Intermediate Marathon Training Guide

Training Paces

As a beginner most of your running will have been at a slow steady pace, as you work primarily on building up the mileage so you can cope with the length of training that is required to do the marathon.

Now as you look to run faster you'll need to run at a variety of paces in training to work on various aspects of your fitness.

Marathon Race Pace (MRP)

For our purposes here we'll call this the speed per mile that you'd like to achieve for your next marathon (make sure your goals are realistic.

Long Slow Run

This is about time on your feet. Run this too hard and, whilst it can be a bit of a boost to confidence, it generally will leave you too tired for the rest of your weekly plan.

We suggest you run these at somewhere between 40 and 90 seconds slower than MRP.

Occasionally you'll want to run at marathon pace over a long distance. We suggest you do this is a race as preparation for the big day - maybe a half marathon or 15-20 mile race. Remember, though, that this will leave you tired for a few days, so you plan should be adjusted accordingly.

Tempo Runs

These are designed to raise the level of your lactate threshold, which means that you can run faster before you generate large levels of lactic acid, which significantly reduces performance.

The pace of these runs can vary from 5k to half marathon pace, generally 10k pace is a good guide. At Momentum Sports we often try to work on a pace about 20-30 seconds a mile quicker than MRP, which is a little slower than 10k pace.

Interval Running

This can take the format of running intervals with a recovery between reps, running a fartlek session or running hill reps.

Clearly the pace of runs can realistically on be measured on the track, but the effort involved will generally be to run between 3k and 10k pace, or 30 to 60 seconds / mile quicker than MRP.

Recovery Runs

Recovery or Easy runs should be exactly that. They are there to help loosen your legs whilst adding a few extra miles. You should be running slowly for this (at least 1 min / mile slower than MRP) and probably cover no more than a third of your long slow run distance.

Some people consider these to be "junk miles" as it is not always clear why people do them. Make sure you know what you want to achieve if you do these sorts of runs.

Learn more / further reading

  1. Starting Point
  2. How far and how often should I run?
  3. Recovery
  4. Tracking your Training
  5. Eating the right food
  6. Preparation Races and Race Day
  7. What Clothing and Shoes do I need?

Remember, if this all seems a bit daunting, we can put together a schedule prepared specifically for you from our team of experienced coaches with our Online Coaching.















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