1st Time Marathon Plan
Program type: Marathon/ Beginner
Description: The objective of this plan is an injury-free progression to complete a marathon. If portions of this plan seem unusual or lacking sense, then ask me - or know, after a lot of training, I've come to know the "hot" spots and where breaks in tempo and/or miles are needed - and many experienced marathoners would probably look at these exact spots in the plan and say to themselves "yeah, that's the point where many injuries occur."

This is not a couch-to-marathon plan. A good start point for this plan is an ability to run a 5k at least. It is a super plan for a 10k or half marathon runner to get them to their first marathon.

MP is run done at expected Marathon per mile pace. A good guesstimate of what your marathon pace will be is to take an average of your time per mile for all of the miles run in weeks 1-4.

EZ is at a recovery pace, marathon per mile pace plus 1.5 - 2.0 minutes. Every long run on Saturday should have 25% of the run at marathon pace.

The intent is to get a runner across the finish line and not induce injury in the process which prevents achievement of the ultimate finishing goal. If you need to take a break, take one during the week - the weekend runs are the critical runs. Also, be careful of your pace on the weekday runs - do not compromise yourself for the long run on each Saturday.

Cross training should be aerobic (rowing, biking, swimming, upper body weight lifting).
Program Length: 24 weeks
 

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 rest 2 miles 30 min walk 2 miles 30 min walk 2 miles 1 mile 7 mi total
2 rest 2 miles 30 min walk 2 miles 30 min walk 3 miles 2 miles 9 mi total
3 rest 3 miles 30 min walk 2 miles 30 min walk 3 miles 3 miles 11 mi total
4 rest 3 miles 30 min walk 2 miles 30 min walk 4 miles 3 miles 12 mi total
5 rest 3 miles rest 3 miles rest 4 miles 3 miles EZ 13 mi total
6 60 min cross 3 miles 2 miles 3 miles 60 min cross 5 miles 3 miles EZ 16 mi total
7 60 min cross 3 miles 2 miles MP 4 miles 60 min cross 6 miles 3 miles EZ 18 mi total
8 60 min cross 3 miles 2 miles MP 4 miles 60 min cross 7 miles 3 miles EZ 19 mi total
9 60 min cross 4 miles 2 miles MP 4 miles 60 min cross 6 miles 3 miles EZ 19 mi total
10 60 min cross 4 miles 2.5 miles MP 4 miles 60 min cross 7 miles 3 miles EZ 20.5 mi total
11 60 min cross 4 miles 3 miles MP 4 miles 60 min cross 6 miles 3 miles EZ 20 mi total
12 60 min cross 4 miles 3 miles MP 5 miles 60 min cross 8 miles 3 miles EZ 23 mi total
13 60 min cross 4 miles 3 miles MP 4 miles 60 min cross 12 miles rest 23 mi total
14 60 min cross 4 miles 3 miles MP 5 miles 60 min cross 14 miles 3 miles EZ 29 mi total
15 60 min cross 4 miles 3.5 miles MP 5 miles 60 min cross 16 miles 3 miles EZ 31.5 mi total
16 60 min cross 5 miles 4 miles MP 5 miles 60 min cross 10 miles 3 miles EZ 27 mi total
17 60 min cross 5 miles 4 miles MP 5 miles 60 min cross 18 miles 3 miles EZ 35 mi total
18 60 min cross 4 miles 4 miles MP 5 miles 60 min cross 12 miles 3 miles EZ 28 mi total
19 60 min cross 4 miles 4 miles MP 5 miles 60 min cross 18 miles rest 31 mi total
20 3 miles EZ 5 miles 4.5 miles MP 6 miles 60 min cross 14 miles 3 miles EZ 35.5 mi total
21 60 min cross 4 miles 5 miles MP 6 miles 60 min cross 20 miles 3 miles EZ 38 mi total
22 60 min cross 4 miles rest 4 miles 60 min cross 12 miles 3 miles EZ 23 mi total
23 60 min cross 3 miles 3 miles MP 3 miles EZ 60 min cross 8 miles 3 miles EZ 20 mi total
24 rest 2 miles EZ 2 miles MP rest 2 miles rest 26.2 miles 32.2 mi total
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