Training schedule for sub 4.30 hours

Suggested Marathon Plan for sub 4.30 hours : this is an example schedule.
Check here for up to date details about the Striders away-day Sunday runs.

You need to be able to run at approximately 10 minute per mile pace for 26.2 miles. In doing so you should be able to run the following distances at these times 10k in 53 mins ( 8.31 per mile), ½ marathon in 2hr min (9.10 per mile).  See club website or Striderslist for further information on Speed sessions, XC fixtures and Sunday club special runs and other races.

marathon runners training schedule : target  4:30 hours (10 min/mile)
SESSION
WEEK ONE Beginning first week of January – total mileage approx 31
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : eg 1M or 10 min (warm up), then 2 x 1.5M or 13min, with 800m or 6min recoveries, then 1M or 10 min (cool down). HR for 2×1.5 is 75-85%  see website for details
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 5M or 50min HR below 65% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 1M or 10mins (warm up), then 2M or 20 min. Then 2×1 min up hill recoveries, then 1M or 10 min cool down. HR for the 2M is 75-85%. HR for hills over 75%.
FRIDAY Rest or Club run from Sandilands 3M easy
SATURDAY 4M or 40mins  HR is below 65% ORD if possible
SUNDAY Striders club run: 8M or 80min. Hr 65%-75%. Try and include hills, don’t worry too much if your HR goes over 75% up hill. OR Striders Greenwich Run
WEEK TWO  total mileage approx 34
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : eg 1M or 10 min (warm up), then 2 x 1.5M or 13min, with 800m or 6min recoveries, then 1M or 10 min (cool down). HR for 2×1.5 is 75-85%  see website for details
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 5M or 50min HR below 65% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 1M or 10mins (warm up), then 2M or 20 min. Then 2×1 min up hill recoveries, then 1M or 10 min cool down. HR for the 2M is 75-85%. HR for hills over 75%.
FRIDAY Rest or Club run from Sandilands 3M easy
SATURDAY 4M or 40mins  HR is below 65% ORD if possible OR Surrey League Cross Country
SUNDAY Striders club run: 90min OR Striders Beckenham 12 Run
WEEK THREE  total mileage approx 34
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : e.g. 1M or 9 min (warm up), followed by  3 x 1M or 3x 7.30min HR 85%-90% with 3-min recoveries, then 1M  or 9 min (cool down). It should feel a little hard.  See website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 6M or 60 min, hr should between 65%-75% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 1M or 10 min (warm up), followed by 3M or 28mins. HR 75%-85%, followed by 2×2 min up hill recoveries then jog back to the start, then 1M or 10 min (cool down)
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 4M or 40 min HR below 65%
SUNDAY Striders club run : 9M or 85-90 min HR between 65%-75%. Try and include hills or Dartford 10M race OR Striders Oxted 11
WEEK FOUR  total mileage approx 34
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : e.g. Run on flat road as this is a speed session. Pace faster than normal. 1M or 9 min (warm up) followed by then 5 x 800m or 4.30 min fast pace.  2min very slow to recover and let your HR slow, then 1M or 9 min cool down. HR 85%-95% see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 7M or  67-70 min nice and slow and relaxed HR 65-75%
THURSDAY 1M or 9 min warm up, followed by 2M fartlek, cool down with 1M or 9 min slow. HR 75%-85%
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 3M or 30 min slow HR below 65% ORD
SUNDAY Striders club run OR Striders Wandle 14
WEEK FIVE  total mileage approx 32
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : e.g. 1M or 10 min (warm up) then 4M or 40 min  fartlek cool down with a 1M slow run or 10 min. HR below 75 for the recoveries but over 85% for the Fartlek – see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 5M or 48 min slow HR below 75%
THURSDAY 5M or 47 min HR 75%-85% plus 5 hill repeats of either 400m or 2 mins, recovery return to the bottom, HR over 80%. Try and do the hills during the middle of the run
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 4M or 39 min HR below 75% ORD
SUNDAY Striders club run:11M approx OR Striders Keston Ponds 14
WEEK SIX total mileage approx  32
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 9 min warm up then 4x 800m or 4×4.30mins hard, HR over 85% take 400m or 3 min recoveries but do it slow. End the session with 1m or 9 min cool down – see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run:  6M or 55-60 min HR below 75% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 1M or 10 mins warm up then 3M or 27 min HR 85% plus, then 1M or 10 min recovery
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3miles
SATURDAY 4M or 40 min HR 65%-75% ORSurreyLeagueCrossCounty
