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Training plans

Intermediate 24 week training plan

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If you're used to running but you've never completed a marathon before, use this guide to give yourself a new challenge and prepare for the race.

Introduction: The following training programmes cover a period of 17 weeks. Before embarking on one of these marathon training plans you should have done four to eight weeks of steady running so that you have a foundation of fitness to build on. Each programme is designed to cater for different levels and abilities so it’s important that you choose the right plan for you. A training schedule needs to be challenging but not so that you feel out of your depth.

Key: ER = Easy Run, SR = Steady Run, TR = Threshold Run, HR = Hill Run, FR = Fartlek Run, IR = Interval Run, LR = Long Run, MP = Marathon Pace, 1/2MP = Half Marathon Pace, H&N = Hydration & Nutrition Strategies

Week 1
Monday Rest
Tuesday 30min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 10min ER, 15min SR, 10min ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 40min SR
Sunday 60min LR
Week 2
Monday Rest
Tuesday 10min ER, 20min SR, 10min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 40min SR
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 5 x (2min IR, 2min ER), 10 min SR
Sunday 1hr10min LR
Week 3
Monday Rest
Tuesday 10min ER, 2 x (5min TR, 2min ER), 10min SR, 10min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 45min SR
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 25min HR, 10min ER
Sunday 1hr20min LR
Week 4
Monday Rest
Tuesday 40min FR
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 60min SR
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 2 x (10min TR, 4min ER), 10min ER
Sunday 1hr30min LR
Week 5
Monday Rest
Tuesday 45min FR
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 10min ER, 3 x (8min TR, 2min ER), 10min ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 3 x (10min TR, 3min ER), 10min ER
Sunday 10 miles LR
Week 6
Monday Rest
Tuesday 10min ER, 7 x (3min IR, 2min ER), 10min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 50min SR
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 25min HR, 10min ER
Sunday 10 miles LR with miles 3-7 at MP
Week 7 (An easier week to help your body recover and adapt to the training)
Monday Rest
Tuesday 25min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 10min ER, 15min SR, 10min ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 5min ER, 5 x 90sec HR, 5min ER
Sunday 50min LR
Week 8
Monday Rest
Tuesday 40min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 10min ER, 2 x (15min TR, 2min ER), 10min ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 10min TR, 5min ER, 10min SR, 10min ER
Sunday 14 miles LR. Practise H&N
Week 9
Monday Rest
Tuesday 10min ER, 15min SR, 10min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 60min SR
Friday Rest
Saturday 40min FR
Sunday 16 miles LR include 4 miles at MP at start and end. Practise H&N
Week 10
Monday Rest
Tuesday 10min ER, 2 x (2min IR, 1min ER, 3min IR, 90sec ER, 4min IR, 2min ER, 5min IR, 2.5min ER), 10min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 60min SR
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 20min HR, 10min ER
Sunday 18 miles LR. Practise H&N
Week 11
Monday Rest
Tuesday 10min ER, 12 x (2min IR, 1min ER), 10min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 40min ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 5 x 30sec fast strides, 5min ER
Sunday Run a Half Marathon
Week 12
Monday Rest
Tuesday 40min ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 5min ER, 10min SR, 10min TR, 10min SR, 10min ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 15min ER, 2 x (10min TR, 3min ER), 10min ER
Sunday 20 miles LR. Practise H&N
Week 13
Monday Rest
Tuesday 10min ER, 2 x (15min TR, 5min ER) 10min SR
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 40min ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 10min ER, 5 x 2min IR, 5min ER
Sunday 20 miles LR. Practise H&N
4 weeks to go!
Monday Rest
Tuesday 35 mins ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 10 mins ER, 8 x (3 mins IR, 2 mins ER), 10 mins ER
Friday Rest
Saturday Rest
Sunday 22 miles LR. This will be your final long training run. Practise MP and H&N
3 weeks to go!
Monday Rest
Tuesday 35 mins ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 10 mins ER, 2 x (10 mins TR, 5 mins ER), 3 x (4 mins IR, 2 mins ER), 10 mins ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 10 mins ER, 15 mins TR, 10 mins ER
Sunday 13 miles LR. Practise MP and H&N
2 weeks to go!
Monday Rest
Tuesday 40 mins ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday 10 mins ER, 20 mins MP, 5 x (2 mins IR, 2 mins ER), 10 mins ER
Friday Rest
Saturday 35 mins SR
Sunday 8 miles ER
1 week to go!
Monday Rest
Tuesday 40 mins ER
Wednesday Rest or cross train. Core & stretching
Thursday Rest
Friday 10 mins ER, 5 x 30 seconds fast strides, 10 mins ER
Saturday Rest
Sunday Race day! Remember to strecth & warm down with a 15 min walk. Eat & drink well.