Smart Training Plans

Congratulations on your decision to run a marathon! At Marathon Training Academy our passion is to help you train the smart way. We want you to finish your marathon or half marathon strong, happy, and injury free. Unfortunately, we have seen many plans that call for too many running days and mileage gain that is too aggressive for new and intermediate runners. This leads to injury and burnout.

As the top marathon training podcast in iTunes, we have helped thousands of runners to take on the marathon challenge. It all starts with a good plan.

The Wisdom Behind The Plan [Click boxes below to read more]

Gradual Building Long Run

Like the foundation of a building, a solid running base is the only way to end up with a great product (crossing the finish line). A good training plan should have a gradual increase in your weekly long run distance. This long run is the key to your marathon training, as you develop the ability to complete these runs without over-stressing your body.

The MTA plans progressively build on the long run by 1-2 miles each week and cap off at 20 miles. You don’t need to run as far as the marathon distance during training. It takes too long to recover from 24 or 25 mile training runs. Our plans include step down weeks where you will back off the mileage building to give your body a break.

The Right Number of Running Days for Your Body

Some training plans call for 5-6 days of running but, unless your an elite runner, this puts way too much training stress on your joints and muscles. Running too much, too hard, or trying to do too much in a short period of time for your fitness level will lead to injury and burnout.

At MTA we don’t want you to be a “one shot wonder.” If you take care of your body it will perform well for you over many decades. Our training plans will have you running 3-4 days per week tops. This will allow your body time to recovery between running days and balance muscle groups through focused cross-training.

Focused Cross-Training

Training for a marathon requires lots of running. But other exercises need to be incorporated into your training regimen to ensure that you cross the finish line strong and healthy. Too many runners put all their focus on running and neglect other valuable training techniques.

Everyone has a mileage threshold that their body can handle. If they go over this level they start to have an increase in injuries and may get burnt out. To combat these problems almost every reputable running expert recommends focused cross-training. Our training plans assign focused cross-training days and recommend the activities to minimize injuries and maximize core strength.

Proper Rest Days

Rest may be one of the most overlooked components to a good marathon training plan. The simple fact is that you won’t get stronger or be adequately prepared for your race without rest days. Rest days help prevent overuse injuries, restore glycogen stores, prevent mental burnout, build strength, and reduce fatigue.

Our plans include one rest day per week plus a strategic rest period before race day.

The Taper Period

“Tapering” was a term coined in 1947 by two coaches of the Australian Olympic Swim Team. Coach Forbes Carlile and physiology professor Frank Cotton found that their athletes performed better when their training was eased up three weeks before the race. Many years later it was found that the same holds true for distance runners.

During your marathon training the body may have been depleted of its enzyme, glycogen, and hormonal stores. Our plans will have you on a tapering protocol to replenish these reserves and encourage the repairing of muscle tissue to give that natural resilience back.

 

The 12 Week Half Marathon Training Plan is designed with the beginner in mind. You should have a running base built up and be able to run comfortably for 4 miles without stopping. Don’t worry about a time goal for your first half marathon. The goal is to finish strong and injury free. The road to becoming a half marathoner is tough but fun. Enjoy it! (Includes: Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and Getting Started MP3)

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The 20 Week Marathon Training Plan is designed to get the beginner through all 26.2 miles of the marathon strong and injury free. You should have a running base built up in which you’ve been running 3-5 miles per session at least 3 days per week for 6-12 months. You should be able to comfortably run 5 miles without stopping.(Includes: Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and Getting Started MP3)

Click Here to add to cart. Just $12.99

I finally completed my first marathon yesterday! The ‘friendly’ marathon as its known – the Irish Dublin City Marathon! I can’t thank you enough for the training plan, the daily inspirations, and email tips! I did it in 4:15, next time I’ll aim for 4! yes I am already thinking of how I could improve & will be back for more tips next time! -Fiona

Hi Angie and Trevor, I ran my first half marathon two weeks ago at 1:46:59 (every sec counts!) using your training plan. Thank you so much for your podcasts. They helped me get through some tough runs! -Karla

The 12 Week Half Marathon Training Plan is designed with the intermediate in mind. You should have run at least one previous half marathon and be able to comfortably run for 6 miles without stopping.  (Includes: Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and Getting Started MP3)

Click Here to add to cart. Just $12.99

 

The 16 Week Marathon Training Plan is designed with the intermediate in mind. You should have run at least one previous marathon, be currently running 20-25 miles per week, and be able to comfortably run 8 miles. If you do not fit this criteria, consider using the beginner marathon schedule.  (Includes: Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and Getting Started MP3)

Click Here to add to cart. Just $12.99

 


Target Finishing Time

Do you want to bull’s eye a specific time goal at your next marathon?

The following plans are for runners who want to set a personal best time at their next marathon or half marathon. Before you start this schedule you should have a solid running base of running 3-5 miles at a time at least 3 times per week for 6-12 months. It is beneficial to have run a marathon or half marathon previously but not absolutely necessary.

Half Marathon Distance

2:30 Half Marathon (12 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99

2:20 Half Marathon (12 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
2:10 Half Marathon (12 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
2:00 Half Marathon (12 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
1:50 Half Marathon(12 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
1:40 Half Marathon(12 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
1:30 Half Marathon(12 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99

Marathon Distance

5:00 Marathon (16 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99

4:45 Marathon (16 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
4:30 Marathon (16 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
4:15 Marathon (16 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
4:00 Marathon (16 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
3:50 Marathon (16 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
3:40 Marathon (16 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99
3:30 Marathon (16 week plan) (Includes:Downloadable/Printable Training Plan, Detailed Explanation of Terms, Cross-Training Ideas Checklist, and How to Set a Personal Record at Your Next Race MP3) Click Here to add to cart $14.99

I finished the Akron Marathon at 4:29:59. While that may not sound very fast to many, it was a big improvement over my prior marathons (5:25 and 4:53) and I am delighted. Many thanks to you, Angie and Trevor, for all of your helpful guidance and inspiration. Your training plan and podcast were a huge help! -Jay

 

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