3 hrs 15 mins for a marathon - in 9 weeks

Expert 9 weeks 5x/week
article rating 4.9/5 19

To run the marathon in 3 hours 15 minutes, you need to maintain a pace of a little over 13km/h (4min35sec per km).

In order to follow this training programme, you must be able to run the half-marathon in 1 hr 30 mins or less than 3 hrs 30 mins for the marathon.

As you run several times a week throughout the year, this programme only takes 9 weeks. It breaks down into 2 cycles separated by a light training week.

You will train on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, preferably.

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

Week 1 - Cycle 1: discovering the paces

Your speed for sessions at a specific pace will be 13.30 km/h (4 mins 30 secs per kilometre), i.e. a little faster than the pace you will have to maintain during the race.

  • 01. 1h15min jog
  • 02. Short VO2max effort 15x (30s - 30s)
  • 03. 1h of jogging
  • 04. 4x 2 km at race pace
  • 05. long 1 hr 30 min run on road

Week 2 - Cycle 1: gradual increase in the training workload

The marathon training is demanding. Maintain your healthy lifestyle (sleep, nutrition, hydration) to prevent any issues. Remember to change into some dry clothing at the end of each training session to avoid catching cold.

  • 06. Short VO2max 10x (1 min 30 sec - 50 sec)
  • 07. 1h of jogging
  • 08. 1h15min of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 09. 3 x 3 km at race pace
  • 10. long 1 hr 45 min run on road

Week 3 - Cycle 1: heavy training schedule.

If you are concerned that your shoes might not last until the marathon, replace them now. You will break them in during the recovery week. It is risky to make such an important change within one month of the marathon.

  • 11. VO2max 6x (3 min - 1 min 30 sec)
  • 12. 1h of jogging
  • 13. 1 hour 30 minutes of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 14. 2 x 4 km at a specific pace
  • 15. long 2 hr run

Week 4 - Regeneration week

The training workload drops significantly this week so that you can recover from the effort made during the previous weeks.
While sticking to 4 training sessions per week, the sessions are shorter and less intense.

If needed (fatigue, physical issue, etc.) don't hesitate to skip a session.

  • 16. 45 mins of jogging
  • 17. rest
  • 18. 3x km at a specific pace
  • 19. 1 hour of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 20. 1h15min jog

Week 5 - Cycle 2: heavy training schedule.

We immediately start again with a very heavy training schedule, so this is not the time to get into any bad habits: sleep, a healthy lifestyle, diet and hydration are still of utmost importance.

  • 21. VO2max 12x (1 min - 45 secs)
  • 22. 1h of jogging
  • 23. 1h15min with 10 min at 80 to 85% of your maximum heart rate
  • 24. 4 x 3 km at specific pace
  • 25. Long 2h run on road

Week 6 - Cycle 2: Maximum training load

With the objective 4 weeks away, this is the toughest week of the programme. Stick as close as you can to the paces, do not go too quickly and don't overdo it; the following week is still quite intense!

  • 26. VO2max 5x (4 min - 2 min)
  • 27. 1h of jogging
  • 28. 1h15min with 15 min at 80 to 85% of the maximum heart rate
  • 29. 3 x 4 km at race pace
  • 30. long 2 hrs 15 mins run on road

Week 7 - Cycle 2: slight decrease in the training workload

Even if the training intensity drops a little, this week will still be challenging. Hang in there, this is the final week of intense training.

  • 31. VO2max 10x (2 min - 1 min)
  • 32. 1h of jogging
  • 33. 1 hour 30 minutes of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 34. 2 x 5 km at a specific pace
  • 35. long 2 hr run

Week 8 - Cycle 2: start of the relaxation phase.

With the marathon 2 weeks away, it is time to lighten the training schedule to be fully rested at the start. We will stick to 3 sessions this week, without exceeding an hour of running.

  • 36. 1 hr jog
  • 37. rest
  • 38. 3x 2 km at a specific pace
  • 39. 1min of jogging with 1km at race pace
  • 40. 45 minutes of jogging

Week 9 - Regeneration and competition

The workload drops so that you feel fresh for the start of the race.The programme includes just 2 short running sessions, which is just enough to stretch the legs.

  • 41. 40min of jogging with 2km at race pace
  • 42. rest
  • 43. 30-minute jog
  • 44. rest
  • 45. warming up for the day of the race

Coach advice

"You want to run a marathon in 3 hrs 15 mins. This is a serious objective that requires experience, discipline and a big time commitment. This training programme will give you the best chance of meeting your objective."
Want to move with Decathlon Coach? ;)
It's happening right here 👇
qr-code