Weight Training

by Megan

What is the deal with weight training and the 100 day plan ?

"HI Marius,

I'm on your 3:15 Marathon plan and was wondering your thoughts on weight-training. I've read the previous posts regarding this question but did not get the specific information that I needed. Do you recommend a lot of reps when weight training versus gradually increasing the amount of weight per rep?

Also, is there a major difference if I do the majority of my training outside versus on a treadmill in terms of achieving my goal of a 3:15 to 3:20 marathon time? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks. "

Answer: Hi Megan and thanks for your questions.

In terms of weight training, if you do decide to do this, then I advice the following :

1. Aim for above 15 reps - and an increase in reps vs. load. Be especially careful with anything between 8 and 12 reps, as this has shown to increase total muscle mass. In addition, some studies show that heavier weights and lower reps (3-4 reps) increases strength but not muscle mass. However, I've tested this out myself with close monitoring and in my personal case it DID indeed increase the total muscle mass of the quads (and performance decreased slightly in that period)

2. Aim for a well rounded program, but be careful with the quads, especially in the marathons specific part of the program.

3. If you can get in some eccentric strength work also - the Italian marathoners do this quite a bit and say it is much better vs. regular strength work, at least for the marathon.

4. Be careful with the easy days - parts of why the 100 day plan is effective is the focus on absolute easy work on the easy days, so do not do any hard work, especially quad exercises on these days. It is better to place this type of work on the hard training days - after the hard work.

In terms of the treadmill - no problem at all, I'm a big fan of the treadmill so it will work well either way!

best wishes,


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Strength Training

by Melanie
(UK, Shropshire)

How much and what strength training / plyometrics is good to do with the 100 day plan ?

How much, when, what strength training and plyometrics would benefit a 3.5 hr marathon schedule?

Answer: Hi Melanie, I've answered this in depth before, if you scroll down to the buttom of this page : Strength training and the 100 day plan

Pay particular attention to these two posts :
Plyometrics and Gym work and the 100 day plan Which basically sums it up. Be very careful in the marathon specific weeks as I talk about there.

I wish you all the best with your training,

kind regards,

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Strength training and Treadmill

by Knut
(Bergen/ Norway)

Hi Marius

As so many times before, thanks for this great marathon program u have given us. My aim is sub 3 Hour. I have two question :

Due to all bad weather in Norway,I have done most of the hard sessions on treadmill, and all the easy sessions outside on hard surface.

I feel that it is easier to build speed on treadmill, and to hold my effort, regarding to heart rate. Is this ok?

What about Strength training on your legs?
Leg pres and similar Exercises? I have been doing 15-20 reps,with low weight Is this ok? Or do you not recommend strenght exercises at all?


Anwer : Yes, you can do all of your harder (and easier) runs on the treadmill - if you read this article you can see what I mean Treadmill running

When it comes to strength training, it is ok to do this, but try to limit it in the marathon specific weeks of the marathon schedule as it increases the risk of injuries (increase muscular tone from the strength training combined with the large number of mechanical strides in the long marathon sessions)

All the best,


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Combining Running with Active Recovery Core Work

by Stephen

Doing strength work in between running intervals :


Just got your book and already putting together my training schedule and I looked forward to the less (but higher intensity) is more approach compared with many high volumes plans I have seen.

I am interested in your thoughts on the merits of combining reps and doing strength work as active recovery rest intervals.

For example a session with 2 10x 45sec with 15sec rest interval. The 15s rest interval could be lengthened to perhaps 30s to allow a 'transition' to a plank or pick up a kettle bell and complete a 20sec active recovery before the next 45sec effort.

Obviously I do not propose doing this every session but perhaps once a week.


Answer: Hi Stephen, this is a new way of looking at things but I like the approach, that is if you like to do strength training in your marathon training. As I've said before, doing strength work (even core sessions) while on the 100 day plan is largely individual so not something one has to do.

Having said that, if you are used to core work like this / kettle bell and want to do it once a week, it would certainly do the trick + work some variation into the whole session.

One option though would be to do this in say the first 5-15 recoveries and not the last 5-7, where you have to push hard in your running. That way, you can focus fully in the runs in these last ones.

Do give some feedback on how this works out, I'd like to hear about your experience on that, to advice others as well.

kind regards,

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