Northern Arizona Elite - Advanced Marathon Plan

Are you ready to train like the Pros? Our Northern Arizona Elite Training Plans are taken straight from the workouts that Coach Ben Rosario uses to prepare the NAZ Elite team for some of the biggest races in the United States and across the globe! You’ll get insights into how we perform each workout in Flagstaff, Ariz., complete with links to workout videos from some of our biggest sessions. We believe that these plans can work for anyone and everyone. They just need to be tailored for specific ability and experience levels.

This is our advanced marathon plan. It is the exact training we did in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Trials where Matt Llano and Kellyn Taylor both finished in 6th place, but with just a little less overall volume. If you’re someone who is very aggressive about your goals and typically trains 75 to 100 miles a week, then this plan is perfect for you. A typical week has a hard workout on Tuesday and a long run on Saturday. Those Saturday long runs often include some type of hard effort (fast finish, surges, etc.). Thursdays alternate between a light leg speed workout and a medium long run. The other days are filled with easy mileage, occasionally followed by drills and strides.

Here are just a few of the hard sessions you’ll see in this plan:

Tempo/Long/Tempo: 2 mile warm-up. 4 mile Tempo Run/10 mile run/4 mile Tempo Run. 2 mile cool-down. This one is a monster! Do the first Tempo Run at the slow end of the Tempo Run pace range. Then go straight into a ten mile run on the quicker end of Easy Run pace range. Then, the coups de gras, another 4 mile Tempo Run! Do this one as fast, or slightly faster, than the first one. The only rest in between is if you need to change shoes into and/or out of racing flats between the tempos and the 10 miler.

20 Mile Alternating Pace Long Run: 2 mile warm-up. 20 miles alternating one mile at marathon pace, one mile at a minute slower than marathon pace. 2 mile cool-down. We instituted this workout into our schedule in 2015 and it remains a staple.

16 Miles at Marathon Pace: 1-2 mile warm-up. 16 miles at your goal marathon pace, 1-2 mile cool-down. This is another classic for our team. When they nail it and feel like they could've done more than we know they are ready! And of course, you’re doing this with a lot of miles on your legs. Fresh and ready to roll on race day you’ll be able to keep it rolling for 26.2.

*All of our plans use the Joe Friel Training Zones for running available to you via TrainingPeaks. They include what each zone means to us so you can clearly understand what we mean by a Steady State Run (= to the slow end Zone 4/fast end of Zone 3), a Tempo Run (= to the slow end of Zone 5a/fast end of Zone 4), etc.

Again, these are just a few of the sessions we’ll throw at you over the course of these 12 weeks. Everything builds slowly over that time and you’ll get one down week, halfway through the segment, just to recharge the batteries a bit. You’ll also get a couple of rest days here and there. Before beginning this plan you should have a good general level of fitness and mileage-wise you should already have been at, above, or near, 75 miles a week for a couple of weeks.

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