Easy to Follow Intermediate Marathon Training Plan

Training for a marathon is obviously a huge task, and so many runners have been through the marathon training process before achieving their life goal. These training sessions are not that difficult, but you need to be consistent to get the results.

There are some well-established marathon training principles you can follow. If you follow an appropriate marathon training plan you’re giving your training proper structure and purpose to achieve, which would help you become a better marathon runner and it is also going to help you get through the training phase without getting injured or overwhelmed.

In this article, we’re going to look at the key principles of a good marathon training plan, including the duration of the plan, how to structure your training weeks, different types of run workouts to do strength training, and mobility work rest days increasing your mileage.

Let’s get into marathon training plans.

Road Map

A man running on road.

A well-designed plan is your roadmap from where you are right now all the way through your marathon training journey to the start of your marathon.

We’re going to get into getting things like mileage increases and training intensity, which is key to a successful marathon training journey. A good plan helps you navigate these challenges while avoiding injury. However, there is no one-size-fits-all training plan. Every runner is different and has different abilities, goals, and schedules.

You may like,

Ultimate Marathon Pacing Chart

Why I Recommend Customizable Plans

The reason why I make all my plans customizable, is if you’re a bit lost when trying to pick a marathon training plan. My advice is to try out the first week, if the workouts in the first week of the plan are a significant challenge for you. You might be biting off more than you can chew so check out an easier plan.

Every runner’s life is different too. We’ve all got different family work and personal commitments, whether it’s weekly catch-ups with friends or a gym class you don’t want to miss out on. For this reason, it’s worth moving around the training days on your training plan to suit you.

Finally, just like in life in marathon training, there’s a good chance something’s going to go wrong at some point, So it’s important to keep in mind that your marathon training plan should be flexible around you and not the other way around.

Elements of a Marathon Training Plan

A good marathon training plan should be robust enough that taking a few days off isn’t going to completely derail your marathon training journey, so bear in mind while you’re browsing through the marlin training plans.

Each marathon training plan consists of either two or three different types of running workouts. The following are the elements that you should look at while searching for a good marathon training plan.

Regular training runs

A group of people do regular training run.

These are the foundational base of a good marathon training plan. Regular training runs are typically between three to seven miles long, and you should aim to do them two to three times per week. These runs help improve your running fitness, increase your weekly mileage, and enhance your running technique.

If you’re new to marathon running, don’t worry about running at a fast pace. Intermediate or advanced runners should aim to run at or near their target race pace during their regular training runs. If you don’t have a specific race pace, don’t worry some training plans include a specific race pace run.

Long Runs

A group of people do long run.

Long runs are a staple of marathon training and are all about building our endurance, basically increasing your maximum single run mileage. You should do one long run each week, and they should gradually increase in length, topping out somewhere around the 20 to 22-mile mark. You must run your long runs at a slow, relaxed pace and try to run at a comfortable 2 to 3 out of 10 in terms of effort.

Speed work

A man and women do speed work.

I only recommend speed work to intermediate or advanced runners who are chasing a specific marathon time goal, such as running a subfooter marathon or a sub 3 hour 30 marathons. Speed work is usually some form of interval training that is running for fast short bursts followed by recovery periods. 

There are a variety of different speed work training methodologies you can use whether its intervals on a track hill running, or whatever for marathon training plans, I usually advocate track-style intervals as these are least likely to lead to injury.

When you look at the training plan, you’ll find information about how many intervals to do, how long they should be, and how fast you should run them. If you’re doing speed work, it’s best to limit it to once a week. This is because too much speed work can be tough on your body, especially if you’re already doing intense marathon training.

Strength Training and Mobility Work

A man and women do strength training and mobility work.

Some form of strength training and mobility work is a core part of marathon training. It’s going to reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance immeasurably on race day. It’s why I’m always a little bit disappointed when I see other marathon training plans online that don’t even mention it. I recommend one or two dedicated strength training sessions per week.

Preferably focused on the lower body and core muscle groups, you don’t have to be lifting heavy weights in these sessions, even bodyweight exercises. I also recommend that runners do a few dynamic stretches and mobility exercises around two to three times each week. This will help you target weak areas and keep potential injuries at bay.

Rest Days

Rest Days you typically want two rest days per week. Rest days are super important for your overall training. Letting your body recuperate and recover. It’s usually wise to take a rest day after the hardest workout, such as in the long run. It’s a good idea to space out your rest days during the week to avoid any potential injury, while rest days are easy to overlook.

I encourage you to take them seriously and plan restful activities like spending time in nature or with family or cooking or in the garden. When you engage in activities that calm you down, your brain switches from a “fight or flight” mode to a “rest and recovery” mode. This signals your body to relax, slow your heart rate, and focus on recovery. When we’re stressed, we’re usually in that fight or flight mode. So don’t feel guilty about spending rest days on the sofa watching Netflix.

Easy training plan for intermediate level runner

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThuresdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Weeks 1Easy Run 4 Milesintervals 3x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 4 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 10 Miles
Weeks 2Easy Run 4 Milesintervals 3x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 4 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 11 Miles
Weeks 3Easy Run 4 Milesintervals 3x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 4 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 9 Miles
Weeks 4Easy Run 4 Milesintervals 3x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 4 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 12 Miles
Weeks 5Easy Run 5 Milesintervals 4x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 5 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 13 Miles
Weeks 6Easy Run 5 Milesintervals 4x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 5 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 10 Miles
Weeks 7Easy Run 4 Milesintervals 4x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 4 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 15 Miles
Weeks 8Easy Run 5 Milesintervals 4x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 5 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 16 Miles
Weeks 9Easy Run 5 Milesintervals 5x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 5 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 12 Miles
Weeks 10Easy Run 6 Milesintervals 5x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 6 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 17 Miles
Weeks 11Easy Run 6 Milesintervals 5x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 6 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 18 Miles
Weeks 12Easy Run 6 Milesintervals 5x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 6 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayHalf Marathon
Weeks 13Easy Run 6 Milesintervals 5x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 6 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 20 Miles
Weeks 14Easy Run 4 Milesintervals 6x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 4 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayHalf Marathon
Weeks 15Easy Run 6 Milesintervals 6x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 6 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 20 Miles
Weeks 16Easy Run 6 Milesintervals 6x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 6 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayHalf Marathon
Weeks 17Easy Run 6 Milesintervals 5x800m then leg workoutEasy Run 6 MilesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 20 Miles
Weeks 18Easy Run 4 Milesintervals 5x800m then leg workoutpace run 4 milesStrength TrainingTempo Run 6 MilesRest DayLong Run 12 Miles
Weeks 19Easy Run 4 MilesStrength Training 45-60minsRest DayEasy Run 3 MilesEasy Run 4 milesRest DayLong Run 8 Miles
Weeks 20Easy Run 4 MilesStrength Training 45-60minsRest DayEasy Run 3 MilesRest dayEasy Run 2 MilesMarathon

I suggest that you select a fitness plan that fits your needs and preferences. You can modify it if necessary and then print a hard copy. Place the copy in a visible spot such as your desk, kitchen fridge, or bathroom mirror. Each day, check off the completed workout to establish a routine and increase the likelihood of sticking to the plan.

Scroll to Top