RW’s Ultimate Marathon Schedule: Sub-3:30

A 3:30 marathon is approximately 8:00 per mile. To break 3:30, you should eventually be capable of a sub-1:37 half-marathon (7:20 per mile) and sub- 43:00 10K (7:00 per mile). Right now, you should be running at least 25-30 miles per week, and be able to run for 1:30 non-stop.

For The Month Ahead...

Your Goal A sub-43:00 10K or sub-35:00 5-mile race (Week 4). More...
Your Theme You build your base. More...

Week One (26M)
Mon 4M (miles) (37 mins) easy
Tue Rest
Wed 5M (45 mins) slow
Thu 3M (24 mins) steady
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy
Sun 10M (90 mins) slow

Week Two (32M)
Mon Rest
Tue 7M of 1M jog, then 3 x 1.5M (or 11 mins) fast, with 400m (3-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 6M (53 mins) slow
Thu 4M of 1M jog, then 2M (approx 15 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 11M (100 mins) slow

Week Three (35M)
Mon Rest
Tue 7 of 1M jog, then 4 x 1M (or 7 mins) fast, with 400m (3-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 7M (63 mins) slow
Thu 4M (32 mins) steady
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 13M (1hr 55) slow

Week Four (31M)
Mon Rest
Tue 6M of 1M jog, then 6 x 800m (or 3:30) fast, with 2-min (200m) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 8M (72 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (23 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy
Sun 8M of 1M jog, then race 10K or 5M, then 1M jog. Aim for a sub-43:00 10K or sub-35:00 5-mile race

For The Month Ahead...

Your Goal Complete a run of around 3 hours (Week 7). More...
Your Theme You add volume and speed. More...

Week Five (39M)
Mon Rest
Tue 7M of 1M jog, then 5M (or 45 mins) fartlek, then 1M jog
Wed 8M (72 mins) slow
Thu 5M (40 mins) steady
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 15M (2hrs 15) slow

Week Six (43M)
Mon Rest
Tue 6M of 1M jog, then 9 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wed 9M (approx 80 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 4M (approx 30 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 18M (2hrs 40) slow

Week Seven (47M)
Mon Rest
Tue 6M of 1M jog and strides, then 10 x 400, with 200m (1-min 30) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 10M (90 mins) slow
Thu 7M (56 mins) steady
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 20M (3 hrs) slow

Week Eight (36M)
Mon Rest
Tue 5M of 1M jog and strides, then 12 x 200, with 200m (1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 8M (72 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (23 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest
Sat 3M (27 mins) easy
Sun Race (ideally half-marathon) or brisk run (15M inc warm up/ cool down)

For The Month Ahead...

Your Goal A sub-1:37 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 (48M)
Mon Rest
Tue 7M of 1M jog and strides, then 10 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wed 8M slow
Thu 9M steady
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 20M (3hrs) slow

Week Ten (39M)
Mon Rest
Tue 7M of 1M jog, then 3 x 1.5M (or 11 mins) fast, with 400m (or 3-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 9M (80 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (approx 23 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest
Sat 3M (27 mins) easy
Sun Half-marathon Aim for sub-1:37 (15M inc warm up and cool down)

Week Eleven (46M)
Mon Rest
Tue 1M jog, 5M (or 45 mins) fartlek, then 1M jog
Wed 6M (50 mins) slow
Thu 9M (72 mins) steady
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 20M (3hrs) slow

Week Twelve (48M)
Mon Rest
Tue 8M of 1M jog and strides, then 5 x 1M (or 7 mins) fast with 200m (or 90 secs) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 9M (80 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (22 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 22M (3hrs 18) slow

For The Month Ahead...

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

Week Thirteen (45M)
Mon Rest
Tue 8M of 1M jog and strides, 12 x 2 mins up hill, jog back. Then 1M jog at end of session
Wed 7M (60 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 4M (30 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy or parkrun
Sun 20M (3hrs) slow

Week Fourteen (42M)
Mon Rest
Tue 6M of 1M jog, then 6 x 800m (or 3 mins) fast, with 100m (or 1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 6M (54 mins) slow
Thu 8M (64 mins) steady
Fri Rest
Sat 4M (36 mins) easy
Sun 18M (approx 2hrs 35 mins) slow

Week Fifteen (31M)
Mon Rest
Tue 6M of 1M jog, then 9 x 400m (or 90 secs) fast, with 200m (or 2-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 5M (45 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 3M (22 mins) brisk, then 1M jog
Fri Rest
Sat 3M (27 mins) easy
Sun 12M (95 mins) steady

Week Sixteen (39M inc race)
Mon Rest
Tue 4 of 1M jog, then 10 x 200m (or 45 secs) fast, with 100m (or 30 secs) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 4M (36 mins) easy
Thu 3M (27 mins) easy plus strides
Fri Rest
Sat 2M (or 20 mins) easy
Sun The race