RW’s Ultimate Marathon: Monthly Theme

All of the preparation that you’ve carefully done so far now allows you to progress smoothly into your longest training runs and the highest-volume weeks of the schedules. They’re hard weeks, but you can do it.

Don’t even think about giving up or easing off now (unless you’re injured). The work you put into the next five key weeks will pay dividends on race day, by improving your endurance, comfort and pace. And if your last eight weeks of training haven’t been entirely optimal, don’t worry – few people’s will have.

In Weeks 9-13... you reach your highest mileage

Weeks 9-13 are the hardest and most important five weeks of the schedule. The training reaches a peak in terms of volume and mileage. But once you’ve reached week 13, you have the stimulus of knowing that the worst is over and you can start tapering for the big day.

As ever, the most important parts of the schedule are the weekly long runs. These should reach their highest points between weeks Nine and 12. While on most weekends you will be concentrating on your stamina, we strongly suggest that you make at least one attempt during this period to race a half-marathon.

One final tip: after the long runs, the second most important session of your week is the Tuesday speedwork. But if you are feeling very tired after a long weekend run or race, it might be sensible to swap your Tuesday and Thursday sessions around.