Non-Runner to Marathon-Runner
YOU CAN KEEP GOING AND YOUR LEGS MIGHT HURT FOR A WEEK, OR YOU CAN QUIT AND YOUR MIND WILL HURT FOR A LIFETIME
Never ran? No problem! You can’t run for 5 minutes? In 16 weeks your aim is to run for 4 hours 47 minutes and 40 seconds or faster.
Sound impossible? It’s not. No seriously, its not! We have every step methodically planned so you run appropriate speeds and distances to see consistent progression throughout your journey.
Non-Runner to Marathon-Runner is available FREE with a Physique Box purchase (your password will be active for the month you receive your Physique Box).
Follow the programme here.
To ensure you make it to the Start Line
in great shape to enjoy your marathon adventure, we’ve devised a training plan to help you get race-ready.
The plan is aimed at novice marathon runners covering the distance for the first time, with a few tweaks and challenges if you want to test yourself, or if you feel like pushing on a bit if your training is going really well.
The plan assumes that you will run three times a week and that you’ve done very little running in the past but are generally in good health and committed to your marathon journey.
The days of the week shown are not fixed and only proposed. If you change them, try to ensure that a run day is followed by a rest day (for example, run on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday or Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday).
Remember, a training plan is a guide to help you reach Race Day prepared, injury-free, confident and race-ready. Listen to your body as you work through the plan; aim to stick to it, yet adapt it and be flexible when you need to.
We’ve broken your marathon training plan down into four key phases. Each phase is four weeks long. Work through each week concentrating only on the daily run and week that lies ahead.
Easy Runs (ER)
(less than 60 per cent maximum effort) During an easy run, you should feel relaxed, breathing comfortably and be capable of holding a conversation throughout the run. New runners may not feel that running is easy at first. So just slow down, walk if necessary and control your effort.
Steady Runs (SR)
(60-70 per cent maximum effort)
These runs are the foundation for the rest of your training. Sentences are still possible at this pace but in sentences but not long conversations.
Tempo Runs (TR)
(70-80 per cent maximum effort)
Running at tempo pace improves your running economy. As it is a sustained pace that requires concentration. You will find these runs slightly uncomfortable as you try to run faster but they are worth it.
Long Runs (LR)
These are a real focus of the plan. They are used to develop strength and endurance. Also to practise your target marathon pace and control. Long runs are shown in both time and distance.
Interval Runs (IR)
These include periods of higher intensity effort or faster running interspersed with periods of recovery or rest. Having rest between bouts of harder running means you can maintain the quality and pace of the effort.
GETTING STARTED: WEEKS 1-4
These first four weeks begin to build a firm foundation for your marathon journey. Establishing a routine is crucial as your training plan kicks off. Remember your commitment to three runs a week and look at your work, social, home and lifestyle schedule to identify opportunities to fit in a training session. Devise a structure that is realistic rather than overambitious.
GETTING INTO IT: WEEKS 5-8
The second phase of your marathon journey is about sticking with the training and starting to notice the positive changes both physically and mentally that will begin to emerge as you get more and more into your running. It’s time to build on your routine, be consistent and develop your distance.
GOING LONGER: WEEKS 9-12
This third phase is probably the most important of your entire build up. It’s certainly the toughest, yet also the most beneficial to your marathon success story. You’ll start to feel the benefits of the training you’ve done so far; you’ll feel more confident and will be able to run for longer. Now is the time to teach your body to deal with even greater distances, focus on building up your long run, spend time understanding and working out your marathon pace judgement and learning what psychological strategies you can draw on to give yourself the mental strength you need to go the distance.
GETTING RACE READY: WEEKS 13-16
This final four-week phase is all about holding yourself together, staying healthy and injury-free and putting the final touches of ‘less not more’ to your running. By now all but the final few bits of hard work are done and you’ll be starting to ease back, run smart, do less, feel stronger, feel more confident (although a few last-minute wobbles are really common), and feel ready to tackle Race Day.