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Our twelve week marathon training program is ideal for total beginners to elite-level runners. It builds from existing fitness levels to peak performance on marathon race day.
Balanced Training Components of Our Twelve Week Marathon Training Program
The twelve week marathon training program offers runners of any ability an effective solution for getting ready to tackle 26.2 miles. We start off with sustainable pacing strategies and heart rate zone training techniques. So, runners will build strength without overtraining or injuries that might sabotage their goal.
As runners progress through their plan, their training intensifies increase at faster paces and overall weekly mileage increases. Is 3 months enough time to get ready for a marathon. Yes, but I would recommend aiming for 16 to 24 weeks if I were you. The reason is you have more time to adapt and will be in less of a rush.
Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it. Recovery runs are sprinkled throughout your twelve week marathon training program at much easier paces. The goal of these workouts is to accelerate recovery for subsequent workouts and prevent overtraining. Cross training and strength building exercises may be added into their regimen, as needed. I don’t think you need to be in the gym more than once per week.
Fartlek running with speed/terrain variations are within this twelve week marathon training program to develop running efficiency. In addition, to increase running speed and to keep muscles stimulated and motivation levels up during marathon training. Finally, this twelve week marathon training program includes a 10-day taper period which gradually decreases running volume in preparation for race day. I think a common mistake runners make is starting to drop their volume and intensity too soon.
Remember, 10 days is plenty of time to recover from the many months of preparation. The last workout you will do is a 3-mile run at goal marathon pace 4 days out from your goal marathon.
Optimal Timing for a Marathon
16 to 24 weeks is an optimal timeframe to prepare for a marathon. An effective twelve week marathon training program is essential to successfully completing a marathon race. Yes, a twelve week marathon training plan is still sufficient to get in descent shape.
Runners must ensure they maintain physical capacity to continue at a high intensity pace during this twelve week marathon training program. For example, proper nutrition, rest, massage therapy and self-care measures. The reason we focus on these is maximize efforts and meet our goals more easily. So, a twelve week marathon training program can still get the job done. 3 months is a solid amount of time to prepare with 4 to 6 months even better.
I would add in 1 strength training workout per week to this twelve week marathon training program. You want to strengthen running-specific strength muscles such as glute and core strength. In addition, improving your mobility which are essential elements for improving performance and lowering injury risk.
This plan starts off with an aerobic endurance phase dedicated to building base aerobic endurance. We will gradually increase long runs and workouts such as tempo runs, In addition, interval training in order you for more intensive marathon training weeks in subsequent months.
At the peak weeks in this twelve week marathon training program, your weekly mileage will increase. Your intervals will also quicken and your rest between your reps will get shorter. Remember, the goal here is to improve the body’s lactate tolerance. Also, to sustain your goal race pace longer than your competition.
The last 10 days you will gradually decrease weekly mileage and intensity. Nutrition and fueling must remain top of mind during this period. I want you also to focus on drinking more during your long runs. Also, to not run long and slow every single weekend. I have faster, varied paced long runs throughout this twelve week marathon training program. The workouts you will be doing helped me to drop 21 minutes off my marathon PR. I went from a 2:43:36 to a 2:19:35.
Varied-Paced Long Runs
An effective twelve week marathon training program must include a variety of workouts to provide optimal results. For example, core circuits, fartlek workouts, longer tempo runs, speed workouts and jogging during easy days.
The 12-week marathon training program will also teach runners to use fuel efficiently during long runs. Also, by including sessions that alternate between using stored carbohydrates and fats for energy conservation and preventing burnout or injury. Remember, too much easy running will only make you a superior long, slow distance runner. So, you have to get outside of your comfort zone.
To ensure runners progress as planned, the twelve week marathon training plan provides recovery weeks and easy days as part of its design. The goal is to slowly increase weekly base mileage while gradually adding speed work. Also, longer and faster distance runs as time progresses through the plan. We alternate a faster, varied paced long run one weekend followed the next with an easy, relaxed long run.
Running a marathon is physically demanding. So, your body needs ample time to recover after exerting itself over such a distance. Therefore, the twelve week marathon training plan includes other forms of exercise and strength training sessions as well – helping strengthen muscles that become weakened through running while preventing injury.
Challenging workouts will prepares the athlete for both the physical and emotional demands of running a fast marathon race. You should be jogging on easy days. So, disregard what pace per mile or pace per kilometer on these days. The harder, faster anaerobic workouts will challenge you both mentally and physically. Remember, the real benefits of your hard training will come from within the rest period.
An effective twelve week marathon training plan should provide a varied mix of running workouts. For example, intervals and hill workouts and long runs. In addition, easy recovery runs to ensure that you adapt and recover. Sticking with prescribed workouts is important. However. if any issues arise that interfere with that goal it is wise to consult them for advice.
Gradual increase in weekly mileage over three months is the goal. The end goal is to improve the body’s lactate tolerance. Also, to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. Remember, the more of these we can recruit the more efficient you are going to run.
The training plan features a combination of speed, strength, long runs and rest days that will prepare you to complete the 26.2 mile distance.
Hill repeats are another effective way to develop endurance. These workouts consist of gradually increasing distance as you train on hills in your training area. Ideally, they should resemble those found during races so as to give yourself the best chance at being ready when race day comes around.
Finally, make sure that each week your workouts include some tempo intervals. Tempo runs force us to run, at times, at faster pace than our marathon race pace. Thus, helping the athlete to get used to racing at that pace and mentally prepared.
At the conclusion of your 12 week marathon training program is a 10-day taper period in which intensity is maintained while gradually cutting back on volume in preparation for race day. I hope that this post has been helpful to you. Keep in touch with me at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel.