Intermediate Marathon Training Plan

Isn’t it thrilling finishing your first marathon…well any marathon?! Your marathon training plan gets a makeover! You become better adapted to go the distance, stronger, faster and proudly you move on to the next level and you are ready to begin training at an intermediate level! Yay! Time goals!

Are You Ready for the Intermediate Marathon Plan?

If you have run at least one marathon then you may be ready to up your training. Running a second or third marathon race might help you transition better into the more intense training but that is something that you need to decide for your body. Remember, there is no point rushing things and setting yourself up for injuries.

Here are some other factors to consider before jumping into the plan:

  • Run an average of 20-30 miles a week regularly 
  • Have the time to put into more extended training
  • Have at least one marathon under your belt

How is this Program Designed?

This is a 16 week marathon training plan that will help you to increase your speed and strengthen your mentality. (Yes! Half of the marathon is a mind game so you have to exercise it and prepare it to go the distance.)

  • Every 4 weeks is a “light week” which will hopefully give you a little break and rest your body.
  • Speed workouts are always scheduled during weeks that you are not increasing your long run mileage (with the exception of weeks 2 and 4).
  • Tempo runs are always scheduled during weeks in which you are increasing your long run. This is because the tempo runs are not (supposed to be) as strenuous as a speed workout. Both are necessary though to increase your speed duration.
  • See here for more information and training techniques for the speed workouts . The guidelines on how fast to run your speed workouts are dependent on your goal time and are recommended at the bottom of this page (following the training program). 

  • Weeks 15 and 16 are “tapering weeks” that will reduce your mileage with the intent of being rested for your big marathon day!

The focus of this program is to help you become faster while making your time goal. Compared to the beginner marathon training program , it does require more time and effort but put those in and you will be successful! It is well worth the effort and sense of accomplishment especially when your goal is fulfilled!

Intermediate Marathon Training Plan

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
1 Rest 6 0-4 T X 5 3 2-4 10 26-32
2 Rest 6 0-4 S X 2 3 2-4 12 25-31
3 Rest 6 0-4 T X 5 3 2-4 6 22-28
4 Rest 5 0-3 S X 4 1-3 Rest 14 24-29
5 Rest 6 0-4 T X 6 3 2-4 16 33-39
6 Rest 6 0-4 S X 6 3 2-4 8 25-31
7 Rest 6 0-4 T X 6 3 2-4 18 25-41
8 Rest 5 0-3 S X 8 1-3 Rest 10 24-29
9 Rest 6 0-4 T X 8 3 2-4 20 39-45
10 Rest 6 0-4 S X 8 3 2-4 10 29-35
11 Rest 6 0-4 T X 7 3 2-4 22-23 40-47
12 Rest 5 0-3 S X 10 1-3 Rest 12 28-33
13 Rest 6 0-4 T X 7 3 2-4 23-24 41-48
14 Rest 6 0-4 S X 11 3 2-4 10 32-38
15 Rest 3-5 Rest 4 2-5 Rest 10 19-24
16 Rest 3-5 Rest 1-4 Rest Rest Marathon! 30-36
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T = Tempo Run (T X 5 = A tempo run of 5 miles)You should try and pace your tempo runs about 15 secs faster than your marathon goal minute/mile pace. However a good guideline is too just run at a slightly difficult speed. (It should be hard for you to carry on a conversation.)

S = Speed Workout (S X 4 = A speed workout consisting of 4 miles, preferably four 1 mile intervals .) Your speed workouts (intervals) should be run at about 30 secs faster than your marathon goal pace. If you plan on running 8:30 minute miles throughout your marathon you should try and run your speed workouts at 8:00 min/mile.) Check out the Pace Chart for help discerning your pace per mile.


Interested in breaking 4 hours in the marathon?


We also have a another 16 week marathon training plan, 3:59 or BUST, designed to help intermediate runners break 4 hours in their next marathon! 

It combines a series of hill training runs, intervals and repetition runs to keep your training fresh and you motivated! 

Related pages:

Return to Marathon Training

Check out the Beginner Marathon Training Plans

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