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I am considering running the marathon. I know that one cannot complete a marathon on a whim or a dare. The marathon requires the most dedication to the task. However, dedication is no guarantee of success. I need a solid and well founded plan. It has to take into account my objective, daily schedule, my weaknesses as well as strong points. Could you tell me something about marathon training phases?

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The core of a successful training program is periodization. Year is separated into phases with specific training and goals for each phase. As for the marathon, a periodized plan usually lasts somewhere between 3-5 months. It is constituted of relatively short training cycles. Every 3-4 weeks you have a different type of workout. If you want to stay healthy, motivated and enthusiastic you have to incorporate specific training phases into a long term plan. By modifying intensity, duration, training frequency and recovery you will be able to make a substantial progress. There are 4 phases: base training, strength training, speed (long interval training) and taper. Each one of them has a different influence on your body. All together they will propel you to the dome of successful marathon runners.
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