Marathon Training Schedule - Advanced

Week  #  1



Getting Ready for the Marathon Season!  

Welcome to the start of our Advanced weekly marathon training schedule.

Marathon Training Tip Of The Week:

Never under-estimate the challenge of the marathon distance. Even if you are a faster runner with a sub 40 minutes 10K you still need to follow a rigorous training program to build up the strength you'll need to complete the 26.2 miles without hitting the wall or seriously slowing your pace over the final six miles.



Click to download our Free Marathon Race Strategies guide to running a successful marathon


Marathon Training Schedule: Week 1

This is the first step in a long (18 week) road. Remember that the mental side of marathon training is just as important if you want to train well and run a good race! 





Advanced Level: Week 1 Mileage Chart

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Total Miles
5 T 5 HL 5 E 5 T Rest 9 L 4 E 33

E - Easy Pace; HD - Hard Pace; HL - Hills; L - Long Slow Run; M - Marathon Pace; T - Tempo



To train at this level you will have been running on a regular basis for a minimum of four years or more, averaging 30+ miles per week and probably running one to two marathons per year. You will have run 6 or more marathons and have had some success in getting your times down to around 3h 30 m or better.

So if you are ready for some pretty serious training then this program is for you. If you can complete this program, the 3 hour marathon is definitely within your reach. Be prepared to make a substantial commitment of time and physical and emotional effort, as well as personal sacrifice to attain this goal.

Below are the suggested day-by-day training goals for this week's training. Don't worry if you have to miss a day, or make adjustments. This is an 18 week program and you have plenty of time to get back on track.




Week 1 Daily Training Schedule



Day 1- This run is 5 miles at tempo pace. Tempo consists of a warm-up period at easy pace (1 mile) then pick a pace, say 8 min/mile for the middle 3 miles and finish easy for the last mile of the workout. Generally pick a pace under your marathon pace (30 seconds). The objective is to increase the length of the workout at pace over the duration of the training program. This will help you maintain your marathon pace over a longer period of time during the actual event.

Day 2- Another 5 mile run with a twist; you will be doing Hill repeats. They ideally will consist of a period of warm-up (1 mile easy pace) followed by repeats of from 200 to 400 yards/meters. You will run up the hill at a comfortable pace and jog back down. Repeat until you have completed the middle 3 mile portion of the workout. Finish with a cool down run (1 mile). Alternately, you may pick a particularly hilly area and run it at a comfortable pace. Do not forget to stretch after the workout.

Day 3- This is your first easy day, a 5 miler at comfortable pace. Take it easy and stretch.

Day 4- Second tempo run of the week 4 miles. See day one.

Day 5- Take a break, you will need it. This is a rest day. An easy walk, bike ride or swim will help you recover and do not forget to stretch lightly.

Day 6- First (LSD) long slow distance run, 9 miles. This run is very important and should not be missed. Furthermore, please go slow on this run as it is meant to get your body acclimatized to the time and distance that you will be on your feet running. Leave any speed, tempo or hard pace for other times during the week.

Day 7- An easy 3 mile (5 km) run to finish off your first week of training. Once again I must emphasize the stretching component.


Marathon Program Training Tips

  • Follow the program - As you start out you’ll be Gung Ho…! Resist the temptation to do too much at the beginning. Your goals in the first few weeks are to settle into a regular training routine, and start to increase your long run distance. It’s best to increase your miles gradually as described in your training schedule. If you miss a day don’t worry about catching up. There is plenty of flexibility in a 16 week program.

  • Stick with it - after several weeks of following your training schedule, you will adapt to the extra effort it takes to keep on track. It becomes part of your daily routine.



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