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Beginners Training Plan Structure 12-16weeks Out From A Half or Full Marathon

Beginning a training plan 12-16 weeks out from a half or full marathon still allows for effective preparation, but it may involve more focused and intense training. Here's how the generic plan might look for a beginner who currently runs 3 times per week for up to 20 minutes and is able to run for 40 minutes on a long run. Weekly mileage will vary depending on the individual and event distance.


Phase 1: Base Building (2-4 Weeks)

  • Goal: Establish a foundation of endurance.
  • Focus: Gradually increase mileage at an easy pace.
  • Key workouts: Start with shorter long runs and gradually increase distance.
  • Weekly mileage: Build up to around 20 – 30km per week, increasing by 10-15% each week.
  • Cross-training: Incorporate cross-training activities for overall fitness and injury prevention.
  • Get into the habit of prehabilitation, mobilising the body to prepare for and post running.


Phase 2: Strength and Speed Development (4 Weeks)

  • Goal: Improve endurance, strength, and speed.
  • Focus: Introduce speed workouts and hill training.
  • Key workouts: Tempo runs, intervals, hill repeats.
  • Long runs: Continue to slowly increase distance.
  • Weekly mileage: Continue to increase, reaching around 32 – 40km per week.
  • Introduce and maintain good warm up and cool down routines, before and after workouts.


Phase 3: Peak Training (4 – 6 Weeks)

  • Goal: Reach peak fitness and sharpen race-specific skills.
  • Focus: Fine-tune race pace, increase intensity.
  • Key workouts: Race pace runs, longer intervals at goal race pace, longer tempo runs.
  • Long runs: Include several long runs at or slightly below race distance.
  • Weekly mileage: Peak around 40 – 50km per week, with cutback weeks for recovery.
  • Use the longer runs to practise your race day gear, nutrition and hydration strategies.


Phase 4: Taper and Race (2 Weeks)

  • Goal: Rest, recover, and prepare for the race.
  • Focus: Maintain fitness while allowing for full recovery.
  • Key activities: Shorter, easier runs to maintain fitness without inducing fatigue.
  • Taper: Gradually decrease training load: mileage and intensity leading up to the race by 30%
  • Rest: Prioritise rest, hydration, and nutrition.
  • Race day: Execute your race plan and enjoy the experience!


Starting the training plan 12-16 weeks out requires a slightly accelerated progression, but it still provides ample time to build the necessary endurance and speed for a successful half or full marathon.

Remember, this is a general guideline, and individual plans may vary based on factors like current fitness level, running experience, and personal goals. It's essential to listen to your body, adjust as needed.

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1 comment

Help please, very confused i just purchased a training plan but never logged it or entered my email so how do i recieve the plan. Order number 1088.


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