How do you create a marathon training plan?


Quick Answer

Create a marathon training plan by selecting dates for training and choosing a routine for each week of training. When creating a plan, consider components such as cross training, speed training and tapering workout intensity leading up to the marathon. Also consider personal goals when creating a plan, such as finishing the race in a certain amount of time.

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Full Answer

A training plan begins by selecting dates for training. If your goal is to complete the marathon in a certain amount of time, include speed and tempo work in training. That means training shorter distances while maintaining a certain pace or running as fast as possible for specified, short distances. Run at least three days each week. If you are hoping to complete the race quickly, include more running days each week.

To build endurance, complete one run each week that is a longer distance than other runs. Schedule this run on a day when you can put significant time aside for running. For many people, the best time is on the weekend, but modify your plan to meet your needs.

The training plan should allow for sufficient rest between hard workouts. Don't increase the distance of long runs too quickly, because spacing out long runs decreases risk of injury. Cross training also decreases injury risk while it builds muscle strength and general fitness. A training schedule should include approximately two days per week of training in another discipline.

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