12 Week Marathon Plan

Posted by TheRunningShoeReview on February 5, 2014

With Marathon season fast approaching, now is the time to up your training.  Endurance coach, runner, Ambassador for Human Race Events, and founder of Marathon Talk, Martin Yelling has been kind enough to provide us with a 12 week training programme designed to get you exactly where you need to be come race day.  Below you'll find links to download the programme in both a detailed word file, and a handy print out periodised programme in grid format.

There are also a few key things to remember before a race, so below you'll find my checklist for the weeks, days, and hours before your big race:

12 weeks before:

  • Make sure that you are prepared to commit to the training and have booked your race
  • If travelling, now is a good time to book accommodation and travel, as you'll save money, and it's one thing of your mind
  • Now is the time to start your nutrition plan.  Consult a professional, but also try things like gels in training, as they affect different people in different ways, and you don't want an upset stomach on race day.
  • Join a run club/find a training partner.  The training miles will be far more enjoyable with someone accompanying you.
  • If you haven't already, get yourself a decent pair of shoes.  You'll be covering a huge number of miles in the next 12 weeks, and avoiding injury can be so easily prevented by having the right shoes.  Check out my Shoe Fit Guide if you are unsure of what you'll need.

1 week before:

  • Kick into gear your pre race nutrition plan (carb/fat loading) if a professional has recommended it
  • Your taper has already begun, but make sure you are getting enough rest and sleep
  • You should be stretching anyway, but nows the time to kick it up a notch.  Focus on Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Groins and Quads/Hip Flexors. See my blog on running stretches
  • Hydrate with electrolytes as well as just water

The Night before:

  • Get an early night, and hydrate

The Morning of the race:

  • Have a decent breakfast.  Things like porridge are great, but make sure it's something you know you're comfortable with, and have it in plenty of time, so that it has time to settle
  • Hydrate, and check your gear is packed and ready.
  • Race number, clothes, socks, and shoes are the main things people forget (yes, I have seen plenty of people turn up without their shoes)
  • Go to the toilet.  It sounds silly, but you're going to be running for a long time, and a stop on the way round is going to add a good chunk of time on.

After the race:

  • Once you've got your breath back, enjoy it! You've finished 26.2 miles of running, and are bound to be tired and sore, so make sure you stretch and get your recovery nutrition on board, but then enjoy yourself!

If you stick to the training programme that Martin has kindly provided for us, and you follow the simple checklist for the marathon, you'll be absolutely fine!

Please let us know how you find the programme, and how your training is going, but in the mean time, good luck!

You can find out more about Martin at Human Race Events and at Yelling Performance