Marathon Advice - Training Plans

I'm 31 and running my first marathon this year - London.
I have been running 5-7 miles 2-3 times a week for about 18 months now - times between 37 - 54 minutes.
I am starting my marathon training, but I don't have a plan, clearly this is a little late! I also have criteria where I don't want to run at weekends. So have a realistic maximum of 4 runs a week. Am I being foolish, or is there a plan out there that will suit me. Ideally I want to be running as close to 4 hours as possible (am I kidding myself?).



  • There are loads of plans around. Most schedules seem to be over 16 or 18 weeks, although you've got 12 weeks which should be enough for a reasonable effort, especially if you run a bit already. There are some on this site, and on, and on, and there are lots of books - Bob Glover's ones are good.

    To be honest, they all say pretty much the same thing: your week should include
    - one long run (building to 16 - 20 miles)
    - one shorter, faster "tempo" run (6 - 8 miles)
    - some kind of interval run (hills, fartlek etc.)
    - other medium runs, whatever you can fit in.
    Plus they give some sensible tips
    - alternate hard and easier days
    - build up mileage gently - roughly 10% per week
    - taper as you approach the marathon

    As for times, there's no telling. Some people run 6 times a week and do it in 5 hours, some run twice a week and do it in 3. It depends on what you're like. Your times sound quite quick, so yes, you could potentially get a good time.

  • Great, many thanks.
  • Hi Phil,

    I am also training for the FLM (fist time). I generally do two-three 40 min runs in the gym because its winter (interval training) with some resistance training and then one outdoor long run which i have built up to 11 miles - 1hr35min. So far i have found this is plenty. i dont think i could use a training plan that suggests you run 6 times a week as that would really take over your life.

    I am however aiming to finish within 4hr 30min - which would be a 10 minute mile - at the mo i'm running a 9 minute mile but think i should over compensate rather than under.

    At the end of the day, running a marathon is a huge achivement and just finnishing is good enough.

    Good Luck
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