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Break 4 Hours With Our Marathon Training Plan


Training Terms Glossary

Cross-Training (XT)
Think: Low to no impact, like spinning, yoga or swimming. Aim for 30–60 minutes. This will also help give you the core strength you’ll need in the later stages of the marathon.

Easy
This pace should feel fairly comfortable, and you should be able to talk without getting too winded. An effort level of 65–70 percent is ideal on these runs, as well as during any warm-up and cool-down.

Hill Repeats (HR)
These encourage a fast, consistent pace despite fatigue between reps. Aim for splits within 1–2 seconds of each other at 85–95 percent effort level, and start and finish the entire set with 1–2 miles of warm-up and cool-down on flatter ground.

Intervals (I)
Short, quick 10-second intervals after some of the long, slow runs will help to activate your fast-twitch muscles, reinforce good running form and remind you that you can run fast. Find flat ground after your main run and jog slowly for 20 seconds between bursts.

Related: 5 Tempo Run Tips To Build Speed

Long Run (LR)
The most essential part of marathon training should be run at a mostly comfortable and conversational pace, about 60–65 percent effort level. Covering these miles on terrain similar to what is expected on race day is also very beneficial.

Marathon Race Pace (MRP)
In addition to the long run, MRP workouts are crucial to success in shooting for a new PR. Running at your desired marathon pace, or faster, will train your body to be comfortable with sustaining goal pace for longer periods.

Rest
One day of rest per week, at a minimum, will help your body recover and recharge for race day. Strength is built during these off days, which is a good opportunity to listen to your body if you’re feeling overly fatigued or sore.

Strong Finish (SF)
During the final 5–10 minutes of a LR, shift the pace up slightly. This should work out to be about 20–30 seconds per mile faster than your LR pace, train-ing your body to push strong toward the finish line!

Tempo
Tempo runs are described as comfortably hard, exerting about 75 percent of your maximum effort and really feeling it during the second half of the workout. The goal is consistent pacing. Use the faster end of the pace range given in the chart for tempo portions lasting less than 20 minutes and the slower end for longer sessions.

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