Northern Arizona Elite - Intermediate 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 intermediate marathon plan. If you’re someone who has high goals and typically trains between 50 and 75 miles a week, then this plan is perfect for you. It is built using the same workouts that we used in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon where Matt Llano and Kellyn Taylor both finished in sixth place. 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: 1-2 mile warm-up. 2 mile Tempo Run/8 mile run/2 mile Tempo Run. 1-2 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 an eight mile run on the quicker end of Easy Run pace range. Then, the coups de gras, another 2 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 8 miler.

Tempo/Mile Repeats/Tempo: 1-2 mile warm-up. 3 mile Tempo Run/4 x 1 mile repeats/3 mile Tempo Run. 1-2 mile cool-down. This type of workout was new for us before the 2016 Olympic Trials but we loved it! You do 3 miles at a moderate hard pace to get started. Then you do four 1-mile repeats at a much faster pace. Then, just when you think you can't do any more…you do another 3 miles at that same moderate hard pace you started with.

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 the athletes hit this one and feel like they could have kept going we know they're 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 one rest day per week. Before beginning this plan you should have a good general level of fitness and mileage-wise you should already have been at, or near, 50-75 miles a week for a couple of weeks.

Get the latest news

Join Us