You CAN Go the Distance! Marathon Training Plan

Throughout the book, I reference the YCGTD Marathon Training Plan. This is the plan the author, Bruce Van Horn, has developed through the years and uses for his personal training.

The plan is very easy to follow and can be used for first-timers and advanced marathoners alike.

The plan simply uses three core workouts, as described at length in the book:

The first thing you need before you can start using the Training Plan is a goal. You need to have a goal for how fast you want to run your marathon. For help on deciding your goal, read First Things First: Set A Goal

Once you have your Marathon Goal, you need to know what that goal breaks down to in Minutes per Mile. For example, to run a 4-hour marathon, that would be a 9:10 pace (9 minutes, 10 seconds, per mile). We refer that that pace as your Race Pace, or “RP” for short.

With those two numbers, your Marathon Goal and Race Pace, you now have what you need for determining how fast (or slow) to do your core workouts. Now it’s just a matter of following the plan!

The YCGTD Marathon Training Plan only has 3 running days per week. The other days are Cross-Training or Rest days. A typical week might look like this:

  • Sun: Rest
  • Mon: Rest
  • Tue: Yasso 800s
  • Wed: Cross-Train
  • Thu: Tempo Run
  • Fri: Cross-Train
  • Sat: Long Run

Of course, you can modify your workouts to suit your schedule, but I do recommend having a Cross-Training or Rest day in between the core workout days.

To view/download a printable copy of the YCGTD Marathon Training Plan, Click here

This, and all Marathon Training plans, assumes that you have done your Foundation training and are in good enough shape to start Week 1. If not, read the chapter Build a Strong Foundation, before you begin.

If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you! Leave them in the comment box below:

2 Responses to You CAN Go the Distance! Marathon Training Plan

  1. Thomas November 23, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    How do you pick back up after being sick for a week and missing 3 training runs? Do you keep working the plan as designed even though you missed those 3 runs?

  2. Ron November 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Thanks Bruce This is the type of workout i need for my work schedule. This i believe will help me with the resting period. I just completed 21 miles a couple days ago. I walked 5 miles of it but i finished. This book has me excited. My initial goal was to run the new york marathon through a non-prof., but i saw in the small print that not all participants will get to run in the race. Well i’ll start smaller with a local marathon at the Air force Base. 16min pace to stay in the race. My goal is 4:59:56 that’s what the calculator said based on 10mile run. I’m starting your program tomorrow to help with my speed and distance. Ron

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