Marathon: Walk, Jog, Run, Train, Race. First marathon; walk / jog marathon; run consistantly to a Marathon training plan.

Marathon Training--for intermediate to advanced runners
Marathon down to 5K at

Basic Marathon Training by David Holt, author of Running Dialogue

Copyright David Holt 2,000 Any part, or all of this training material may be quoted or reviewed...provided you acknowledge the source...Running Dialogue and other books by David Holt, this web page or, and contact me at to let me know the material is being used or reviewed.

Low mileage marathon through this page.

What is the minimum marathon training mileage on which you can run the marathon.
Iíve seen it done.
However, most runners have more sense.
While I think itís better to get several years training background before
you attempt marathon running, provided youíve done 3-5 miles for 
several months, most active people can complete 26.2 miles.
But this is not good for Marathon Racing.
	It only takes 20-25 miles a week to be able to run-walk a
marathon. The marathon wonít be fast; but the marathon doesnít have to be ugly; and, you can
have fun. While Iím not keen on minimalist training, this section should
help you run a marathon with only modest injury risk.
	The key ingredient is the long training run at close to marathon
	Multiply your 10 k race time by five (higher mileage people can
use 4.6, but youíll be taking walk breaks.) and divide by 26.2 to get
your run pace. A 50 minute 10 k (eight min miles) gives 250 minutes,
or about nine and a half minute miles. Starting with your 40 minute run
in week one, add five minutes, or half a mile on every odd numbered
week in your build-up, until you get to 10 miles or 100 minutes of con¨
tinuous running.

* Odd numbered weeks
Day one...Run at marathon target pace. It will take 12 increases over
24 weeks to reach 100 minutes of running.
Day two...walk a mile, run two, walk a mile. In the early weeks, this
can remain a thirty minute run, like in 10K training. As your
day one run increases, however, you will probably want to cut back. 
Day four...Alternate long reps and a tempo run. This is anaerobic
threshold. 15 K race pace or 10-20 seconds slower than 10 k pace. or
80-92 percent of your maximum heartrate. Keep running those two to
three miles of fast training. 

Day five...repeat day two
Day fartlek, or 100s, or 200s. Keep good running form. Fast running improves
your oxygen uptake system or VO2 max.
Mileage is 20-25 for these weeks and sets you up nicely for the first day
of marathon training in each even numbered week.

* Even weeks
Day one...Run-walk starting with 60 minutes. Add ten minutes each
time to give you three hours after the 24 weeks. The running should be
a half to a minute per mile slower than marathon target pace. Run fif¨
teen minutes at this pace, then walk at relaxed tempo for five. Practice
taking in liquids with a little carbohydrate.
Days two-four...restive, but do 20 minutes of exercise two days,
including a two mile run.
Day five....A--Once a month run hill repeats, but slowly. If you prefer,
run reps through mud. But do run this strength session. You need all the
anatomical benefits which resistance training will give you. Running six to eight long hill reps are better than short ones. 

See Hill Training for Marathon Running

            B--The even number weeks when you donít run hills, run inter¨
vals on the track. Sorry, did I say this was a minimalist marathon training schedule! Try running these sessions:
six 400s; five 600s; eight 400s; four 800s; eight 400s;
six 600s; at 5 k pace or 10-15 seconds per mile faster (VO2 max pace).
Take the same distance as rest; jog it.
This is clearly a vital dayís training; youíve had three rest
make the most of it, but donít run faster than two mile pace. VO2 max
training opens up your lungs--you breath deeper. You open pathways
and stimulate red blood cell and mitochondria production. Youíll
improve form...if you think about it.
Day six...walk one, run two, walk one

* Resting up
The last walk-run pre-marathon should be an hour less than your long¨
Two times one mile at marathon pace should be the only speed session
in the last seven days.

Everything is geared toward the long runs which build aerobic base to
enable you to complete the marathon. Speed sessions give the benefits
of every type of training which international class runners use. 
Youíll be able to run the marathon after six months. Hopefully, youíll
run a few 10 Ks and a half-marathon in the build-up. You can also stay
at week 25 level for some time. The longer you remain training at 
week 24-25ís level, by repeating it several times; 
the more you do on your easy days
--the more likely you will be able to run most of the race at mara¨
thon target pace with minimal walks. Resting up may allow you to run
for 30 minutes at a time with a five minute walk break. If you sense
youíre approaching poop-dom, settle back to 20 or 15 running and five
minutes walk.

The Competitors Marathon Training Schedule. Marathon Running and Racing for Time and Position with:

Anaerobic Threshold; Intervals at Maximum Oxygen Uptake Capacity (VO2max). Hill or Mud resistance training.

Marathon Training--intermediate to advanced
Fartlek for marathon training

Go to David's Homepage
Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)

David Holt's second running book: 10K Running, Training and Racing.

Go to Diet and Nutrition--Tips for Marathon Racing & Training
To Running Injury Prevention
Weight Training for runners as Cross / Resistance Training
Stretching during Marathon Training & Racing
Marathon Training phase one...hills / resistance training
Marathon Training--intermediate to advanced
VO2 Maximum Training: Short Intervals for all distance runners...5k, 10k, half marathon to marathon
Sarcomere--muscle contraction unit
Half Marathon Training--excellent running stop on the road to Marathon Racing
5k training and racing...the first of five pages for the 5k runner
10k training...mileage and strength and access to four other parts of 10k training
10 mile distance running world record essay
Running Dialogue table of Contents

Book Ordering Information

Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at
Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)