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I know I have posted something like this before, but I was wondering what the general consensus was on this now.

You see, my first marathon, I used a beginners program, ran only 4 days a week, and ran a 3:36. Since then, I have completed two other marathons following intermediate plans that have you run 5 days a week, and I haven't come close to that first time.

My thought is that my legs are so tired from running so much, that my pace suffers, and thus, I do not run fast enough during training. I know my "easy" runs on my first program were up to 30 to 40 seconds faster than they have been since.

I am contemplating a plan that would have me run four times a week. One long run, one day for some speedwork, one easy day, and then also a fourth day which would alternate each week between tempo and pace.

Let me know what you think guys.

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I would say 1 long, one medium, one easy and one tempo

That would be my plan.

Something like this.

Long, day off, easy, day off, Medium (1/2 distance of long), tempo, day off
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I'm training 5 days a week now, and I plan to ramp up to 6 if I can. I just don't think 4 days would be enough. I'd want at least 3 low to mid mileage runs on the weekdays, a long run on Saturday, and a recovery day on Sunday.
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How many miles per week were you running when you ran your first marathon?
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before I started the training plan? something like 20 miles a week.
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Coach, I am just training for my first marathon now, but here is my :twocents:.

I am training 6 days a week. My mileage when I first started was right around 15-18mpw and I was inconsistent. I got myselft a coach and the first thing he did was bring me on to a consistent training program, then work my way up to 6 days a week. I didn't think I could do it but I have adapted quite well. The key is to run my easy days at a natural easy pace. All the calculators say that I should be running about 20-30 seconds slower per mile in my easy days, but I have found that it takes more effort for me to slow down and screws up the rest of my runs by doing so. My mileage ramp up follows a 3 weeks around a mileage followed by an easy "rest" week.( i.e. 32, 34, 33, 28).

Each week goes like this:
Mon - off
Tue - LT - tempo, hills
Wed - easy
Thurs - low LT - moderate runs at Marathon goal pace
Fri - easy
Sat - long run
Sun - easy

each week my mileage has increased and my speed is slowly coming down. When my long runs were about 6-7 miles I was running at close to 9 min/miles. Now my long runs are around 10 and I am doing 8:45 min/miles. All while keeping my HR where it needs to be.

I find that I need those easy days to keep things in check. The more days off I have the more trouble I have doing the workouts.
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Coach, I'll tell you how it goes in <deep breath> 7 weeks. I'm going into this marathon with a new perspective. After looking back at my logs for the last handful of years, I concluded I ran my best with 4 days of running and 2 days of cross-training. Sounds like you're thinking that too for yourself. I wouldn't advocate only 4 training days a week, but 4 days of running with a couple days of biking or something to give your running muscles a recovery but still pushes your cardiovascular.

The schedule I base my training and recommend to others is a 3/1/2/1/2/1 routine. That being your long run is 30% of your mileage, a couple 20% days (which one or both, I'd make a "quality" day ie tempo or intervals) and then 10% days with one day totally off. So what I do for a "40" mile week would be dailies of 12/4/8/4/8/4. And with my cross-training routine, I substitute those workouts on the 10% days. And I also shuffle around days to fit with the rest of my life. For instance lately, I have a 3/x/1/2/x/2 routine (with the x's being cross training). So far, I'm feeling the best prepared for a marathon I've been...but like I say, I'll tell you again in <gulp> 7 weeks. :)
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