16 Week Marathon Training Guide to Get Results

Are you seeking a new 16 week marathon training guide. If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. Marathon preparation requires developing a solid running base by gradually increasing mileage and employing cross-training workouts strategically. Furthermore, marathon preparation involves assessing personal readiness, committing to weekly workouts, rest days and proper nutrition as part of its program.

Long runs are an essential element of marathon training and should be undertaken at a leisurely, conversational pace. Hill repeats are also beneficial in strengthening leg muscles while simulating conditions found on actual marathon courses. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new weekly content there to help motivated athletes like you get results.

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Base Runs during the 16 Week Marathon Training Guide

Your 16 week marathon training guide should include several easy base runs. These slow, relaxed runs will lead to significant increases in both aerobic capacity and endurance. In addition, having such a solid base allows you to handle longer, more intensive workouts later in your training cycle more comfortably. Also, while minimizing injury risk.

At an easy base run, your goal should be to keep a pace that enables you to hold a conversation. Do the best you can to stay as relaxed as possible. The real test is running at faster paces and remaining in control and relaxed.

Add longer, more challenging workouts into your base phase training. For example, progression runs, tempo runs and hill repeats to keep yourself from becoming complacent during this phase. These harder workouts should supplement your easy runs but not take the place of threshold or interval runs.

Progression runs should start out easy before gradually adding in speedier segments. For example, seconds per mile faster than marathon pace to minutes per mile faster). Your tempo run effort should feel moderate (7 on 1-10 scale). Tempo workouts train your body to maintain required speed over increasingly longer distances.

Faster, Varied-Paced Long Runs

An essential feature of our 16 week marathon training guide is weekly “long” runs. These workouts should serve as your longest workouts of the week. Also, help build up endurance needed to cover 26.2 miles on race day. As your plan progresses, your weekly long runs may increase gradually until eventually reaching two hours on weekends.

Remember, the end goal here is improve the body’s lactate tolerance. So, we want to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. Try including low-intensity exercises like cycling or yoga in your training routine for maximum benefit.

Long Runs

Long runs are the cornerstone of our 16 week marathon training guide. Their purpose is to build endurance by increasing time spent running while also including more complex workouts that develop speed. A common mistake many runners make is running slow and easy every single weekend. Stop doing that if you want to set a new personal best.

Your long run will vary based on your current weekly mileage, target race distance and prior marathon training experience. Ideally, 20-25 percent of your weekly volume should account for your longest run. For example, if you run 40 miles each week then your long runs should be around 8 to 10 miles. Our 16 week marathon training guide focuses on alternating one easy long run followed the next weekend with a faster, varied-paced long run.

Longer workouts help build endurance while simultaneously preparing you mentally for the challenges of long distance racing. So, you want to deal with similar fatigue levels you will feel on marathon race day. The workout sessions in our 16 week marathon training guide will equip you to fend off negative mental vibes during race day.

Pace Yourself

Pacing yourself is key to having an enjoyable long run experience. I always recommend to athletes to focus on running a negative split. So, run the second half of your marathon faster than the first half. Start at an easy conversational pace and gradually increase it until reaching your goal race pace. New runners should avoid starting their long runs too quickly as this can cause discomfort and may have potentially disastrous repercussions for race outcomes.

Your aim should be to complete your longest weekly long run three weeks prior to race day. Thus, giving your body time to adapt to increased mileage and intensity as well as testing out marathon-specific gear and nutrition. Again, a major component of our 16 week marathon training guide is to train smarter, not harder.

Treat these workouts like dress rehearsals for your actual marathon race. So, you can practice your fueling strategies (both pre and during race day) and pre-run stretching routines.

Our 16 week marathon training guide is tailored for runners of all ability levels. Remember, jog on recovery days. You will need sufficient time to adapt to the harder workouts you will be doing. I see far too many runners running too fast on on easy days and too slow on faster, anaerobic workouts.

Hill Repeats

Many marathons include hills. So, training for them as part of your weekly run is crucial. Hill repeats are an effective way to build strength and endurance. Also, while adding variety and giving a new lease of energy to your weekly workout session. We do focus on hill repetitions in our 16 week marathon training guide.

A hill workout’s aim is to keep your heart rate elevated as you run up and down hills. In addition, to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these we can recruit the more effective we will race. Also, the easier goal marathon race pace is going to feel.

On downhills, it is important to focus on maintaining proper running form by not leaning too far back or increasing stride length. This will conserve energy and avoid injury. Furthermore, experiment with different fuel options (gels, gus and chews) during these runs in order to discover which works best for your body.

Workout Types

Every week, your weekly mileage should include easy and long runs. hill repeats, speed workouts and other speed activities. Cross training exercises and strength training programs should also be incorporated, as needed. I am a big believer in pool running as it takes the stress off your joints and ligaments. The key to successful marathon training lies in keeping a regular regiment over an extended period.

Our 16 week marathon training guide includes a taper week in your final 10 days to maximize performance. Also, to ensure peak marathon condition when you arrive at the starting line.

As part of your taper week training plan, gradually reduce weekly mileage lower speed workout volume to allow your body to recover from intensive training. Also, to build glycogen stores in preparation for race day.


Cross-training can be added to your 16 week marathon training guide as needed to maximum body balance. Also, to help prevent injury. Core strength, yoga, breath work or simply taking a short walk are great forms of cross-training to strengthen muscles that support running efforts while protecting against injury. Furthermore, cross-training allows you to target specific muscle groups which can speed up running time without overworking legs.

Beginners or experienced athletes alike can use our 16 week marathon training guide to reach the finish line at their target time. The plan features various training runs along with weekly long runs. In addition, track workouts with gradual intensity to allow your body to adapt before increasing intensity of sessions. Furthermore, recovery days/weeks and tapering periods of three weeks before race day are included within its timeline.

Closing Thoughts

Our 16 week marathon training guide is tailored for all runners. Our training plans range in duration from 8 to 24 weeks. I always recommend a minimum of 16 and preferably 20 to 24 weeks to train for a marathon properly.

Again, it takes between 3 week to a month to adapt to any intensity you are throwing at yourself. So, you really have to be patient. The shorter your build up the more rushed you are going to be. 16 weeks to 24 weeks is optimal time frame to prepare adequately for the marathon distance.

I hope this post has been helpful to you. Be sure to keep in touch with me at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. Leave a comment below any of my videos and I will respond back to you.

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