4 hrs 15 mins for a marathon - in 12 weeks

Experienced 12 weeks 3x/week
article rating 4.8/5 77

In order to follow this programme, you must be able to run the half-marathon in 2 hrs 00 minutes or the marathon in 4 hrs 30 mins.

This 12-week programme is broken down into 3 cycles.
During the first cycle, you will preferably train on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday in order to space out the sessions as much as possible.

During the following cycles, you will train preferably on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday in order to cover a long distance over a short period.

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

Week 1 - Cycle 1: we start slowly.

We start by having one day of rest between each session so that the body gets used to this new training schedule.

  • 01. 1 hour of jogging on flat ground
  • 02. 1 hr of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 03. long 1 hr 30 min run

Week 2 - Cycle 1: we discover the training paces.

Try to start your training plan with a relatively new pair of shoes so that you will not have to change model during your preparation.

  • 04. 1 hr of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 05. 1 hr 16 mins 2 x 8 min fast
  • 06. long 1 hr 45 min run

Week 3 - Cycle 1: we continue to increase the running distance

Try to start your training plan with a relatively new pair of shoes so that you will not have to change model during your preparation.

  • 07. 1 hr of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 08. 1 hr 20 mins 2 x 10 mins fast
  • 09. long 2 hr run

Week 4 - Week of regeneration.

The training workload drops significantly this week so that you can recover from the effort made during the previous weeks. We stick to 2 sessions only, preferably on Wednesday and Sunday.

  • 10. 1 hr of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 11. rest
  • 12. 1 hour of jogging on flat ground

Week 5 - Cycle 2: 2 sessions are combined over the weekend to form a training block.


During the second cycle, you will train preferably on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday in order to cover a long distance over a short period.

  • 13. 1 hr 30 mins of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 14. 1 hr 20 mins 2 x 12 mins fast
  • 15. long 1 hr 30 min run on road

Week 6 - Cycle 2: we increase the intensity of the training schedule

With 2 sessions over the weekend, the long run can be challenging. The key is to run for the full time required, rather than maintaining a particular speed.

  • 16. 1 hr 30 mins of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 17. 1 hr 15 mins 3 x 10 mins fast
  • 18. long 1 hr 45 min run on road

Week 7 - Cycle 2: final week

Given the sequence of sessions and efforts made, a little fatigue may set in.

Take care of yourself, change into some dry clothes after running, follow our nutritional advice, maintain a healthy lifestyle and everything will be fine!

  • 19. 1 hr 30 mins of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 20. 1 hr 15 mins 2 x 15 mins fast
  • 21. long 2 hrs 15 mins run on road

Week 8 - Week of regeneration.

The training workload drops significantly this week so that you can recover from the effort made during the second work cycle.We stick to 2 training sessions only, preferably on Wednesday and Saturday.

  • 22. 1 hr jog
  • 23. rest
  • 24. 1 hr jog

Week 9 - Cycle 3: we set off again with an intense training schedule.


During the third cycle, you will train preferably on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday in order to cover a long distance over a short period.

  • 25. 1 hr 30 mins of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 26. 1 hr 20 mins 3 x 12 mins fast
  • 27. long 2 hrs 15 mins run on road

Week 10 - Cycle 3: we will gradually lighten the training workload

With the deadline fast approaching, we maintain the quality of the training while gradually reducing the quantity.

  • 28. 1 hr 30 mins 10 mins fast
  • 29. 1 hr 30 mins with 20 mins fast
  • 30. long 1 hr 30 min run on road

Week 11 - Cycle 3: light training week so that you are rested when you reach your objective. We take a day of rest between each session.

Final week of training before the marathon.
The workload of the preparation week is lighter than that of the previous weeks.
You start to feel physically and mentally "fresh".
Your training days must change to the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to minimise fatigue on the weekend.

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

Week 12 - Regeneration and competition

The workload drops so that you feel fresh for the start of the race. A single running section on Wednesday, just to stretch their legs.

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

Coach advice

"You want to run a marathon in 4 hrs 15 mins. This is a big objective that requires discipline and a big time commitment. However, with a little resolve, determination and regularity, this training plan will lead you on the pathway to success."
Want to move with Decathlon Coach? ;)
It's happening right here 👇
qr-code