3 hrs 45 mins for a marathon - in 12 weeks

Intermediate 12 weeks 3x/week
article rating 4.7/5 202

To run the marathon in 3 hour 45 mins, you need to maintain a pace of 11.25 km/h (5 min 19 secs per km).

In order to follow this training programme, you must be able to run the half-marathon in 1 hr 45 mins or 4 hours for the marathon.

This 12-week progressive programme is broken down into 3 cycles of 3 weeks, with one recovery week between each and another one before the competition.

You will generally train on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, preferably.That way you will stack up an intense workload for the weekend.

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 11.50 km/h (5 mins 15 secs per kilometre), i.e. a little faster than the pace you will have to maintain during the race.

  • 01. 1h15min of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 02. 3x 2 km at a specific pace
  • 03. 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.

  • 04. VO2max 10x (1 min - 1 min)
  • 05. 2 x 3 km at a specific pace
  • 06. 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.

  • 07. 1 hour 30 minutes of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 08. 4x 2 km at race pace
  • 09. 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 3 training sessions per week, the sessions are shorter and less intense.

Sessions will be on Tuesday, Thursday and at the weekend so that there is a day of rest between each one.

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

  • 10. 45 minutes of jogging
  • 11. 45 minutes of jogging
  • 12. 1 hour of jogging on hilly terrain

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.

  • 13. VO2max 5x (3 min - 1 min 30 sec)
  • 14. 2 x 4 km at a specific pace
  • 15. Long 2h run on road

Week 6 - Cycle 2: heavy training schedule.

This week is very difficult. 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!

  • 16. 1 hour 30 minutes of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 17. 3 x 3 km at race pace
  • 18. Long 2 hrs 15 mins run on road

Week 7 - Cycle 2: maximum training load

This week is the most difficult. Hang in there, this is the final week of intense training.

  • 19. VO2max 15x (30 sec - 30 sec)
  • 20. 2 x 5 km at a specific pace
  • 21. Long 2 hr 30 min run on road

Week 8 - Cycle 2: recovery week

The training workload drops significantly this week so that you can recover from the effort made during the second work cycle.
Sessions will be on Tuesday, Thursday and at the weekend so that there is a day of rest between each one.

  • 22. 45 minutes of jogging
  • 23. 45 minutes of jogging
  • 24. 1 hour of jogging on hilly terrain

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

This is the last difficult week. The marathon is almost here, hang in there!

  • 25. VO2max 6x (2 mins - 1 min)
  • 26. 4 + 3+ 2 km at a specific pace
  • 27. long 1 hr 45 min run on road

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

With the deadline fast approaching, we gradually reduce the training workload.

  • 28. 1 hour 30 minutes of jogging on hilly terrain
  • 29. 3 + 2+ 1 km at a specific pace
  • 30. long 1 hr 30 min run on road

Week 11 - Cycle 3: we continue to drop the workload.

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 have to change. They will be on Tuesday, Thursday and the weekend to keep at least one day of rest between each training session.

  • 31. 1h of jogging
  • 32. 3 x 2 km at marathon pace
  • 33. 1h15min of jogging on flat terrain

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. 30-minute jog
  • 35. rest
  • 36. warming up for the day of the race

Coach advice

"You want to run a marathon in 3 hrs 45 mins. This is a massive 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