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2710 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Jul 1, 2011 3:06 PM by valmarie1 1 2 Previous Next
valmarie1 Expert 44 posts since
Jan 8, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 28, 2011 8:41 AM

How training programs are designed....bc I'm making one...

Ok a friend has asked for some help in reaching her goal of running her third marathon at quite a lofty goal.  She wants to push herself to her limits and needs help staying accountable in doing so.  Her husband passed away recently so she wants someone to just tell her when, how fast and how much to run and get her moving again.  I am looking at plans and I know she prefers to up her miles in her training just about to the full marathon distance and I know a lot of plans stop around 20 miles.  What I've done is take a plan that I found seems decent and added in about 4 weeks to climb the miles up a bit more however I am just sort of plugging the rest in.  The weekly mileage slowly climbs to a max of 46 and then starts to drop about 5 weeks prior to the marathon. Is there anything I need to know about how the rest of the runs are calculated?  As long as the weekly mileage stays consistent in how it's climbing or not do I need to worry about the distance for the other runs?  If that makes sense?  I just want to make sure I'm not plugging in numbers and screwing something up over here....the plan I chose includes tempo runs, marathon pace runs, easy runs, long runs and of course rest days.  I notice there is no speedwork though.  Is that odd?  She wants to increase her time quite a bit....

Running in honor of those that can't....and with vision that one day my son will run alongside me.

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007

    For a start I am 50 and have a coach who is very good and this is what he does for me:


    1. I do 2 speed days a week they may include, hills, tempo runs, intervals.  One of these is always intervals of different distances(200's, 400's, 800's, 1200's, mile and 2 miles) the distance changes as does pace and recovery.  Somewhere in the mix towards 1/2 part of the cycle we will do a form of the Yasso 800's 10X 800 @ your pace time, say 3:30 with 30 sec's rest, if you can complete them  in theory this is a good time for your marathon (800's @ 3:30 = 3 hour and 30 marathon +or- 5 mins).


    2.  Easy recovery runs the day after these speed days and I rest my legs on Thrurday.


    3.  Fri and Sat are kind of together workouts:  Friday runs are to tire your legs for Sat.  So my Fri runs are two types 1st week it is just a run the next week it is a paced run done @ marathon pace these start a 6 miles  and go up to 10.

    Sat long runs this cycle are different 1st 7 weeks they are your regular 30-45 sec slower than marathon pace miles going up to around 17, then every other week they are targeted to what he thinks my level is 1st one for me is: 2 mile warm-up/4 miles at pace 1 mile @ 7:40 2 min walk 3 miles @ pace 1 mile @ 7:40 (my marathon pace for this one is 8:10).  next week run 12 easy, Next week 2 mile warm up, 5 @ pace, 1 mile 7:30 2 min walk, 4@pace 1 mile @ 7:30, 2-3 easy, next week 1:50-2 hours easy, next week 2 mile warm-up 6 miles @ pace 1 mile 7:30 2 min walk, 4 @ pace 1 mile @ 7:30 2 miles easy, last hard week 2 mile warmup, 3 miles @ 7:40 10 miles easy, 3 miles 7:40, Then start tamper


    My coach does not believe in the need of going over say 18-20 (keeping me under 3 hours), he think you are better keeping good form and hitting your times.


    I also rest rest on Sun.


    I do core work 3 days and strength 2 days.


    Good luck!!!

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007

    That is not what I am saying at all, just giving you something to look at.  One place I would use is the Mcmillan Running Calculator it is free just google it.  You put a time in for any race and it gives you times for your workouts (the longer the race you put in the better for marathon training).  It will give you times for speed work, recovery runs, tempo runs, ect it is a great site.  The times it gives me are very close.  Plenty of free programs you can make work, for the most part it is a big guessing game as the right amount.  One thing I need to listen to is a great quote"You can only overtrain if you under rest", I tend to overtrain.   Good luck

  • skypilot77 Legend 1,077 posts since
    Dec 16, 2009

    I suggest you not start from scratch.


    There are plenty of free marathon training plans out there


    Use that as a template to start and modify it as you think the runner needs it modified.


    Do not re-invent the wheel.


  • BradW44 Pro 119 posts since
    Jun 15, 2010

    ValMarie, it sounds like you are actually doing a pretty good job of putting this together from what I have read so far.  All you are really missing is an understanding of why you are adding certain workouts and the ability to tweak it based upon feedback from your friend.  What is her goal for this race and when is it?   $250 to review a running plan that you are largely creating yourself??? Wow!!!


  • BradW44 Pro 119 posts since
    Jun 15, 2010

    I'm in Downers Grove.  Not too far from Bloomingdale!


  • BradW44 Pro 119 posts since
    Jun 15, 2010

    The older I get, the smaller it gets. Lol.  If you need any additional guidance, contact me thru the website and I will steer you in the right direction.  Good luck to both of you!


  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,470 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    Did you get the book Run Less, Run Faster ?  It has a lot more details on using the FIRST plan.  Keep in mind that cross-training is an integral and important part of this plan.  Going from 3:40 to 3:10 is a very ambitious goal that will take a lot of work and dedication.  Good luck to your friend.  She should be extremely careful to avoid injury.




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