The Guide To Going Under 3 Hours

This guide is a high speed 5 month program that, if followed successfully, will give you a very high chance of achieving your goal on race day.

To start this guide, you need to already be an OK runner - able to run 10 km at a reasonable speed. The actual detailed guide is only 19 weeks long, and is the exact program I followed when I ran my first marathon. Of course, not everyone is capable of running 10 km, which is why there is a lead in period which can be tailored to suit your needs.

Where This Guide Will Take You - Your Commitment

In terms of running sessions, the guide maxxes out at 4 running sessions per week. However, I also include some minor strength work that I threw in on off days to avoid losing too much muscle mass. To show that marathon training is not incompatible with other sports, I also include other sporting activities that I did during the training program.

After some of the harder sessions, you will (at least early on in the program) be quite exhausted. I found that after a few weeks my body toughened up naturally, and even though I felt completely bushed right after a session, an hour later I would bounce back. However, you probably won't feel like partying hard after some of the tougher sessions, and in the interest of minimizing sickness, it's probably not a good idea to do so.

Preparation - Getting Fit Enough To Start The Program

In order to start the guide you need to be able to comfortably run 10 km in 50 minutes. For many runners, this will involve some preparation to get to this stage. I was out of shape, but had some background in running shorter (5 - 10 km) distances, so it took me about 2 or 3 months to get to this stage from scratch.

My typical weekly program during these early stages would consist of:

  • One 10 km run (you may have to build up to this if you can't run 10 km)
  • One reps session - alternating periods of high and low speed running. Typically I'd run 800 metres at a track followed by a slow jog for 400 m, and repeat.
  • A second slower, longer run, starting at 10 km and growing to 20 km over the 3 months

After 3 months of that, I was at the stage where I could run 10 km in 50 minutes relatively comfortably i.e. with some margin to spare. I was ready to start the detailed program which I'm about to show you here.

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Copyright 2007-2010 Michael Milford