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The 100 Day Marathon Training Program


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I first came across the 100 Day Marathon Program by Dr. Marius Bakken, 2 Time Olympic Runner and M.D., quite a while ago, when I was browsing the Web looking for different marathon training ideas. I got Marius' program to see for myself, and decided to share the key points with you in this article...



Program Overview
The 100 Day Marathon Training Program is neatly packaged in the 'eBook Pro' electronic book reader. You just click on the application file to get access to the information. The program covers all aspects of marathon training from selecting a training schedule to the marathon race itself. There is also an in-depth analysis of the training philosophy that Marius proposes. There are 14 main topics and plenty of videos to help your understanding of the material.

The Training Philosophy
The first thing that surprised me when going through the 100 Day program was the radically different approach to marathon training. This approach is based on the Italian and Kenyan training methods -two very successful countries who have consistently produced world class marathoners.

The training is split into six distinct periods, each with a different focus as follows:

  • 5k training

  • 10K training

  • Half marathon training

  • Full marathon training

  • Tapering off

  • Marathon race

The concept here is to keep varying your running goal instead of settling down into a standard pattern of training where improvement becomes more difficult. As Marius' puts it:

"Does this sound familiar? - A runner using the traditional approach to marathoning never seems to improve, running the same time for years. At some point, the runner becomes frustrated and quits the pursuit of improvement. This is typical in the sport. Maybe it's time to try something different!"

The idea behind the 100 day program is to see a substantial performance improvement over the course of the 100 days. To me, this makes a lot of sense and I have written several articles on the need to vary your training intensity if you want to improve your marathon time. (You can find one article here)

Just as important as the actual running schedule is the level of intensity you apply on a day to day basis. This is the Kenyan approach to each training run. Marius adapts this to his program so you will be doing 'tempo' runs on a regular basis. (Tempo runs involve varying your pace during the same workout - another technique that we endorse as part of our marathon training).

Marius goes on to explain how these training principles can be followed by everyone from the novice to the elite marathon runner.




The Training Plans

As Marius says "this is the exciting part"!

He presents 8 different training schedules from the faster runners (~ 2h 45m finishers) to what he calls the super-beginner levels. He has included a calculator so you can find out your expected marathon time based on the results of running shorter distances.

Each schedule presents a very detailed plan for each week as well as the level of effort required. Here is an example of the different intensity levels required for the sub 3h 30m plan:

Marius explains how to adjust for running by heart rate according to your own maximum rate. He has a video at the start of each training level where he reviews key points of each week or phase.

The actual training is by session - starting with three per week and working up to five sessions. Each type of run is well described and the layout is easy to follow. There is a three week recovery plan after the race.


More Training advice

Marius has included many more sections in his program, covering a broad range of marathon training topics, with plenty of photos and videos to illustrate the key points.

Here are some of the things he discusses:

  • Adjusting the Schedule + "Schedule FAQ"
    - Race Adjustments
    - Missed Training

  • Running Shoes
    - Find Your Foot Type
    - Shoe Suggestions For each type

  • Injuries / Weight Loss
    - Staying Injury Free
    - Cycling/Alternative Training
    - Weight Loss

  • Race Day - Nutrition
    What to Eat and Drink

  • Race Day - Pace Yourself

  • Race Day - Special Tips
    - Stomach Cramps
    - Regular Cramps

  • Advanced - Heart Rate Training
    - How to Run by Heart Rate
    - Find Your Maximum Heart Rate


I find the 100 Day Program to be a very comprehensive marathon training plan that most people should have no difficulty in following. I personally agree with the basic training philosophy of the plan - which is to vary the intensity of each workout. Marius has put all this into a well organized training structure that should pay off when it comes to race day.

Because the plan includes some faster workouts I would caution the less experienced runner to follow the program carefully and not to overdo it, or they may end up injured. I would also like to have seen more on nutrition during the training itself.

Overall this is a well thought-out training program from a former Olympic runner.

What Does It Cost?

The cost to purchase the 100 day Program is $47 - which is not a lot when you consider the average running store training clinic costs $60 or more.


For More Information...

You can visit Marius' 100 Day Training web page here, where he describes the benefits of using his program to train for your next marathon and run your best.



The publisher of the '26.2' website does receive a commission if you decide to purchase the 100 day program. However to the best of our knowledge the above content is a fair and accurate description of the program. Our promotional policy is to only present or endorse products we have seen for ourselves.

About the Author

Mike Stapenhurst is an experienced runner who has completed over 25 marathons, including the Boston marathon and the New York marathon. He wrote this report based on his own experiences, and those of many marathon runners, who had done all the training, but still ended up having problems during the race.

Mike is the author of many articles on running, and he is also co-author of the e-book 'Marathon Training' - a brand new edition is available here from Amazon.com



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