Rookie Marathon

by Marcus

Marathon rookie, how to use the 100 day plan.

"Dear Marius

I (31years, 190cm, 87kg) just entered your training program as complete rookie. I consider myself not in that good shape at the moment (used train a lot other sports such as swimming and waterpolo before and now trying to get back to shape again). I did a test run today for approx. 30min where averaged with a speed of 6min/km with an average heartbeat of 134 (I calculated my max heartbeat to be 184 by using the formula, ie. option 3 as per your guidance on this website when calculating my max heartbeat). I also play other sports couple times of week (mainly waterpolo, biking).

Now I would like to try running both half and full marathon in 2011. My initial time goal would be 4hrs for the full one.

I was wondering if the following plan would be ok for me (I am quoting your previous comments on full year marathon training including a half marathon):

"For autumn/winter training sessions if you want a general plan- consider the following : Pick 2-3 quality sessions from the 100 day marathon plan weekly and add in there the long runs (but run the easy runs EASY)

Before half marathon (which is in early may)

If you are planning a half marathon in there and want to do well on that, then you may use this solution about 80-100 days before a half marathon: Start with the first two periods of training program (the 5k/10k and the Half Marathon Phase) Then, go into the two first week of the marathon phase before going back and repeating the half marathon phase again ! Do the Half Marathon Phase up until two weeks before the half marathon and then do the two last of the Tapering phase weeks (that will also work great for half marathon tapering)

For the marathon (late august 2011, exactly 105 days after the half marathon)

Start the 100 day marathon plan right after the half marathon."

Your guidance is much appreciated.

Best regards,


Answer: Hi Marcus and thanks for a great question.

Yes, you are right, that plan would work well for your rookie marathon. I want to add in there one extra thing : really pay attention to the first 8-10 weeks of your training. What you want to find out is your muscular limit in terms of running. This has to do with injury prevention. As the 100 day marathon plan varies so much from one training to another, it will work well for rookies as more advances, however, as a rookie marathoner you have to make sure that you do not get small injuries on the way.

Therefore, in some periods of training, you may want to add in there 2-4 days in a row of just alternative training (no running) when you feel like you are about to get injured. In some cases you can add in there the "SmartStrides" afterwards also - to keep the running mucles going, after the alternative training.

Point it : read your body signals in terms of injuries, if you are right on the edge - take a few days of alternative training!

All the best,


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