Marathon training plan for 4 hours

If you run a marathon with an average speed of 9:10 per mile, the finish time will be about 4 hours, and it will be a reasonable goal if you train purposefully and structured.

Marathon training plan for 4 hours

It would help if you built endurance and speed to reach your goal. As always, the main focus of training should be running with low intensity. The training program should include one long run a week, which you should gradually increase the length of the program so that it lasts 2 hours or more. You should also complete 1-2 workouts a week of moderate to hard intensity training.

The training program in this article is 24 weeks and aims to get you under 4 hours on a marathon.

Running program for marathons under 4 hours

As mentioned, the training program has a duration of 24 weeks and will train your speed and endurance for marathons. In this running program, the first 12 weeks will extend the essential training as discussed earlier in this article, while for the next 12 weeks, the plan is aimed at marathons.

Gradually increase the number of long runs and other easy runs during the first 12 weeks of the exercise program. Make sure you do not increase the training volume on these trips too quickly. The training program has added up to 4 training sessions per week, but you can add an extra training session per week if desired.

If you train four days a week, you carry out one training session per week with moderate to hard intensity. If you train four days a week, you carry out one running training with moderate to hard intensity.

If you train for five days, complete one day of training with moderate to hard intensity.

Switch between interval training, progressive running, pace training, and fartlek when running with moderate and strenuous intensity.

Remember that training with moderate to hard intensity should not exceed 20% of the total amount of exercise. The remaining activity should be running with low intensity.

The training program is based on your training on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, but you are free to vary with which days you want to train, as long as you do not complete two hard training sessions in a row.

In the last weeks towards the marathon, there is a reduction in the amount of training and a sharpening of the form.

24-week marathon plan to run marathons in 4 hours

Week 1-12

Monday:

Easy running for 45-60 minutes, with low intensity. Gradually increase the amount of training during the 12 weeks of basic training.

Tuesday:

Fartlek for 30-60 minutes, with moderate intensity. Enter 10 ascent runs. Length of ascent runs can be optional, or with a duration of anywhere from 30 seconds to 3-5 minutes. Easy running with low intensity between each ascent run.

For this session, you can alternate between running fartlek and progressive running. You can omit this session if you train four days a week.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 45-60 minutes, with low intensity. Gradually increase the amount of training during the 12 weeks of basic training.

Friday:

Interval training for 45-60 minutes. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. 3-6 × 1000 meter interval, with hard intensity. Pauses between each interval of 90-120 seconds. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

For this session, you can alternate between interval training and tempo training. Combine running training with moderate to hard intensity this session if you train four days per week.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 75-180 minutes. Add a quick long run instead of the easy long run every three or four weeks.

Week 13

Monday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Two-part progressive running for 60 minutes, with low to moderate intensity. Alternate between running 15 minutes at an easy pace and 15 minutes of running with moderate intensity. Start with the easy run as part of the warm-up initially.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Downhill training for 45 minutes, with hard intensity. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. 10 × 150 meters ground interval, with hard intensity. Easy jog down the hill again as a break. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 14

Monday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Fartlek for 45-60 minutes, with moderate intensity. Enter 10 ascent runs. Length of ascent runs can be optional, or with a duration of anywhere from 30 seconds to 3-5 minutes. Easy running with low intensity between each ascent run.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Pace training for 45-60 minutes, with moderate to hard intensity.Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. 15-30 minute tempo interval, with hard intensity. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 15

Monday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Fartlek for 45-60 minutes, with moderate intensity. Enter 10 ascent runs. Length of ascent runs can be optional, or with a duration of anywhere from 30 seconds to 3-5 minutes. Easy running with low intensity between each ascent run.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Interval training for 45-60 minutes, with hard intensity. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. 10 × 1 minute interval, with a 30-second pause between each interval. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 16

