endurance through time on feet.

  • LS21LS21 ✭✭✭

    ET - either pm or FB me your email address. I'm 'coaching' a club colleague for Chester this year. He's similar ability to you, but the plan I've written for him incorporates pretty much all of what SG says above (except a 20 mile race, cos I can't seem to find one in the Autumn!) He's doing circa 40-50 miles a week, but we can either meet up for a coffee and tweak it to reflect your needs, or we can do it via email. I've already done the plan so tweaking it takes no time - so no problem at all for me to do.

    For info I'm giving it to him a block at a time. So weeks 1-5 focus on endurance (but with some Mara pace sections as part of long runs), we review how that's going and then make tweaks as we progress. Loosely based on P+D's Advanced Marathoning, and the plans in there definitely work!

    Up to you though matey.

    Cheers image

  • LS21LS21 ✭✭✭

    A few other points. For MP efforts how feasible is it to use Millhouses? Could you even drive down there, do the run and drive back (I do this using the TPT a lot near me). Typically I tag MP blocks to the end of longer runs. So the fella I'm helping did 16 with 8 at MP yesterday. He ran 8 miles out on the TPT steady, re-set the Garmin and then did his 8 miles back at target MP (or maybe Mara effort as MP will probably increase as he gets fitter).

    And also don't be afraid to use races for training purposes. Again, club colleagues ran the Eccup 10 yesterday but used the 10 mile section as a Mara-paced effort. They'd ran 8 miles before the race even started. So they did 18 with 10 at MP, but the MP is SO much easier to do in a race situation than trying to do it on your own. Remember, you don't have to RACE every race you do. Discipline is key if you do that though - Mara training is all about discipline - not necessarily the discipline to dig deep and push on when it's hard. More so re discipline to stick to your plan and not go too hard too soon.

  • Cheers LS. Good points. Millhouses is 1.5 miles from me. My mileage is probably lower than your club-mate but it`d be good to hear your ideas. I`m on hols from Friday so let me know when you`re in town. I`ll PM my email.

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