SUNDAY Striders club run OR Merstham 15
WEEK SEVEN  total mileage approx 38
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 9 mins warm up, 5 x 400 m or 4 x 4mins up a hill recovery is slow run down hill, then a1M or 10 mins cool down see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run:  7M or 66 mins HR 65%-75% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 6M or 54 mins HR 75%-85%
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 4M or 40 mins HR below 75%
SUNDAY Striders club run: 15M or 2hrs 25mins HR 65%-75% or Brighton Half marathon
WEEK EIGHT total mileage approx 38
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 9 min warm up then  5×1 mile or 4 x71/2 min (HR 80% plus) with 400m or 3 min recovery between each one. Followed by 1M or 9 min cool down -see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run:  8M or 80 min HR 65%-75%
THURSDAY 1M or 9 min warm up followed by 2M race pace (10mins per mile) or 20 min followed by 1m or 9 min cool down
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 3M or 30min HR below 70%
SUNDAY Striders club run to do 16M: OR Striders Warlingham/White Bear 14
WEEK NINE  total mileage approx 40
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 9 min warm up then 1 min fast  1-min recoveries do 10-15 times followed by 1M or 9 min cool down HR 75% plus –  see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 7M or 68 min HR 75%-85% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 8M  or 78 min ORD HR 65%-75%
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 4M or  40 min HR below 65%
SUNDAY Striders club run : 17m OR Striders Woolwich 14/19
WEEK TEN  total mileage approx 40
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 10mins warm up then jog, 3 x 2m or 3x 16mins fast, recovery is 4mins followed by a 1M or 10 min cool down – see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 8m or approx 75mins HR 65%-75% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 1 mile or 10 mins warm up followed by then 3M race pace or 24 mins, HR 75%-85% followed by 1M or 10mins cool down
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 3M (approx 30 mins) easy ORD if possible
SUNDAY Striders club run : 13M time trail, either do a ½ marathon race or time yourself over 13M aim to do it in about 2hr 10mins HR 75% plus OR Striders Regents Canal 18
WEEK ELEVEN  total mileage approx 50
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 10 min warm up followed by 7M or 1hr 5min fartlek (HR 75% plus for fartlek) followed by 1M or 10 min cool down  – see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run: 6m or 55 min HR 65%-75% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 10M or 90 min HR 65%-75% include 3x1min hill run
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 4M or 40 min HR below 65%
SUNDAY Striders club run: 19M or 3hrs 15min HR 65%-80% OR Striders Botley Hill 18
WEEK TWELVE  total mileage approx 47
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 10min warm up 6 x 1M or 6x8min, with or 2-min recoveries, then a 1M or 10 min cool down HR 85% plus for the mile repeats  – see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 7M or  66 min  HR-65%-75% ORD if possible
THURSDAY 1M or 10 min warm up followed by 5M or 46 min (HR 75% plus)  (i.e. quicker than race pace) followed by 1M or 10 min cool down
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 4M or 40 min HR below 65%
SUNDAY Strider club run : 22M or 3hrs 45min HR 75%-85% try and include some hilly parts OR Striders Kingston run 20M
WEEK THIRTEEN  total mileage approx 43
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 10min warm up 8 x 800m or 8×4 min hard (hard 85% plus 2mins recoveries, then 1M or 10min cool down  – see website
WEDNESDAY Striders club run : 6M or approx 60 min HR 65%-75%
THURSDAY 9M or 90 min plus 3×2 min up hills HR 75% plus
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 4M or 40 min HR below 70%
SUNDAY Striders club run : 16/18M or 3hrs HR 65%-75% OR Croydon Half
WEEK FOURTEEN  total mileage approx 32
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 1M or 10min warm up then 6 x 400m hill or 6×4 min recovery is slow run down the hill, cool down with a 1M or 10 min run  – see website
WEDNESDAY Striders Club Run: 5M or 50 min HR 65%-75%
THURSDAY 1M jog, then 3M (approx 22 min) brisk, then 1M jog
FRIDAY Rest or easy Club run from Sandilands 3M
SATURDAY 4M or 40 min HR 65-75%
SUNDAY 13M or 2 hrs HR 65%-75%, in your racing kit. Practise your pre-race routine
WEEK FIFTEEN
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 2M or 20min warm up jog, then 3 x 400m or 3×2 min recovery is 2min then 1M or 10min cool down – see website
WEDNESDAY 1 Hour Striders Club Run at HR 65%-75%
THURSDAY Rest or cross train Trinity swim
FRIDAY Striders Club Run 4 Miles
SATURDAY REST
SUNDAY 8-10 Miles Steady

