From half to Full Marathon Training - Help Please


So i've always been fairly fit, and this year I thought I would aim to keep a consistent level of Fitness. I did my first half marathon (Bristol) in 1.47, and I did Birmingham yesterday in 1.40.45. I am 24 F.

I run about 4 times a week, one 10/12 mile, one 30 min Gym session doing tempo runs at 7m/m pace and a couple of maybe 5-8 mile runs.

I am training for London and I would Love to comfortable run a sub 4 hour, 3.45 even better. I have made a training plan averaging 48 miles per week over 20 weeks, and I want to know if this seems too much.?

Its an 6/8 mile hill run, a long run ranging from 15/22 miles and a 12 mile run, along with 2 quick speed sessions in the gym roughly about 5 miles each.

Is this wasting my time, could I lower my milage or to achieve a time sub 4 / 3.45 or is this what I will need to do to achieve this.

Any advice welcomed






  • Hi Sophie,

    Congrats on Birmingham. Basically to step up to the marathon you need to work on endurance (running at 75%-80% of your max heart rate, or about 1-2 mins per mile slower than marathon pace) and lactate threshold (running at 80-85% MHR, or about your 10 mile to half marathon pace). Those should form the core elements of your training plan.

    As to your proposed plan: first, you may wish to consider some recovery runs. 48 miles a week is fairly heavy, especially if it is all hard work. Secondly, if you must do your speed work on a treadmill, make sure you set it to a 2% incline. Thirdly, I'd recommend reading a training book, perhaps Pfitzinger and Douglas's Advanced Marathoning (not as scary as the title suggests). 

    Hope that helps!

  • Hi

    Thanks for that, I thought it seemed a little much and I needed to incorporate some rest days. The books on order so I'm hoping I can learn a lot from it.

    Thanks Again


  • Np. The milage isn't high per se, it's just if all your sessions are hard you might not recover properly. A recovery run speeds recovery by forcing blood through the muscles, etc etc... Good luck.

  • I'm set for the Tatton Half on 4th November (my first) and am now looking into perhaps doing the Manchester Marathon next year

    My training plan for the half built on my existing 4 x 8(ish) miles per week by keeping 3 of the runs the same distance and lengthening the 4th each week until I did 13.1 miles this morning and am now tapering down to the race

    I guess my questions are

    1) Should I scale back to the 4 X 8miles from November to after Christmas and then start training in earnest for April's marathon from January

    2) Can anyone point me in the direction of a training plan based on mileage rather than times or types of run, probably maintaining the 4 runs per week or do I need to consider a different approach. I've "googled" a few but not really found anything appropriate

    I try and cross train once or twice a week for variety but find spacing the runs out difficult due to work, childcare etc etc

  • (1) Make sure you recover properly from the half marathon, then start training mid/end of December for the marathon. Obviously you'll need to do a certain amount of base training in between.

    (2) Some books (e.g. P&D referenced above) have plans of x miles per week, x+10 miles per week, etc. The other option is to look at a training plan, calculate each week's mileage as a percentage of the highest volume week, and increase or decrease each week proportionately as necessary.

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