What do you get with a training plan?
Workout #1 : Day Off
Welcome to the first week of marathon training. Your training starts with a day of rest. This week, you'll have four days of easy short runs, and a long run of 10 miles. On rest days, you have several alternatives. You can do nothing at all—sometimes a good choice. You can walk 30 minutes—almost always worthwhile. Or you can do a solid cross-training day: swimming, strength-training, bicycling, elliptical training, yoga, or another effort. Just make sure it's not something that tires you excessively for your next running workout.
Workout #2 : Run
4 MILES EASY
Maintain a comfortable conversational pace, and keep your heart rate at about 65 percent of VO2 max. Or you can cross-train on a bike or an elliptical trainer. Don't worry so much about how fast you're going during these runs. Just try to focus on covering the distance feeling good.
Workout #3 : Run
4 MILES EASY
It's okay to cross-train on easy days instead of hitting the road. Just swim, bike, or use the elliptical machine for the same period of time you'd spend running. Try to use the same level of effort that you'd hit on the run.
Workout #4 : Run
4 MILES EASY
It's important to keep your easy days easy throughout training so that you have the energy and fitness to give your all to the quality workouts, like Yasso 800s and long runs. In order to do that, it's a good idea to learn the best target pace for all your runs on the schedule. If you have run a race within the past six months, plug that time into our training calculator at runnersworld.com/tools. Look at the "training paces" to find your pace for each of the runs on the schedule. If you don't have a recent race time, do a one-mile time trial. Here's how: Go to a track or any one-mile stretch of road. After a 10-minute warmup, time yourself while running four laps (or one mile) as fast as you can. Note your time, then cool down with 10 minutes of walking and jogging. Plug your time into the training calculator.
Workout #5 : Day Off
Ideally, on rest days you should do no exercise at all. But it's okay to cross-train with a no-impact activity like stretching, yoga, or swimming.
Workout #6 : Run
10 MILES LSD
This long, slow distance run is meant to build endurance. These should be done at an easy pace, slower than you usually go on shorter runs during the week. If you're a beginner, go as slowly as your body dictates. Walk if you want to. Your goal is to cover the distance for the day without feeling utterly exhausted.
Workout #7 : Run
3 MILES EASY
Run at an easy pace today. Just focus on shaking out any stiffness you may have from yesterday's long run.
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Workout #8 : Day Off
Welcome to week two of training. This week you'll have four easy short runs, two days of rest, and a long run that will bump up to 12 miles. Take it easy today to recover and stay fresh for the miles ahead. It may be tempting to run on rest days, but it's best not to. Give your body a chance to recover from the miles you've logged, and get energized for tomorrow's long run.
Workout #9 : Run
4 MILES EASY
Training logs can be great tools to track your progress and help prevent injuries. Write down details about the mileage you ran, how you felt while you were on the run, what the weather was like, and how you felt afterward. Be sure to include your race goals and the reasons you're training for a marathon. When you feel the urge to call it quits, pull out that log. Seeing all your plans—and all that you've already accomplished—can help get you out the door.