Two Hour Forty Minute Marathon Training Plan
Before beginning this two hour forty minute marathon training plan, you should be sure that a 2 hour 40 minute pace is a reasonable goal for you. You must maintain a 6:06 average pace per mile which is equal to a 3:48 per kilometer pace. If you have run a recent marathon that is in the 2 hours 41 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes, this is an achievable goal for you. If your current personal best is 2 hours 51 minutes to 2 hours 55 minutes, this goal is possible, but will be very difficult. If your time is currently over 2 hours and 55 minutes, I would highly recommend setting a more easily achievable goal of about 10 minutes faster than your current time. Once you meet that goal, you can keep advancing toward a 2 hour 40 minute marathon.
This program assumes that you are in good running condition and are prepared to undertake strenuous marathon training. Most runners that are at this level maintain a high level of fitness on a year round basis. They will take time off for recovery during the year, but are never far from their base of fitness and never far from race shape. If you have not been running for a long period of time, you will need to rebuild a base of fitness before starting a marathon training program.
If you are like most competitive runners, you are never far from race shape. Barring injury or illness, the typical competitive runner trains year round with some planned time off for recovery. A period of rest is a critical part of your training year. You will always have short periods of recovery following a race. The longer the race, the longer that immediate recovery period will be. Most runners will recover for 2 to 5 days following a 5K or 10K race and for 2 weeks or more following a marathon. In addition to the short periods of race recovery, it is a good idea to plan a recovery period of 2 to 4 weeks after your race season in order to restore the strength of both your body and your spirit, so that you are mentally and physically fresh and ready to run for the following race season.