Finishing your first marathon - in 12 weeks

Experienced 12 weeks 3x/week
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In order to follow this training plan, you should already be able to run for a half-marathon in 2 hours 20 to 2 hours 30 minutes.

This 12-week plan is divided into 3 cycles.
During the first round you will ideally train on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, in order to properly space out the sessions.
During the following cycles you will ideally train on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in order to be able to build up the km over a short period.

You need to have Decathlon Coach application to launch this program !

Week 1 - Round 1: we begin gradually.

Initially, we will keep at least one day of rest between each session, to get the body used to this new training load.

  • 01. 1 hour jogging
  • 02. 1 hour jogging
  • 03. 1 hour 30 min long run

Week 2 - Round 1: gradually increased durations

Try to start you training plan with a pair of shoes which has not been used too much, so that you don't have to change shoes while preparing.

  • 04. 1 hour jogging
  • 05. 1 hour 15 minutes with a faster 5 minutes
  • 06. 1 hour 45 min long run on the road

Week 3 - Round 1: run lengths continue to increase

The training sessions, and effort you put in, mean that you may start to get tired.

Look after yourself, put on dry clothes after running, follow our nutritional advice, monitor your lifestyle and everything will be fine!

  • 07. 1 hour jogging
  • 08. 1 hour 15 minutes with a faster 10 minutes
  • 09. 2 hours long run

Week 4 - Regeneration week

This week training becomes much lighter in order to recover from the endurance levels of the first training round. Only 2 training sessions are retained, preferably on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

  • 10. 45 min jogging
  • 11. rest
  • 12. 1 hour jogging

Week 5 - Round 2: we bring together 2 sessions over the weekend to form a training block.

On this second round will ideally train on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in order to be able to build up the km over a short period.

  • 13. 1 hour 30 min long run
  • 14. 1 hour with 8 minutes faster running
  • 15. 1 hour 30 min long run

Week 6 - Round 2: introducing a little quality

With 2 sessions over the weekend, the long run may be difficult. Whatever the speed, what is important is to run for the requested time.

  • 16. 1 hour 30 min long run
  • 17. 1 hour with 2x 8 fast minutes
  • 18. 1 hour 45 min long run

Week 7 - Round 2: last week

The training sessions, and effort you put in, mean that you may start to get tired.

Look after yourself, put on dry clothes after running, follow our nutritional advice, monitor your lifestyle and everything will be fine!

  • 19. 1 hour 30 min long run
  • 20. 1 hour with 2x 10 fast minutes
  • 21. 2 hours long run on the road

Week 8 - Regeneration week

This week training becomes much lighter in order to recover from the endurance levels of the work of the second round. Only 2 training sessions are retained, preferably on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

  • 22. 1 hour jogging
  • 23. rest
  • 24. 1 hour jogging

Week 9 - Round 3: starting back with a heavy training load.

On this third round you will ideally train on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, in order to be able to build up the km over a short period.

  • 25. 1 hour 30 min long run
  • 26. 1 hour with a faster 12 minutes
  • 27. 2 hours 15 min long run

Week 10 - Round 3: gradually lightening the training

The deadline is approaching, we maintain the quality of the training but gradually reduce the amount.

  • 28. 1 hour with 2x 10 fast minutes
  • 29. 1 hour 30 with 5 fast minutes
  • 30. 1 hour 30 min long run

Week 11 - Round 3: a light week to arrive at your goal rested. We take a rest day between sessions.

The last week of training before the marathon. This week of preparation is lighter than those that you have done the previous weeks. You are starting to "feel fresher" physically and mentally. Your training days must change, they will be on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, in order to avoid tiredness building up over the weekend.

  • 31. 1 hour jogging on flat ground
  • 32. 1 hour with 3x 5 fast minutes
  • 33. 1 hour jogging on flat ground

Week 12 - Recovery and competition

The training gets lighter so that you are fresh at the start line of the course. Only one running session on Wednesday, just to get your legs moving.

  • 34. 1 hour jogging on flat ground
  • 35. rest
  • 36. warm-up for day of race

Coach advice

"You want to complete a marathon. You have no time goal, simply to get to the finish. It's a huge goal that will require discipline and a lot of commitment in terms of time. With the willpower, determination and routine, this training plan will lead you on the path to success."
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