Marathon Training Plans
Level 1 Plans
Level 2 Plans
Level 3 Plans
Level 4 Plans
Level 5 Plans
What's the difference between the levels?
To guide you to the correct training plan, I've created four runner "levels."
Level 1 – You're new to running. You've never run before (or it's been a long, long time) and/or you haven't finished a race. But, you can run for at least 15 minutes on regular runs and up to 30 minutes for a long run. You'll run 3 days per week in Level 1 plans.
Level 2 – You've been focused on finishing races and now you want to finish faster. You run 3-5 days per week run and should be able to run at least 30 minutes for regular runs and at least 45 minutes for a long run. Level 2 plans may also include 1 specialty or "hard" workout per week.
Level 3 – You have some experience with performance training plans and specialty workouts (like long runs, tempo runs, speed workouts, etc.). You run 4-6 days per week for at least 30-45 minutes with a long run of at least 60-75 minutes. In Level 3 plans, you'll often run 1-2 specialty/hard workouts each week.
Level 4 – You're a seasoned trainer/racer who runs 4-7 days per week for around 50-60 minutes per run and at least 90 minutes for your long run. Level 4 plans often include 1-2 hard workouts per week.
Level 5 – You're a high volume, experienced trainer/racer who runs 5-7 days per week for around 60-80 minutes per run and at least 120 minutes for your long run. Level 5 plans often include 2 hard workouts per week plus a long run.
What are Combo Runner, Endurance Monster and Speedster Plans?
You can read my full article here but in a nutshell, I find there are three types of runners: Combo Runners, Endurance Monsters and Speedsters.
Combo Runners - The vast majority of runners are Combo Runners. Combo Runners are fairly equal in ability in short distances and long distances. (When they put their times into the McMillan Running Calculator their race times are pretty close to matching the predictions from the shorter races to the longer races – depending on experience at all distances of course.)
Endurance Monsters - Some runners, however, are more endurance-oriented. I call them Endurance Monsters. These runners really struggle with short races and fast, speed-oriented workouts. But, they excel in the longer races and longer training runs and workouts. When they put their times in the McMillan Running Calculator, their long distance races far exceed what they can run in short distance races.
Speedster - On the other end of the spectrum, some runners are more speed-oriented. As you would expect, these "Speedsters" do really well in the short races but struggle with longer races (and the types of workouts/long runs that go with the training for those races).
Because of these nuances in runner type, I created versions of certain plans where I tweak the training plan to better match the runner type.
Unsure of your type? Again, the vast majority of runners are Combo Runners and if you are unsure of your type, choose a Combo Runner plan. However, if you are a Speedster or Endurance Monster, you'll love the way I've built these plans to cater to your unique strengths and help you overcome your weaknesses.