The Intermediate Marathon training plan is a slight increase in mileage from the beginner training plan. While this plan still includes four runs per week, there is a larger focus on the length of long runs and speed/tempo workouts.
This marathon plan is 20-weeks in length. You start with an 8-mile long run in week 1 and progress to two 20-mile long runs in preparation for the marathon. The gradual increase in distance will have you running farther and feeling more comfortable while covering the distance. Speed workouts are meant to improve performance by focusing on a faster pace and efficiency. Tempo runs and race pace workouts are designed to improve your comfort levels with running a faster pace for an increased amount of time. As the plan progresses, the total running time and intensity of each session will increase.
The Intermediate Marathon program includes two cross-training workouts per week. These cross-training workouts allow you to incorporate other activities you enjoy with this training plan. Cross-training activities may include cycling, yoga, elliptical, swimming, or weight-lifting. With the goal on improving your half marathon time, cross-training workouts can make a remarkable difference in building strength and efficiency.
Individuals will want to choose the Intermediate Marathon training plan if they have been running 4 to 5 times per week for 45 to 90-minutes each time for at least one year. It is recommended that you have completed at least one half marathon or marathon in the past year. If you are running less, that is okay! Consider starting with the Beginner Marathon plan or a Half Marathon training plan and building your fitness up to this marathon program.