This 14-Week training plan is for the runner looking to step-up to a new distance and successfully complete a 26.2-mile event. Personal speed records will come at another race. The beginner plan is written for athletes intending to run, or run and walk, the event at a pace between 12 and 16 minutes per mile (finish time at 5:14 to 7:00). If you use the training plan “as is”, it is a 14-week program. Before beginning the plan, you should be capable of running or run/walking four days per week. The description of the first week of the plan should seem easy for you.
The first week of the plan has you running three or four days. Monday is an optional day of walking, Tuesday is a 20-minute run, Wednesday is an optional 30-minute bike ride, Thursday is a 30-minute run, Friday is a day off, Saturday is a 45-minute run and Sunday has two options. On Sunday you can do a run/walk workout or use a bike ride to build endurance. What? Why bike rides to prepare for a marathon?
In coaching multisport athletes I found cycling can be used to prepare people to run long distances without the joint-pounding stress that running creates. In the case you don’t have a bike or don’t want to use cycling to train for this event, there is a run scheduled in the plan for you to use on Sunday. So, all Wednesday bike rides are optional for everyone and the Sunday workout is a long bike OR a run, but not both.
Training hours range from 3:00 to 6:25 (run only) or 7:30 (cycling included)