Monday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Three-part progressive running, with moderate to hard intensity. Start with an easy warm-up for 20 minutes, which is the first part of the progressive run. Follow up with 30 minutes of running with moderate intensity. End the session with 10 minutes of hard intensity. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Downhill training for 45 minutes, with hard intensity. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. 10 × 150 meters ground interval, with hard intensity. Easy jog down the hill again as a break. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 17

Monday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Fartlek for 60 minutes, with moderate intensity. Enter 10 ascent runs. The length of the ascent runs can be optional or with a duration of anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Easy running with low intensity between each ascent run.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Pace training for 45-60 minutes, with moderate to hard intensity. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. Perform 3-4 × 7-minute pace intervals, with 3 minutes of easy jogging between each interval. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 18

Monday:

Easy running for 30 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Fartlek for 30 minutes, with moderate intensity. Enter 10 ascent runs. The length of the ascent runs can be optional or with a duration of anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Easy running with low intensity between each ascent run.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 30 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Test run marathon. Use this calculator (English) to estimate the time you need to run to the half marathon to reach your goal in the marathon.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of 90 minutes.

Week 19

Monday:

Easy running for 45 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Fartlek for 45 minutes, with moderate intensity. Enter 10 ascent runs. The length of the ascent runs can be optional or with a duration of anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Easy running with low intensity between each ascent run.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 45 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Easy running for 45 minutes, with low intensity.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 20

Monday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Two-part progressive running, with moderate intensity. Easy running for 30 minutes. Run at moderate intensity for the next 30 minutes.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Downhill training for 45 minutes, with hard intensity. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. 10 × 150 meters ground interval, with hard intensity. Easy jog down the hill again as a break. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 21

Monday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Fartlek for 60 minutes, with moderate intensity. Enter 10 ascent runs. The length of the ascent runs can be optional or with a duration of anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Easy running with low intensity between each ascent run.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Pace training for 60 minutes, with moderate to hard intensity. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. Perform a 3 × 10-minute pace interval with hard intensity, with 5 minutes of easy jogging between each interval. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 22

Monday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Three-part progressive running, with moderate to hard intensity. Start with an easy warm-up for 20 minutes, which is the first part of the progressive run. Follow up with 30 minutes of running with moderate intensity. End the session with 10 minutes of hard intensity. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 60 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Interval training for 45-60 minutes, with hard intensity. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. 15 × 1 minute interval, with a 30-second break between each interval. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of anywhere from 90-180 minutes.

Week 23

Monday:

Easy running for 45 minutes, with low intensity.

Tuesday:

Fartlek for 35 minutes, with moderate intensity. Enter 5 ascent runs. The length of the ascent runs can be optional or with a duration of anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Easy running with low intensity between each ascent run.

Wednesday:

Easy running for 45 minutes, with low intensity.

Friday:

Interval training for 30 minutes, with hard intensity. Warm-up for 15-20 minutes. 2-3 × 1000 meters interval, with a 30-second break between each interval. Jog down for 10 minutes in the end.

Sunday:

Easy long run with a duration of 90 minutes.

Week 24

Monday:

Easy running for 30 minutes, with low intensity.

Wednesday:

Interval training for 30 minutes. Run 10 × 200 meters with moderate intensity. Easy jog for 10 minutes.

Friday:

Easy jog for 20 minutes. Finish with five ascent runs with moderate intensity.

Saturday:

Marathon running. Let the speed come to you. Do not start faster than you manage to keep a steady pace throughout the race.

Exercise after a marathon

Have complete rest for 2-3 days, or until the legs start to heal again. The first two running sessions after the marathon should be short and run with low intensity. After two weeks, you can resume training, as usual, but with a slightly lower training volume.

It is normal to have a training break during such a long training period due to illness or others that prevent you from training, and you do not have to catch up on the workouts you are missing out on. If you are ill in week 8 of the training program, start up again in week 9, and continue the running training as usual.

Related articles:

Sub 3 hours marathon training plan

Marathon training plans 2 months

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