This detailed 12-week training plan was created by TrainingBible Coaching Head Coach Joe Friel for the first-time marathoner who is fairly new to running. This plan is intended for the runner whose only goal is to finish the race smiling. If you are an experienced runner looking to do your first marathon you may consider one of my other marathon plans based on your goal finish time.
Before starting this plan you should have been running for at least 6 months, have completed at least one race of 5k or 10k distance, be free of injuries, have been running at least 3 times a week recently, and have completed a long run of at least 1 hour recently.
The plan includes 4 weekly runs in most weeks with 3 in recovery weeks every third week. One or two bike workouts are scheduled weekly to help avoid injury and to speed recovery while maintaining aerobic fitness. Long runs are schedulled for the weekends and build from 75 minutes in week #1 to 3 hours in week #9. All run workouts call for alternating running and walking just as you will do in the race. With this very successful strategy you will avoid training injuries while learning to finish all long runs - and the race - strongly. Your fitness and confidence will soar!
A heart rate monitor or pacing device is not required for this training plan but may prove helpful.
As a Training Peaks subscriber, if you have training questions, you may post them on the Training Peaks Athlete Forum and they will be answered by a TrainingBible coach. On purchasing the plan you will receive an email within a few days giving you more detailed information on assistance should you have training problems along the way. You may opt to jhave the workouts emailed to you in advance daily, or you can access them on your password-protected free account at TrainingPeaks.com.
You should start this plan 12 weeks prior to your marathon. It will guide you day by day to your goal. All you need to do is follow the daily workout schedule.
All the best for your training and racing! --Joe Friel