 

WEEK SIXTEEN  minimal up to race approx 10
MONDAY REST
TUESDAY Striders speed session : 2M or 20min warm up jog, then 3 x 400m or 3×2 min recovery is 2min then 1M or 10min cool down – see website
WEDNESDAY 4M or 40 min HR 65%-75% in race kit
THURSDAY Rest or cross train Trinity swim
FRIDAY REST
SATURDAY 2M or 20 min HR below 65%
SUNDAY RACE DAY

 

In the program you will come across certain words and phrases – here is what they mean.

Fartlek. This word is Swedish in origin and means speed work. It can be done anywhere and it can consist of running between lamps posts, trees and a certain amount of houses. After which you recover and then do it again.

Tempo running. A tempo run is where you run at a pace that is slightly quicker than your intended race pace but for a longer period than a fartlek. So a session for example my be a 5 min warm up followed by 10 mins of faster running then a 5 min cool down, or another example would be a 1 mile warm up followed by 6 miles at a faster than race pace and a mile cool down.  A treadmill can be used here with ease.

Hill session. A session here may be a 5 min warm up and then 6 repeats of running the hill fast and slow on the way down to recover and you can do a many of these as you want making sure that you build it up slowly.

Speed session. You can use a long, flat road without too many breaks or you can go to Striders of Croydon track session.  If you have a GPS then you can measure the distance, if not then use a car and drive and note things such as where 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1 mile marks are – don’t worry if they are a little short. But a session may include 2x800m (½ mile) at faster than marathon pace or 3×1 mile at faster than marathon pace. Again a treadmill, can be used Also include a recovery.

Below is a heart rate chart that can be used for training with a heart monitor. In the program I have wherever possible included what HR percentage you should be running for any given work out. Don’t worry if it does not quite match up to what your HR monitor says as this is only a guide to help you.

Recovery HR. This will feel slow and your HR should be below 65%.

Steady pace HR. This is a bit more of a challenge and you are looking for a HR around 65%-75%.

Threshold HR. This pace is tougher still and you will notice you get a sweat up and the pace is around your marathon pace, about 75%-85%.

Hard HR. This pace is even tougher and its around your 10k speed and about 85%-95% on your HR monitor, in other words fast.

Fartlek HR. As already said its an easy run with an injection of pace then a recovery period, often you run these as you feel but if you want to set your HR monitor then a good setting would be around 75%-85%. Though feel free to go faster.

Speed and hill work. These will get your HR up and you most likely will running between 85-95%. You will be working hard and will be out of breath so that’s why you take the recovery recommended as you give 100% each rep.

Key
M= miles
HR= heart rate to run between
TS= treadmill speed
TS+I= treadmill speed and incline setting
Time= time you should run if you do not used a gps or use a treadmill nor know how far a distance is.
ORD= off road (Note –  should not be done in the dark i.e. evenings during winter)
400m= quarter mile
800=½ mile
.75= three quarters of a mile

We have included times as well for the run. This is to aid you so that if you are unaware of the distance covered at least you know for how long to run. However please note that the times are likely to lead to you run too fast at the start and slow down later and also are likely to lead to less mileage than you should be doing, so please where ever possible use a measured route