12 Week Marathon Training Guide for Success

Are you seeking a new 12 week marathon training guide? If so, I am glad you have made it here to RunDreamAchieve. be sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new video content there weekly to help runners like you make it to the next level in their training and racing.

Our training plans and running courses help athletes do what the best middle to long distance runners do. Also, we focus on a 10-day rather than a 3-week taper. Our plans incorporate interval training mid-week, aerobic endurance base miles for volume training and marathon specific paced long runs.

Perks of a 12 Week Marathon Training Guide

Remember, set realistic expectations and build your training schedule gradually. A quality 12 week marathon training guide should include easy running and tempo runs. In addition, long runs as well as recovery days and cross-training workouts for optimal success. Yes, you can get in great shape in a matter of 3 months. That being said, I always recommend a longer build up. 16 weeks is good but 20 to 24 weeks is optimal.

It takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load being placed on it. So, training for a longer period of time is better than a shorter timeframe.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to put in the hard work required to become fit. Prioritize nutrition, sleep and core strength training alongside running workouts for maximum longevity of marathon training. Are you feeling chronically fatigued? I would recommend getting your blood checked. Also, have the physician or nurse check your ferritin or iron levels. We lose iron in our sweat and many times runners are running very low on iron without knowing it.

Tempo Runs

Training for a marathon takes serious physical and mental commitment. So, any extra strain could lead to injury or burnout; too little effort could mean never making it across the finish line. The key tactic here is to improve the body’s lactate tolerance. You don’t want to run too much aerobic running. The result is you will be a superior, long, slow distance runner.

Tempo runs or threshold workouts are designed to build your body’s ability to run faster for extended periods of time. They are a huge component of the RunDreamAchieve 12 week marathon training guide. I would focus on extending that tempo run from 3 miles out to around 9 to 10 miles when you are at your fittest.

We conduct our tempo runs at or close to our anaerobic threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where lactate acid begins to build up to higher levels. The faster we run the more oxygen is required. In addition, the higher your lactic acid levels will rise. So, it is natural we have to stop when we run too fast.

Long Runs

Long runs are an essential element of marathon training. By increasing endurance levels to enable you to cover all 26.2 miles on race day. Long runs help build stamina necessary to successfully cover 26.2 miles. In general, longer long runs should be completed at an aerobic pace that is 20 percent slower than your goal marathon pace. That being said, you should also run portions of your long run at faster than goal race pace every other weekend.

I call these varied-paced long runs. There are many runners getting into the habit of running long, slow and easy every single weekend. Stop doing that if you want to set a new personal record.

I would wearing your marathon racing shoes during your faster long runs. Remember, you want to feel fast as well. So, training shoes during easy long runs and racing flats during faster efforts. Also, bring plenty of water and energy snacks for long runs. Our 12 week marathon training guide options focus on improving the athlete’s lactate tolerance. The end goal is to sustain goal race pace longer than our competition. Again, patience is key.

Jog on Easy Days

Higher weekly mileage is key but also running quality mileage as well. Remember, too much easy running will only make you a quality, long slow runner. So, our 12 week marathon training guide incorporates threshold intervals designed to boost running speed. In addition, aerobic endurance base miles to build distance. Lastly, marathon-specific workouts to hone pacing strategies.

Recovery runs are short, gentle runs designed to promote recovery before undertaking more intense workouts. They should be considerably slower than your other runs of the week. In addition, should feel like energy storage rather than exertion.

Cross Training days provide an opportunity to take a rest day or engage in light aerobic exercise like walking, cycling or yoga. I am a big believer in pool running which will helps prevent injuries while simultaneously supporting muscle recovery from hard training sessions. Furthermore, it’s crucial not to overtrain at this point of your marathon training schedule.

Hill Training

During this week, you should run easy runs at an easy conversational pace or slightly slower. Additionally, add in short sprint efforts up a hill or along flat sections. Hill training workouts will get your body prepared for faster marathon race pacing on race day. Our 12 week marathon training guide focuses on them as well. Hills force you to lift your knees and pump your arms more than running on flat surfaces.

In addition, assist you in recruiting more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these we can recruit the more efficient (economical) you are going to race. You don’t get this physiological benefit by running slow. Of course, running slow is vital especially during your recovery, easy days.

Your weekly mileage should gradually reach around 60 miles a week with a mix of threshold intervals midweek. Also, aerobic endurance base miles on weekends. Lastly, marathon pacing workouts on Saturday or Sunday mornings. We focus on a 10-day taper at the end of your 12 week marathon training guide. Remember, 10 days is plenty of time for the body to recover. What you don’t want is to start dropping your volume and intensity too far out from your goal marathon.

Our 12 week marathon training guide is tailored for runners with good fitness levels and experience running marathons. In addition, for total beginners as well.

Threshold Workouts

Tempo runs, commonly referred to as threshold running, are an essential element of any legitimate 12 week marathon training guide They help runners sustain marathon pace for longer while improving their ability to clear lactate. Lactic acid is an accumulation of waste products generated during muscle metabolism.

Tempo runs should feel comfortably hard and last between 20 to 30 minutes, gradually increasing both duration and speed week-after-week. The more experienced runners should aim for 30 to 60 minutes.

Your workout can benefit from adding different kinds of tempo runs to it. For example, 4×2 mile repeats at your tempo run pace with one mile at an accelerated speed. Also, doing one continuous tempo run for up to an hour.

Week 7: Long Run

An effective 12 week marathon training guide should help you meet your goals without overexerting or injuring yourself. Most plans include rest days, long runs and other forms of workouts such as interval and hill training to achieve these results.

Our 12 week marathon training guide long runs start out relatively easily at “conversational” pace before progressing gradually into marathon pacing. The goal is to familiarize athletes with running at their aerobic endurance heart rate and marathon specific pacing before tapering into race day.

This marathon training plan should work well for most runners. That being said, they have a solid endurance base and can manage an increase in weekly mileage over time. Otherwise, a longer plan might be required that gradually builds mileage so as to prevent injury and overtraining.

Recovery Runs

The ideal time frame for a marathon is 16 to 24 weeks. That being said, a 12 week marathon training guide can still suffice. Again, it all comes down to how fit and experienced you are. Our training plans and running courses are suitable for runners of all different backgrounds.

This training plan incorporates various forms of workouts, including hill work, speed and strength exercises as well as rest days. Each week your mileage will gradually increase until reaching its peak point and tapering off before race day.

Your recovery runs be sure to run significantly slower than normal training pace. For example, 2+ minutes slower per mile compared to 5K or marathon pace. Yes, you can use walk breaks if necessary in order to manage effort levels more effectively.


Remember, patience is key. The body always adapts. So, we focus on one specific intensity before moving to the next in our 12 week marathon training guide.

Your goal should be to run at or just below half-marathon race pace for portions of your faster, varied paced long runs.Imagine how much easier your goal marathon race is going to feel once you taper.

Our 12 week marathon training guide also features short, fast sprint efforts that are designed to get your body used to running at faster speeds. Recovery between sessions should be optimal in order to prevent injury or fatigue as you prepare for the marathon race.

Closing Thoughts

Again, pace sustainment is the end goal. So, you are really going to have to get outside of your comfort zone to make major gains in this sport. Remember, the body always adapts. Be patient with yourself and you will definitely start to make massive gains in your fitness and racing capability.

These workouts can help build up your ability to run marathon pace and teach your body how to use energy more efficiently. Thus, enabling you to run for longer without burning out quickly.

I hope that this post on our 12 week marathon training guide has been helpful to you. Keep me updated on your progress at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. Leave a comment below any of my videos and I will respond to you.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping