Marathon Training and Discussions


Training for a Marathon 4 days/week (Read 240 times)

    I'd need your advice on the following subject: I started running last Xmas after 10 years of inactivity. Now, 2000 km further I plan to run a marathon next June. In all the marathon training programs I've checked, they recommend to train 5-6 days a week. I have a very busy professional life, and I'm supposed as well to spend some time with my family every now and then. So, I'm not so sure whether I'll manage to train more than the 4 days per week I'm doing now. My question is: is it reasonable to go for a marathon while training just 4 days? Right now I'm doing 12 km/12km/12km/23km, and plan to increase mileage steadily during the next weeks. Thanks in advance

    Targets 1) No injuries 2) Keep having fun 3) Some kind of PR


      You can, for sure, finish a marathon training only 4 days a week. Follow a specific plan and do the work and you can do it. To finish a marathon this coming June is doable. I never run more than 4 days a week. With my schedule it would almost never happen. Good luck and keep us posted. DB

      Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ

        Hi, Thanks for your feedback. Forgot to mention than by "go for a marathon", I meant a sub 4:00h one. Right now I'm doing my long runs (20-25 km) at around 5:15 min/km, so it would be quite frustrating to do a marathon at 5:45 min/km. Still feasible with the 4 trainings/week schedule? Thx

        Targets 1) No injuries 2) Keep having fun 3) Some kind of PR


          Sub 4:00 sounds very doable, particularly with the paces and distances that you're laying out. Your weekly mileage is (forgive me for converting to English units) almost 40 miles and your long run is over 14 and you're doing your long runs at less than marathon pace (5:15/km would come out to 3:51?) My main concern would be the risk of injury as your weekly mileage increases because each midweek run is relatively longer than under a 5 or 6 day per week plan. With 3 rest days per week, you should have a bit more time to heal between runs though. It is probably worth slowing down a bit on most of your long runs as they extend just to avoid injury and build your aerobic base more effectively, perhaps doing the last third at marathon pace (5:25 or so). If your goal really is just to finish under 4 hours, you'll need to really discipline yourself not to go out too fast and you'll need to spend some time running at your target pace (closer to 5:40/km). Much better to get to mile 20 feeling strong and then pick up the pace from there.

          I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.

            I am a firm believer in running as often as possible, and run almost everyday. I would rarely go out of my way to recommend that anyone try to run a marathon on as little as 4 days of training per week. However, after looking at your recent race times and modest goal of sub-4, you should be a cinch to achieve it if you make the best of those 4 days. My advice would be to concentrate most of your energy on just 2 of those days and use the other 2 for slow recovery runs. If you could manage to get in some walking or other means of just loosening up on your off day, that would be good too. I would definitely try to work up to where one of your big days incudes some 18's and 20's (miles, not kilometers), and maybe one extra long run of 22. Also incude some blocks at marathon pace in those longer runs. I could add some more, but with the overkill you seem to have in ability as compared to your goal, you shoudn't have to do any more than what I mentioned. Even on 4 days you might very well go under 4 hours by 10 minutes or more if, as I said, you make the most of those days. Good luck, Jim
            Age 60 plus best times: 5k 19:00, 10k 38:35, 10m 1:05:30, HM 1:24:09, 30k 2:04:33