Training

Weeks 1-4: Getting started

These first four weeks set the scene for your marathon journey. They are the first bricks that form your strong foundation. Your running routine is what matters as your training plan kicks off. Remember your commitment to three runs a week for marathon success. Look at your work, social, home and lifestyle schedule and identify opportunities to fit in a training session. Devise a structure that is realistic rather than overambitious.

It may take a number of weeks to establish and integrate your ‘training budget’ with your commitments and other priorities but developing a routine is a great place to start. Just how much you do will depend on your marathon aspirations, but finding time to include training in your week really helps you ring-fence your run time. Once you have the routine established, stick to it as much as possible. Missing a run here and there isn’t the end of the marathon road, but missing a week or three might be.

Week 1

This week is about finding your feet. It’s about committing to getting out of the door and going for it. Be brave, intentional, calm and relaxed.

RUN ONE 10-minute walk; 10-minute run; 3-minute walk; 10-minute run; 10-minute walk
Total: 40 minutes
RUN TWO 10-minute brisk walk; 20-minute easy run; 10-minute brisk walk
Total: 40 minutes
RUN THREE 10-minute walk; 30-minute easy run; 10-minute walk
Total: 50 minutes
Training tip

Take your time to ease into each workout. Training for a marathon is a little like Race Day itself; you’ve got to pace your effort out over the next 16 weeks, not use up all your mojo in week one!

Want more?

Base miles are important. If you’ve got a little more bandwidth available for your training then add in a fourth run this week: an easy 40 minutes.

Week 2

Reflect on your first week, identify your workout opportunities for this week and tweak your workout timings if appropriate.

RUN ONE 10-minute walk; 10-minute run x2
Total: 40 minutes
RUN TWO 10-minute brisk walk; 30-minute easy run; 10-minute brisk walk
Total: 50 minutes
RUN THREE 10-minute walk; 20-minute easy run; 10-minute walk; 14-minute easy run; 10-minute walk
Total: 65 minutes
Training tip

Don’t be afraid of breathlessness. Understanding and regulating your breathing is a part of becoming a marathon runner. You may well be out of breath when you start running. If so, keep calm, slow down, walk if you need to, and your breathing rate will drop.

Want more?

If you’re feeling good and seeking a little more, then drop or reduce the walking breaks from the runs this week. Keep your pace light and controlled but dial into continuous duration.

Week 3

Runs should start to feel a little easier now. If this isn’t the case, don’t panic. Keep your pace and effort under control and stick with it.

RUN ONE 40-minute easy run
Total: 40 minutes
RUN TWO 5-minute brisk walk; 45-minute easy run; 5-minute brisk walk
Total: 55 minutes
RUN THREE 10-minute walk; 30-minute jog; 10-minute walk; 30-minute jog; 10-minute walk
Total: 90 minutes – or distance goal of six to eight miles
Training tip

When your run duration increases, planning your time around your workout becomes important. Think about how you can be super effective with your time management and creatively find ways to fit in every run.

Want more?

Be a little more ambitious with your additional 45-minute run this week and try to run the second half of the run faster than the first.

Week 4

Value your routine and stick to it. Your walk periods will start to reduce this week, you’ll be running continuously for longer, and your overall time on your feet will increase.

RUN ONE 10-minute walk; 10-minute run x2
Total: 40 minutes
RUN TWO 10-minute brisk walk; 30-minute easy run; 10-minute brisk walk
Total: 50 minutes
RUN THREE 10-minute walk; 20-minute easy run; 10-minute walk; 14-minute easy run; 10-minute walk
Total: 65 minutes
Training tip

Training schedules are designed to support you to the Start and Finish Line. They are planned to help you progress appropriately. Yet, sometimes a little flexibility and creativity is required and that’s ok.

Want more?

This week, to build your base more, drop in a fourth run. Make it a controlled, steady and smoothly paced 45-minute run.