Long run schedule?

Hi All,

I am a well known non runner but completing a marathon has always been one of those things I have to do before I die. I secured a ballot place for the VLM in 2012 which due to an ankle injury I deferred until 2013. As I've known about my place for some time I have been gradually building up my long runs by 1 mile each week and have just completed a hilly 10 mile race in 1hr 43 mins and have my sights on a 2hr 10 Royal Parks Half in a few weeks. I have also entered Brooks Hell Runner South (10 - 12 miles of hell?!) in November, Brighton Half in February and am planning to enter a 20miler in March.

My question is, having built up to this distance what should I be doing over winter in terms of long runs? Most of the marathon training plans I can find are for 16 weeks which would mean starting in late Dec / early January so I'm not sure what long runs to do between now and then. Should I continue building the mileage over winter, keep it the same or focus on faster shorter runs? My original plan was to alternate between 12 and 15 milers each week with a shorter 6-9 mile run every 4th week between now and late December then start building the mileage by 10% each week but given that I'm currently running a 10 minute mile 12 - 15 miles takes 2 - 2.5 hours which seems quite a lot every sunday until after christmas (bearing in mind I still dislike running!).

I should probably say that due to a seriously busy lifestyle and 4 hour a day commute to work the rest of my training consists of:

1 x 40 min easy jog and tabata session

1 x hill session on the treadmill (ususally 6 x 1 minute at 6-8% incline) with 2 min at 1% jogs in between

1x 40 mins weights session focusing on lower leg strengthening

Plus lots of foam rollering and a 4 mile gentle run, barefoot jog or yoga when I can muster the energy.

I look forward to your advice. Thanks in advance,


  • I would cut back on the number of runs over 12m to 1 a month between now and Dec, you know you can do them just keep the momentum ticking over, on those days I would replace with shorter runs looking at speed work in some form for 6 to 8m. Also find someone to run with, 


  • turkey trot is half in dec, or reading in march. depends how much you like hills

  • Or you could make an effort and find a sport that you actually enjoy taking part in? Bearing in mind that you dislike running so much. Good luck with the marathon with your three training sessions per week, I'm sure you'll do really well.


  • REMREM ✭✭✭
    I am running my 16th London next year and wont be be running much more than 10-12 by Christmas, but will be running more than twice a week!
  • I do a 20 plus run every Sunday that I am not racing.  

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