RW’s Ultimate Marathon Schedule: Sub-3:00

A 3:00 marathon is approximately 6:50 per mile. To break 3:00, you should eventually be capable of a sub-1:25 half-marathon (6:30 per mile) and sub-38:00 10K (6:00 per mile) Right now, you should be running at least 35-40 miles per week, over six or seven sessions.

For The Month Ahead...

Your Goal A sub-38:00 10K or sub-30:00 5-mile race (Week 4). More...
Your Theme You build your base. More...



Week One (37-42M) - all times approx
Mon 5M (miles) (approx 40 mins) easy
Tue 4M (30 mins) slow with a few gentle strides
Wed 6M (45 mins) slow
Thu 5M (35 mins) steady
Fri 5M (40 mins) easy or rest
Sat 5M (32 mins) brisk hilly cross-country run or race or parkrun
Sun 12M (90 mins) slow

Week Two (46-50M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 9M of 1.5M jog and strides, then 3 x 2M (sub-12 mins) fast, with 400m (3-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 7M (50 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (approx 19:30) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri 4M (30 mins) easy or rest
Sat 6M (40 mins) steady off-road or parkrun
Sun 14M (105 mins) slow

Week Three (49-53M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 9M of 1.5M jog and strides, then 5 x 1M (or 6 mins) fast, with 400m (2-min 30) jog recoveries, then 1.5M jog
Wed 8M (60 mins) slow
Thu 7M (45 mins) steady
Fri 4M (30 mins) easy or rest
Sat 7M (50 mins) brisk hilly cross-country run or race or parkrun
Sun 16M (2 hours) slow

Week Four (40-46M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 9M of 1.5M jog and strides, then 8 x 800m (or 3 mins) fast, with 200m (1-min) jog recoveries, then 1.5M jog
Wed 9M (65 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 4M (25 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri 4M (30 mins) easy with strides
Sat 4M (30 mins) easy or rest
Sun 1M jog and strides, then race 10K or 5M, then 1M jog. Aim for a sub-38:00 10K or sub-30:00 5-miler

For The Month Ahead...

Your Goal Complete a run of around 2 hours 20 mins (Week 7). More...
Your Theme You add volume and speed. More...

Week Five (50-54M)
Mon 5M (40+ mins) easy
Tue 1M jog, then 6M (or 45 minutes) fartlek, then 1M jog
Wed 10M (75 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, 4M (25 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 6M (40 mins) steady off-road or parkrun
Sun 16M (2hrs) slow

Week Six (54-58M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 8M of 1M jog, then 12 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wed 11M (80 mins) slow
Thu 7M (approx 50 mins) steady
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (32 mins) brisk hilly cross-country run or race or parkrun
Sun 18M (approx 2hrs 15) slow

Week Seven (58-62M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 8M of 1M jog and strides, then 15 x 400, with 200m (1-min 30) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 12M (90 mins) slow
Thu 8M (55 mins) steady
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (40 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 20M (approx 2hrs 30) slow

Week Eight (39-43M)
Mon Rest
Tue 6M of 1M jog and strides, then 16 x 200, with 200m (1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 10M (75 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (approx 19:00) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (40 mins) easy
Sun Race (ideally half-marathon)

For The Month Ahead...

Your Goal A sub-1:23 half-marathon (Week 10). More...
Your Theme You reach your highest mileage. More...

Note that the ‘approximate’ targets for training sessions are exactly that, especially on longer runs. By now, your training and racing should be giving you a clearer idea of your marathon (steady) and half-marathon (brisk) paces. Also, the times in the Tuesday speed sessions are alternatives to the distances, rather than targets. You should be running them as fast yet evenly as you can; roughly between 5K and 10K pace.

Week Nine (60-64M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 9M of 1M jog and strides, then 15 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wed 9M (70 mins) slow
Thu 10M (70 mins) steady
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (40 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 22M (2hrs 45) slow

Week Ten (42-46M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 10M of 1M jog and strides, then 4 x 2M (or 10 mins) fast, with 400m (or 2-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 10M (75 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 4M (25 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest or 4M (approx 30 mins) easy
Sat 3M (approx 25 mins) easy
Sun Half-marathon Aim for sub-1:23

Week Eleven (58-62M)
Mon 5M (approx 40 mins) easy
Tue 8M of 1M jog and strides, then 6M (or 45 mins) fartlek, then 1M jog
Wed 8M (60 mins) slow
Thu 12M (80 mins) steady
Fri Rest or 4M (approx 30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (40 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 20M (approx 2hrs 30) slow

Week Twelve (58-62M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 9M of 1M jog and strides, 6 x 1M (or 6 mins) fast with 200m (or 1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M
Wed 11M (80 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 4M (25 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (40 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 20M (approx 2hrs 30) slow

For The Month Ahead...

Your Goal A serious taper and a rewarding marathon. More...

Week Thirteen (56-60M)
Mon 5M (approx 40 mins) easy
Tue 9M of 1M jog and strides, then 15 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session.
Wed 10M (75 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 5M (32 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (40 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 22M (2hrs 43) slow

Week Fourteen (55-59M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 9M of 1M jog and strides, then 8 x 800m (or 3 mins) fast, with 100m (or 1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 8M (60 mins) slow
Thu 10M (70 mins) steady
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (40 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 18M (2:15) slow

Week Fifteen (39-43M)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 6M of 1M jog and strides, then 12 x 400m (or 90 secs) fast, with 200m (or 2-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 6M (45 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (19 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest or 4M (30 mins) easy
Sat 5M (40 mins) easy
Sun 12M (80 mins) steady

Week Sixteen (43M inc race)
Mon 5M (40 mins) easy
Tue 1M jog, then 12 x 200m (or 40 secs) fast, with 100m (or 30 secs) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 4M (30 mins) easy
Thu 3M (20 mins) easy plus strides
Fri Rest
Sat 2M (15 mins) easy
Sun The race