Marathon Training

So, here’s the deal. A marathon is 42.2km (26 miles). As nice as it would be, I couldn’t really waltz into it and just get it done.

Instead, I decided to train. And man did it hurt! I did 6 workouts a week – 3 runs, 2 speed sessions and a cross-training day. My longest run was on a Saturday – I gradually increased the distance until I ran 32km 3 weeks before M Day. Then I decreased my running to virtually nothing (taper)…and then…marathon!

Easy, right?

Kate before Fartlek training


The Plan


I ranĀ 2012 Melbourne Marathon in October. It’s my first marathon, so just finishing it was a huge achievement for me. I gave myself plenty of time to work up to it, but I learnt a few valuable lessons on the way!




When I started running (at the end of 2011), I went too hard and got shin splints. I didn’t know what shin splints were, and by the time it hurt so much I couldn’t run, I had hurt myself quite badly.

I spent some time with a physio, stopped running, and turned to the bike and water running. As I improved, I got back into interval training, but kept it low impact – something I’ve continued.

Icing my Shin


I spent some time in strength and conditioning classes, learning to work on my glutes and core stability, improving my flexibility and getting a little more symmetrical! Apparently most of us favour one side of our body, so as well as improving my overall strength, the exercise I got taught me to use both sides more evenly.

Unfortunately, the injury drama continued for me, leading to more shin splints, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and many stop-start attempts at ‘real’ running.

It took three personal trainers, a physio, a doctor, and a chiro, but little by little, I got my body into working order. The marathon happened.


Marathon Training Plan


This is what my training schedule looked like:

Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri SatĀ  Sun
Cross training Run 10km Intervals + Strength Fartlek 7km Intervals + Strength Long run Rest Day


This isn’t based on a single plan on the net, but a combination of research, advice, discussions with physios and trainers, and my own understanding of my body.

When I do another marathon (and yes, there will be another), things ll be a lot more technical. What you see here was an awesome base for me, and a great starting place for a newbie, who, by rights, probably shouldn’t have been able to just bust out a marathon because she felt like it.

You’ll notice that I don’t run on consecutive days. I am now much more aware of what my body needs, and until I have some more running experience, I need to give my bones time to adjust to the impact of running on hard ground.

Kate Running 10km in Cairns


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