What distances should i be aiming for and when?

Entry pending for FLM. I've not done one before. I've run a few halfs but not for a while. I'm 4 weeks into a marathon training schedule. I've joined a club recently and that together with my own training has got me to the position where i am quite happy running from 6-8 miles at a go, and i'm do this maybe 2 or 3 times a week and can comfortably run at 8m 20s pace over these distances.

My question is, is this on target for an April marathon. At what point should i be upping the 6-8 miles to 8-10 and then a half etc. etc.

The training schedules seem to talk of time rather than distance. Any help would be gratefully digested.


  • aim to do one long run each week - most people prefer the weekend as this gives them more time. you want to build "time on your feet" which is crucial for a first marathon.

    increase your long run mileage by now more than 5-10% each week and see if you can manage four or five runs in the region of 20 miles before the event.

    don't however just keep increasing your mileage. it's a good idea to plateau occasionally and also to cut back every four weeks or so to avoid over-training.

    there's a bit more to it than that of course. if you're a RW subscriber I would seriously recommend following one of their schedules which seem to start with the February issue (out in January?). these are much better (in the sense of more detailed and precise - and more fun!) than any others I have come across and seem to be pretty foolproof if you follow them sensibly.

    best of luck. s.
  • Unfortunaly there is no simple answer, you just have to learn fron experince...My first few marathons my long run was approx 20 miles, but on race day i found that the last 6 miles i was running on empty. I could not understand as my friends where ok doing no more than 20 milers. Then I read an article where a famous marathon runner was doing 30 mile long runs. So my long runs are now 28-30 at very slow pace,and my PB has gone from 3:16 to 2:52
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