The 30 Day Marathon Training Schedule, Part 4

30 Day Schedule - Week Three

Welcome to Part 4 of the 30 Day Marathon Training Schedule! Click here: if you've missed part 1 or part 2 or part 3.

If you've made it through the first two weeks and you're feeling pretty good with no significant injuries (minor aches and pains are normal), you should feel good about what you've accomplished!  In week 3, we're going to make the training even more difficult and begin to incorporate some longer runs.

Marathon Survivor for Week Three (24 miles)

  • Day 15: 4 miles, walk the first mile, run the second mile, and for the last 2 miles: run for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes, repeating until finished.
  • Day 16: 3 miles, walk the first 1/2 mile, run the next 1 1/2 miles, and then walk the last mile.  Remember to take it slow and easy.
  • Day 17: 2 miles, try to run most of it at a comfortable pace.
  • Day 18: 1 mile easy walk, this is considered a  "rest" day, aim to eat an extra 3 servings of fruits and vegetables today.
  • Day 19: 4 miles, run the first mile, walk the second mile, run the third mile, and walk the last mile.  Take it easy today, tomorrow is your long run!
  • Day 20: 8 miles, for the entire eight miles: run for 5 minutes and walk for 2 minutes, repeating until finished.
  • Day 21: 2 mile easy walk, another rest day, catch up on sleep today if you need it.

Marathon Runner For Week Three (32 miles)

  • Day 15: 6 miles, run for 10 minutes followed by 2 minute walks for the entire distance.
  • Day 16: 4 miles, if you're feeling good then run all 4 miles, otherwise do the 10 min run, 2 min walk plan.
  • Day 17: 2 miles, try to run most of it at a comfortable pace, or, if you feel up to it, this is a great opportunity to work on speed.
  • Day 18: 2 mile easy walk/jog, this is your "rest" day, catch up on sleep
  • Day 19: 5 miles, walk the first half mile, for the next 4 1/2 miles: run easy for 10 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes.
  • Day 20: 11 miles, run easy for 10 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes.  Repeat this until you've reached 11 miles.
  • Day 21: 2 mile easy walk or jog. Feed your body some healthy carbs like fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains.

At the end of week three, the Marathon Survivor has now covered 56 miles (14 + 18 + 24) and the Marathon Runner has clocked in at 78 miles (21 + 25 + 32).  We've made a sizeable jump up from our starting mileage, and you may be feeling the toll on your body.  Needing more sleep and craving high-energy foods are common.  You should also be well into the habit of running/walking every day for the last 21 days, this is great!  We now have 6 more days of solid training, followed by a 3 day rest period before your big race.

30 Day Schedule - Week Four

We're down to the final week of training!  The first part of this week will be the hardest yet, as we'll be facing our longest run of the 30 day schedule.  It's critical that you're getting extra sleep every night to help speed the recovery process.  Eating regularly and consuming healthy foods are also important.  Also pay attention to your body, if you're feeling particularly run down or tired, skip a day of training.  It's better to follow this plan as close as possible, but it's best to make it to the starting line healthy.

Marathon Survivor for Week Four (28 miles)

  • Day 22: 3 miles, run for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes, repeating until finished.
  • Day 23: 12 miles, run for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes, repeating until finished. If you start to fatigue significantly in the later miles, switch to a 2 min run / 2 min walk cycle.
  • Day 24: 1 mile easy walk, use this rest day to recover from your long run!
  • Day 25: 2 miles, walk the first 1/2 mile, run the next 3/4 miles, and then walk the last 3/4 miles.  Take it slow and easy.
  • Day 26: 6 miles, run for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes, repeating until finished.
  • Day 27: 3 miles, run for 5 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes, repeating until finished.
  • Day 28: 1 mile easy walk, we're in rest mode here!

Marathon Runner For Week Four (37 miles)

  • Day 22: 4 miles, run for 10 minutes followed by 2 minute walks for the entire distance. You can run it all if walking is too easy.
  • Day 23: 15 miles, run for 10 minutes, followed by 2 minutes of walking.  If you begin to fatigue past mile 10, switch to a 5 min run / 2 min walk cycle.
  • Day 24: 2 mile easy walk/jog, this is your "rest" day, eat and sleep well
  • Day 25: 2 mile easy run
  • Day 26: 8 miles, run for 10 minutes followed by 2 minute walks for the entire distance. Don't stress your body too much by trying to run fast at this point.
  • Day 27: 5 miles, run easy for 10 minutes followed by walking for 2 minutes, repeating for all 5 miles.
  • Day 28: 1 mile easy walk, taper time!

At the end of week four, the Marathon Survivor has now covered 84 miles (14 + 18 + 24 + 28) and the Marathon Runner has clocked in at 115 miles (21 + 25 + 32 + 37). You've made a huge progression from not trained to hopefully trained just enough to get through the challenge that awaits you.  Notice that our last day of this week was a very easy rest day. We're getting out to walk on this day just to get our blood flowing and muscles working to promote a bit of faster healing, but the objective on this day is to rest.  Our next two days are also rest days. 

30 Day Schedule - Day 29 & 30

These are rest days!  That means don't run!  If you're anxious about the upcoming race, get out and walk a bit (a mile or less). That's it. You do not have enough time at this point to get into better shape. The only thing you'll be doing is compromising your body to perform at the best level that it can.  It's very important that you give yourself a full 72 hours to rest before the marathon.  This is also the time to start carbo-loading, which means eating a larger percentage of high-carb foods like fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole-grain products.  Give yourself a big treat during this time too, you deserve it!

Our next step is to run the marathon!  This will be a big challenge, particularly since you've followed such a short training schedule.  But we've done the best we can do, and with a properly executed race strategy and some good luck, you can make it.

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Next, Marathon Survivors go to the 6 1/2 Hour Marathon Survivor Race Strategy page. 

Marathon Runners go to the 5 Hour Marathon Runner Race Strategy page.