Marathon Training Schedules
Before choosing one of the two marathon training schedules that follow, it is essential that you successfully complete a base-building period by following one of the two mileage buildup schedules outlined earlier. It cannot be stressed enough that both of the marathon training schedules offered below are designed for runners who have successfully completed the mileage buildup period. If you have not fully completed the buildup phase, then do not proceed.
Additionally, it is crucial that you have applied the training principles and injury prevention strategies emphasized throughout this book. For example, if you ever feel excessively fatigued or are experiencing increased muscular stiffness or soreness prior to the workouts listed, it is important to make adjustments.
These modifications could include reducing mileage (particularly for midweek runs) or shifting workouts to allow for an additional rest day as needed. Using a training schedule without such basic knowledge or without the consultation of a coach or the advice of a knowledgeable and experienced runner is indeed hazardous to your health.
If you cannot complete the mileage specified for the first four weeks in these schedules without injury or resultant pain, then you should continue to work through the mileage buildup schedules. Scale back your training to a level that enables you to train safely without leg fatigue, soreness, or injury.
Schedule 1 (Beginner)
Although this schedule features a bit less weekly mileage than the advanced marathon schedule that follows (Schedule 2), runners who complete the workouts specified here will still be well-prepared to run 26.2 miles successfully on marathon day. Another attractive feature of this schedule is that it is based on a four-day training week, ideal for people faced with the demands of a busy work schedule, family commitments, and other obligations and responsibilities.
▼ TABLE 17-1: MARATHON TRAINING SCHEDULE 1 (BEGINNER)
Schedule 2 (Advanced)
This is an 18-week program geared to the runner who has completed the more advanced mileage buildup schedule featuring higher weekly mileage. As with the beginner's marathon training schedule, you'll notice that this schedule builds up mileage gradually. In the first week you will run 34 miles total. You will gradually hit varying peaks in weeks 6, 11, and 14.
▼ TABLE 17-2: MARATHON TRAINING SCHEDULE 2 (ADVANCED)