London Marathon training

Hi, I got the great news yesterday that the amazing charity Children with Cancer would like me to run for them in next years London Marathon.Mega excited.

The problem is this will be my first marathon so I need to get training fast and have no idea of a good schedule to follow.

I am pretty active and have been going to the gym for about 15 years, running a few times a week covering 10-15 miles. Th only race I have done before was a 9 mile run which I did in 60 minutes flat. I have no idea if this is possible but I would love to run sub 3:45.

Any help on a good schedule to follow would be amazing?





  • a 60 mins 9 mile run is fairly flying. I wish i was anywhere near that fast. I think with a pretty standard training plan you could comfortably make 3:45

    Have a look at the training plans on the RW site, or check out Hal Higdon's website (google Hal Higdon) and you'll find some free programmes.


  • Ok amazing, thank you, I will check him out. 

    Thanks it was a good time but I was pushing pretty hard, I am kinda daunted by running three times that length without slowing down to a snails pace.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    I'm not sure from your if you run between 10 to 15 miles several times a week, or whether your weekly total is 10 to 15 miles split over a few runs.

    If its the latter, don't worry about your target time for now - as you have no way of knowing how your body will react to the longer distances involved in marathon training.   If its the former you probably have a chance to hit your target time based upon your one and only race result, but I wouldn't focus on it.  

    Have a loo at Hal Higdon as Agent Ginger suggested, and also have a look at the training section of this website.

  • as stutyr mentions, the key will be how well you can respond to the training demands of a marathon. you'll certainly be running longer than 15 miles per week, and your weekend long runs will build up to around 20 miles. read a few of the threads on this site and the articles on RW site and try to understand the purposes behind the different training sessions in your plan. it'll help you to avoid running them all at the same pace, or skipping key sessions, and perhaps help to avoid injury, which is probably most important in getting you to the start line. about 30% of people who get a place in the London Marathon each year don't make it to the start line, but of those who do, about 98% complete it, so train well and get there in one piece and you should be fine.

    Oh, and try to have fun doing it too image

  • Ok thank you.

    Sorry I wasn't clear, I currently run 10-15 miles per week over 3-4 runs.

    The only problem I am finding so far is the training schedules seem to be based on your target time, just looking at Hal's site he bases it on beginner, inter and advanced. I am guessing I am an inter?

    Thank you both for your help, it's much appriciated!


  • if this is your first marathon and you're used to running just 15 miles per week I'd start with the beginner plans, either Hal's or others.

    All first time marathoners have to effectively guess their target time, since they've only got shorter distance races to extrapolate from, and it's not an exact science.

    The RW schedules I think do have different plans for diff target times, but like stutyr said, concentrate on training well and let the chips fall where they will.

    if you want an idea of what paces you should be training at, and guesstimates for target race pace (over different distances) check out...


    it's worth taking all advice with a pinch of salt though, as only you will know how well you're responding to training. Since most plans are somewhere around 16 weeks in length, you'll probably start training in earnest just after new year. for now i'd focus on getting your weekly mileage up from 15. this will mean more time on your feet, but you'll need this to strengthen your muscles and connective tissues to take the battering they'll get running 26 miles.

    a rule of thumb used for increasing mileage is to not exceed 10% increase in total weekly mileage week on week. If you can absorb training well enough, and since your weekly mileage is relatively low, you might be able to take slightly more than that, but listen to your body and if you start getting pain (as opposed to stiffness or muscle soreness) then back it off, both in intensity and volume of training.


  • Thank you AgentGinger - I am sure it will be fun.

    Looking at Hal's Intermediate 1 plan it looks managable - I like the idea of cross training on a Monday.

    I am going to get reading this weekend, this forum looks like a pretty good place to get up to speed.

    Thanks guys

  • AgentGinger Thanks, I've been wondering what that calculator site was!

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