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Hi guys,

I've just started on this running thing and was just after some advice.

My goal at this stage is to complete a marathon, not too fussed on the time, I just want to finish it.

I've been doing some short runs once a week for a while now, but i'm now looking at picking it up a notcha nd really working towards something.

I did my first long jog on monday (6.5km in 44 mins) and pulled up ok afterwards. I was looking at doing either another 6.5km run or a 4k run this friday, then a short 2km run this sunday.

My plan at the moment is to keep this level up for a few weeks to get my body used to this sort of work. After than I was going to add a km to my friday run every week. With a backoff week every 4th week.

now for some questions :)

1. Is 1 year enough to train from scratch for a half/full marathon ? Please consider that i'm fairly fit and do strength/wrestling training 2/3 times a week.

2. Once I've gotten a few weeks of 12km a week under my belt, what would be the best program for me to build up to a marathon distance ?

3. what's a good ratio of distance for your backoff week ? ie do you do half the distance that week ? or 3/4s

Thanks in advance


1. Yes, 1 yr is plenty of time.

2. increase no more then 10% per week.

3. 30% reduction in recovery weeks is good. Every 3rd or 4th week.


As much as your probably don't want to hear it, 3-days of running per week isn't going to get you there. For a marathon (any marathon, first one included), you are going to need the endurance to run 3, 4 or possibly 5 hours. And the whole methodology of long distance running is based on the premise of getting those hours out of your legs by increasing the fitness of your body on two tenants.. hard/easy alternating runs and the weekly 'long' run. I've offered up my training routine enough times here, it's a broken record to some, but it works. It's based on running 6-days a week and in the ratios of 3/1/2/1/2/1. That being 30% of your weekly total on the first run of your week and then runs of 10% and 20% of your weekly total. This accomplishes the hard/easy regime and also the weekly 'long' run. So based on the running you're doing now, I'd recommend a weekly routine in kilometers of 6/2/4/2/4/2, which comes to a weekly total of 20km. As Bob mentions, 10% is a good stepping stone to guage your increases. So, then the following week, hit 22kms and re-figure your daily runs. It's basic, simple and it'll get you there. If you feel particularily fatigued after a week, I'd go back and run the prior week or the week before's mileage and then jump back up to where you left off in your mileage increasing progression. Ultimately, for a marathon, you will need to get that long run beyond 30% of a weekly total, so let's shoot for something like a 70km week, which, believe you me, is the minimum weekly mileage to run a marathon. Your dailies would be 21k/7/14/7/14/7. At that point, I'd start cranking up the long run and leave the daily runs the same. Run a couple 25ks, 30ks and 35ks. Those couple 35k runs will go a long way to pushing your endurance to where come race day, the whole 42k won't be out of reach. There you have it, the jrjo-marathon-plan. Take it or leave it. You did ask though :) ..and yes, it can be done within a year if you don't hurt yourself 8)


Thanks for the tips guys :)

Does it make much difference where I put my rest day in that cycle and what order I do the runs in ?

Thankfully my week is pretty free for training, the only days that are clogged are sundays and tuesdays.

my current thinking is a slight variation on JrJo's plan. Looking at Jrjo's plan it looks like the numbers are percentages of the weekly distance.

Saturday - day of rest
sunday - 10% + 2km
monday - 20% run
tuesday - 10% run
wednesday - 20%
thursday - 10%
friday - 30%

Sunday and tuesday are group training sessions which i can't shift.

Sunday is a strength and conditioning group that i run, comprising of basic strength work with clubbells and bodyweight exercises + a 2km run over hills for a warmup.

My current best time for the 2km is 11:01 and it is pretty damned hilly :)

Tuesdays are the other half of our group training, we do wrestling and boxing etc on these days and I want to make sure i'm not too fatigued to do this.

Before I get to that though I've got to work my way up to the 20km a week :)


Nope, put the rest day wherever you need to and order it however accomdates "life". As long as you alternate 'hard' and 'easy' days, you're good to go. What you listed looks good to me. G'luck and keep posting on your progress!!


Will do :) and thanks for the advice :)