Recommendations for Marathon Training Plans

So, I've been following the Runners World Sub 3:15 Marathon Training Plan for a number of years now with varying degrees of success.  This year whilst following the plan I posted one of my quickest 5k times ever as well as one of my quickest ever half marathons.  Roll on The Yorkshire Marathon last week and the legs decided that they had almost had enough at around mile 22.  So through a combination of walking and running, managed to cross the line in 3:13.  Not ideal.

The plan worked in a roundabout way (not how I wanted to complete the race) but I feel it's time for a change of marathon plan.

So I'm looking for recommendations and experiences of what training plans my fellow runners have used and are still using.  I like the idea of the Hansons Running Method, however there are no tune up races in the plan, which is something I enjoy doing.

Over to you and thanks in advance :)


  • P&D? It's quite a tough one but a lot of people seem to like it and you can adapt it to your mileage. There's a whole thread for P&Ders in the Training forum.

  • Thanks for the advice.  Will probably order the latest P&D book from Amazon and have a look.  Would definitely appeal to me if the training plan includes tune up races.
  • chamolkchamolk ✭✭✭
    The latest P and D (advanced marathoning) has some tune up races included in the plans. They tend to be 8-15k races, and come towards the later parts of the plans, when done speedwork is being done. The "easiest" plan (ie the lowest mileage one) peaks at just over 50 miles per week (if I remember correctly), so they can take a while to build up to them if a runner isn't used to that sort of mileage (like me) 

    I know some people prefer to follow a plan to the letter, but I think allowing a degree of flexibility is generally encouraged by most coaches, and swapping a training session to a race a has several positives.

    I've been looking at Greg McMillan's stuff online recently, and one of his books, and found them useful. He's pretty keen to avoid a generic plan for everyone, and has a fair bit of info about building your own plan or altering a pre-built one, taking your strengths and weaknesses in to account, and adding in tune up races. Might be worth a look, even if just to give you the confidence to amend a different training plan slightly
  • I am not a triathlete, but I do like running, mountain biking, road biking and climbing. I have used the plans in these 2 books to successfully train for marathons, whilst still doing my other sports.
    Don't be fooled by the Run Less, Run Faster title - it doesn't mean train less. The plans require the same hours of training as P&D, but you can still do your other sports, if that's your bag.
    RLRF also gives very precise training paces - but you need the book, not the inferior online or RW versions.

    - Smart Marathon Training by Jeff Horowitz
    - Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce and Scott Murr
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