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Training Plan: Your First Marathon

Photo by Erik Isakson

Training Plan Glossary

Cross Train (XT) Perform non-running activities, such as bicycling, swimming, yoga, Pilates and weight lifting. Cross training builds aerobic fitness while giving your joints and muscles a break from running.

Easy Effort Run (EZ) Run the distance indicated at an easy pace. Your breathing should remain relaxed throughout the entire workout, and you should be able to talk comfortably in complete sentences.

Tempo (T) Run at your goal race pace for the designated miles on the plan.

Hilly Run (H) Combined with a tempo workout or an easy run, “+H” indicates that the workout should be performed on rolling terrain.

Long Slow Distance Run (LSD) Perform all long runs at a slow, easy pace unless otherwise indicated. These are the most important workouts in your marathon-training plan.

Marathon Pace (MP) This is your projected marathon race pace. Some runs will incorporate a few miles of MP to better prepare you for your race. If you do not have a goal marathon pace, run MP miles at a pace that’s 30 to 45 seconds faster per mile than your normal LSD pace.

Negative Split (NS) Run the first half of this workout at an easy pace. Then gradually increase your pace, aiming to cover the same distance 1 to 3 minutes faster in the second half of the run. (If the workout is “6 Miles NS,” the first 3 miles should be run EZ, and the next 3 should be run 20 to 60 seconds faster per mile than EZ).

Rest Don’t do anything active. It’s extremely important to rest so your body can properly recover.

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