Has anyone raced a marathon following an Asics training plan?

I've just downloaded my sub 3.15 plan and I'm not sure about it;  I know that better running brains than mine have created it but it's so different from what I've done before.  4 runs a week, much lower mileage and far fewer long runs.  I'd love to trust it but my marathon's at stake!  Does anyone have any experience of a similar plan and how did your race go compared with what you'd done before?


  • They are very suspect to me....way too little mileage.......aparantly according to the RW coaches they have been used in japan

  • I can see the point of perhaps resting for an extra day, but the speed endurance and number of long runs just don't look enough.  I'd like to see some results before I commit myself away from my tried and tested, but if someone could convince me otherwise I'm all for new ideas.

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Too little mileage for a sub 3:15 in my opinion. I guess it depends on where you're coming from in terms of what you've normally done. If you have a tried and tested plan then why change it and if you don't then make sure the Asics plans meet your needs.
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Minni wrote (see)
     If you have a tried and tested plan then why change it

    Exactly what I was thinking.  All I've ever done when approaching the next marathon (I've only done three) is to build upon what I did last time.  If I'd had a disaster then I might think about a completely new approach, but if the plan basically worked and I understand why it worked, the only changes I would make might be tweaks here and there.  Given that I'm a more experienced runner with experience and miles under my belt, that's likely to involve either increases in mileage or quality, or both.  If your schedule is tried and tested, going back to one which involves less mileage on fewer runs seems like a retrograde step.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭

    I think Phil and Minni have said what I was thinking.

    Unless you are very talented or have years of quality runnung under your belt then 3.15 off less runs and smaller mileage seems like a very tough ask.

    To get myself from 3.30 to sub 3.15 I had to up my number of runs from 4 to 5 a week and also add in more long runs. 5 x 20 milers vs 3.

  • You're all saying what I'm thinking!  I'll cut it down from 6 days to 5 and use the quality of what's in the plan because that does look sensible, but I'm going to keep the long runs and perhaps run them differently.  So all in all I'm taking what I think are the best bits of theirs and mine;  I'll let everyone know what happens at the end of it all!

  • Yes 5 x 20 milers, but also with some Marathion paced miles within them near the end so you legs are more fatigued and you can replicate how legs will feel on the day.

    I'd also say you'd need to be doing 45+ a week. I was averaging 50 - 55 a week over 5/6 days.

  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    I did 7 or maybe 8 runs at 20m or more for my 3:20 last year and will be doing the same this year for sub 3:15.

    Miss K - what plans have you used in the past?


  • I've based my plan on 6 days, peaking at 50 miles with 4 x 20-milers (including a 20m race) and a couple of 22s; track sessions and stand-alone marathon paced sessions, but I don't think I did enough tempo, so I need to put that right this year.

  • Yes i've used this plan for all 4 of my marathons and swear by it, but then i'm not doing a marathon at 3.15 pace but I love it and it really works for me and I have have got quicker with time, knocking an hour off my first ever marathon time by following this time, I have found that as well as the running I have added swimming in and also do some core exercises which have helped me

    I guess I use this as my base and add things like swimming and exercises but I have to say as a newbie to marathon running when I started 18mths ago, it really really worked for me

  • Any update from those who have used the asics plans? 

  • I ran my last marathon on what I regarded as the best bits of Asics and my own, and it gave me just a few seconds difference to my previous race. I'm here in London with a much bigger mileage behind me having followed Pfitzinger, and I'm feeling confident.
  • I never post on these forums, but felt compelled to, to stick up for the Asics plans. They work.

    I would say that they are suitable for people who need a bit of extra recovery time, or like to combine their running with cycling/ cross-training.

    I followed a 2 day plan. Basically one tempo run faster than planned MP on a weds. Followed by a long run at ~ 30 secs + MP on a sunday.

    I cycle to work every day which equates to 60 miles a week, and did a fair bit of strength training.

    I did a 3.27.59.



  • Is the 60 miles part of the plan ? I'd think your extra work made the plan work for you.

    I did a 3.29 this year off an average of 14mpw with the longest run being 13 miles and the average run being 7 miles. I paceed it aiming for sub 4 and just felt too good to take it steady.

    (I'm discounting the 60 hours or so on a turbo, 30 spin classes and the bike miles outside in the build up)
  • Ralph.sounds like you adapted the plan big time to work for you...glad it worked....


     do you wonder though what you are capable of if you followed a higher mileage training plan......whether it was the plan or your natural ability that got you that time

  • Used it fine, but i'm a slow plodder. I Can imagine being a 3:15 runner the mileage in it is very low compared to your other plans. 

    if you do it tell us how it goes. 

  • I'm afraid I still used my old plan for my last race but at least I managed a 3.13, and I've stayed with it for my up and coming autumn marathon. I just seem to feel that bit more confident with longer runs and more mileage. Perhaps as I get older I may need to drop the mileage and then I will look at Asics from a different perspective.
  • No Cougie, the 60 miles is out of necessity, with the wife having the car for her job. The reason why i chose a less runs approach was really because i had been suffering with osteoarthritis in my left toe and needed more recovery time. I do not think i have much natural ability! I have done a fair bit of track cycling, the odd duathlon, bike time-trials etc. But i am distinctly average.

  • I followed the Asics262 plan rather than the one that gets created on the asics site (they were quite different) and found it to be good.  I think you also need to use a bit of common sense and listen to your body as any plan you use might need to be adapted to work for you. Good Luck!

  • the asics plans within the 26.2 section of this website are more traditional high mileage plans. the 3:30 peaks at 50+ miles over 5 day and the sub 3:00 is a seven day plan peaking at 65+ miles.


  • I personally think that 50+ miles, and running over 5 days is really not necessary if you want to run sub 3.30. I can understand higher mileage for a sub 3 hr, and it is probably necessary for the over 40's.

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