9 month marathon training plan

After running regularly for about 2 years I completed my first marathon a few weeks ago.

I managed to get a GFA for London and have just entered for next year.

This will now become my main aim of the next 9 months.

I also picked up a knee/itb band injury during the last couple of miles of the marathon and have in the last week only just been able to restart running-up to about 5k now without pain which is a massive improvement over pain when just walking I got for 4+ weeks following the marathon.


What I need advise on is how to set a effective 9 month training plan, when I trained for the marathon I have just ran I did a 3-4 month plan and all seemed to go ok-although I was told I ran my long runs far too fast!!

 I did the marathon in 3:12 and want to get under 3:00 in London.

 I am willing to put the effort in training but have not got a clue on how to build up over the next 9 months.

I would say 3:12 was very close to 100% all out for me this time and will need to train hard to get under 3:00.

Do I get back up to 20 mile training runs and run that distance on my weekly long runs over the coming months (but slower than before)-do I keep to shorter distance but faster this year then increase a few months before London???

 What has worked for others?? I think I like the idea of regularly running 20+ mile long runs but worried on the effect on my body.


 OR would you skip the above – think that’s a sub 3:15 (gfa) marathon in the bag –part of my bucket list ticked-(I didn’t have under 3:00 on the list until I got 3:12)-and move on to a different challange like iron man –and treat London as a training run for outlaw next year-Now that sounds good but I don’t like swimming and I am rubbish on the bike!!!


  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    most marathon schedules would have you starting late December or early January for London next year....so leading up to that might be good to build up a real good base - and this would just involve running at a fairly comfortable pace 4 or 5 times a week and building up the mileage, but not going overboard. In the meantime you can enter other races, or do other sports to keep things interesting? Not sure what schedule you want to follow, but P&D is pretty good and they have 18week schedules with different amounts of mileage ... I used that schedule to go sub 3....

    Not sure if ironman would be right for you if you don't like swimming and am rubbish on a bike...?! but maybe you could learn to like swimming and to ride better...

  • I'm rubbish on the swim but OK on the bike and run. Outlaw is fun.

    I think 9 months is too long to train for for one goal. Break it down - get a plan to run a fast 10k / half marathon first ? Then look at the next step. Having something that far in the future just seems too much to train day in, day out for.
  • Running eye - I spent 10 months training with just the one goal of doing a sub 3 marathon at the 2010 London Marathon - I too was coming back from injury. My first marathon at the age of 50 was 03:12. (2006)

    I started training in June 2009 and achieved my target. If interested I have full details of my training for that race.

    In essence, I just was interested in weekly miles and average pace for the week. I had no problem with focussing for 10 months on one race - in fact I quite enjoyed it! When you think about it the training is as much an achievement (probabbly more) than the race. If you have done the training the race is just the follow through.

  • I would start off by sorting out the weaknesses that resulted in ITBS, and book in some half marathons along the way to monitor your progress. Banging out 20 milers is all very well, but too often and weaknesses and injury may crop up

  • Hi One Gear, I have been running a while now and have a place for London 2014. I would very much like a copy of your training for the 2009 race you ran.

    many thanks Adrian.

  • Yes one-gear that sound exactly what I am looking for-would find it very intresting-thanks for the offer

  • I would say do what you want but don't underestimate the iron man. 20 hours + of training a week for 6 months isn't everyones cup of tea ( at least that's what I've heard)

    You should sign yourself up to a sprint triathlon as a taster. Plenty of time to do that and train for a marathon

  • doing the woodhall spa-sprint next weekend as long as the itb holds up.

    totally different I would think though-400 meter swim can manage that, 15 miles on bike for me about 50-55 minutes I think then hoping for first sun 20 minute 5k on a timed event (ie not in training) only ever ran 1 5k before that was a park run in 20:59.

    I was hoping to run some shorter distance events on the back of the marathon but ITB injury at the end of the marathon has spoiled that-just about upto 10k now-5k without any pain at all-

    so far the sprint tri I am will just get through the swim-trying hard wont make it any faster-then fairly hard on the bike but keeping one mind on trying for a 5k pb-we will see.......not sure I will learn anything related to requirments or aims for IM though

  • Hi running eye, adrian lynn.

    Before getting into the detail, the training is basically split into two parts:

    Base Training - this runs up to Christmas and involves running 40 to 50 miles per week for 3 weeks and then one week easy. All I am an interested in at this stage is total miles/week, average pace and length of the long run. The aim is to keep the miles pretty much the same and increase the average pace.

    Marathon Schedule - this is in essence the 'RUNNER'S World' sub 3hr schedule with a few twists.

    For example, a typical base training week:

    W/C 19 July 2009        42.09 miles @ 7:42 average pace. Long run 20 miles

    That year we went on holiday for the next two weeks which limited the mileage but here are the next weeks

    W/C 26/07/09              27.44/7:51/18

    W/C 02/08/09              7:05/7:45/7

    W/C 09/08/09             42.75/8:01/17

    W/C 16/08/09             46.26/8:06/20

    W/C 23/08/09            41.82/7:43/17

    W/C 30/08/09            26.35/8:02/15

    To show the sort of progression I achieved, at this point I was typically running 40+ miles at 07:45 to 08:00 pace, by Christmas the same 40+ miles were at 07:30 to 07:45 pace. By February 2010 I was regularly running 50+ miles at 07:15 to 07:30 pace.

    I live on the edge of The Cotswolds so quite a lot of hills which are usually the causes of pace variation. For example, a typical 50 mile week would include more than 5,000 ft of ascent and descent.

    Hope you find this useful and I can carry on posting the schedule here if it is of interest

  • one gear thats great  

    i live in the peak district so similar hills here

    as much info as you can give please i will find it very useful

    thanks again

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