"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Marathoning "Rule of 14"

A friend asked me how much running he should do each week at marathon pace. I told him 14 miles per week; it turns out to be a good number for those training to run between 2:30 and 4:00, which includes just about everyone who would ask that question; it's not enough for those few who are faster and a bit too tough for the slower crowd, who should think more in terms of time at marathon pace, rather than distance.

It's possible to create a training plan based on 14 miles per week at marathon pace.

Phase 1: Run two miles every day at pace. If you can't do this, you probably overestimated your ability.
Phase 2: Run 4 miles at pace every other day.
Phase 3: Increase the length of the pace run on the weekend, repeating each pattern as needed and backing up to previous patterns if the stress is too much.


The starred runs should be done in races, as running more than 10 miles at marathon pace is very nearly racing. The 20 miler should be in a marathon, where one plans to run as close to pace as possible for 20 miles; if one feels good, at 20 miles one can make the decision to try to race the whole thing at pace.


nwgdc said...

Where was this several months ago, when the exact same question was running through my mind?
I'm using this in the upcoming months as I plan (AGAIN) for an attempt at completing a marathon with a 6:52 pace.

nwgdc said...

I think I'll run more than 14 miles a week, however.

joyRuN said...

If I'm reading this right, 14 weeks for phase 3?

How long should phase 1 & phase 2 be?

I'm just curious. I have no idea what I'm doing with my running these daze.

SteveQ said...

This was not meant to be a schedule to be followed to the letter. Just try to average 14 miles per week at marathon pace (and, of course, that's not ALL one should do), increasing the amount done in one run - don't try to do exactly what's written, as it was meant as an example.

Biki said...

Nice post Steve

I like those plans with a strong mathematical intern logic.
And i like plans with goal marathon pace.
As you said, that’s not all what one should do.
What would you add to this skeleton ?
I’m 55, just PRed at 3:54, wishing to BQ (3:45), averaging at 30 mpw and peaking at 45 mpw.