Manchester Marathon 18 week training plan

This weeks post follows on from my last blog were I wrote about how I thought my Manchester Marathon build up had gone and my disappointment on race day.  You can see below my 18 week training plan I carried out for the 2015 Manchester Marathon. It shows the types of runs I did each day with information on the distance and speed. All the runs were ran within my heart rate zones, the pace depended on the factors such as the weather, terrain and general fatigue.

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Heart Rate Training Zones

  • Recovery running zone 1                                   144-156bpm
  • Threshold running zone2                                   157-169bpm
  • Tempo running zone     3                                   170-186bpm
  • Interval running zone   4                                   above 186bpm

Day of week 18 weeks 17 weeks 16 weeks 15 weeks 14 weeks 13 weeks
Monday am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.00/mi pm recovery 6.3mi @ 6.19/mi recovery 8mi @ 6.51/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.19/mi pm recovery 6.3mi @ 6.50/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.14/mi pm recovery 6.2mi @ 6.29/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.11/mi pm recovery 6.2mi @ 6.25/mi am recovery 4.31 @6.54/mi pm recovery 6mi @ 6.20
Tuesday 12min tempo 400 ko challenge + strides 10mi tempo 1×1600 + 12×200 + 1×1600 am recovery 6.42 @ 7.15/mi pm recovery 4.35 @ 6.52/mi 12mi tempo 10x3min off 90sec + strides 11mi tempo 10×600 + strides 11.5mi tempo 1×1600 +12×400 + 1×1600
Wednesday am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.12/mi pm threshold 8.35 @ 6.09/mi recovery 7.16mi @ 6.59/mi rest day am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.09/mi pm threshold 8.6mi @ 6.02/mi am recovery 4.2mi @ 6.59/mi pm threshold 8.4mi @ 6.01/mi am recovery 4.30 @ 6.58 pm threshold 9mi @ 6.08
Thursday threshold 10mi @ 6.01/mi rest day recovery 10mi @ 7.41/mi medium threshold 12mi @ 6.15/mi medium threshold 13.1mi @ 6.14/mi medium threshold 14mi @ 6.08
Friday rest day recovery + strides 6.56mi @ 6.52/mi recovery 8.78 @ 6.50/mi rest day rest day rest day
Saturday threhold 10mi @ 6.01/mi recovery 5.25 @ 7.42/mi threshold 7mi @ 5.58/mi long threshold 17mi @ 6.23/mi long threshold 18mi @ 6.09/mi long threshold 19.2mi @ 6.14
Sunday long threshold 15 @ 6.21/mi Ribble Valley 10k 33.38 @ 5.22/mi long threshold 16mi @ 6.29/mi threshold 10mi @ 6.06/mi medium threshold 11mi @ 6.02/mi medium threshold 12mi @ 5.58
Total Miles 71mi 48mi 63mi 75mi 77mi 81mi


Day of week 12 weeks 11 weeks 10 weeks 9 weeks 8 weeks 7 weeks
Monday am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.50/mi pm recovery 6.3mi @ 6.18/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.49/mi pm recovery 6.3mi @ 6.19mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.46/mi pm recovery 6.5mi @ 6.09/mi am recovery 6mi @ 6.56/mi pm recovery 5mi @ 6.12/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.54/mi pm steady 10.6mi @ 7.10/mi rest day
Tuesday 11mi tempo 10×600 off 60sec 10.3mi tempo 25x30sec hard 30sec easy 11mi tempo 4×2000 off 90sec 10mi tempo 12×400 off 45sec am recovery 5mi @ 7.04/mi pm medium recovery 14mi @ 6.36/mi 10mi tempo 5x2min off 2min @ 5k pace
Wednesday am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.59/mi pm threshold 9.2mi @ 5.57/mi am recovery 4.4mi @ 6.45/mi pm threshold 10mi @ 5.50/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.04/mi pm threshold 10mi @ 5.47/mi am recovery 5mi @ 7.01/mi pm recovery 5mi @ 6.11/mi am recovery 5mi @ 7.00/mi pm recovery 9mi @ 6.25/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.11/mi pm recovery 5mi @ 6.27/mi
Thursday medium threshold 14mi @ 6.18/mi medium threshold 15mi @ 6.03/mi medium recovery 15mi @ 6.38/mi am recovery 5mi @ 6.57/mi pm recovery 5mi @ 6.42/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.57/mi pm recovery 9mi @ 6.19/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.48/mi pm recovery 5mi @ 6.19/mi
Friday rest day rest day recovery 6mi @ 7.05/mi steady run 5mi @ 6.32/mi steady run 5mi @ 6.56/mi rest day
Saturday medium threshold 13.1mi @ 6.20/mi long threshold 22mi @ 6.04/mi long recovery 22mi @ 6.27/mi steady run 5mi @ 6.52 long recovery 26mi @ 6.31/mi steady run 5mi @ 6.30/mi
Sunday long threshold 20mi @ 6.14/mi medium threshold 13mi @ 6.35/mi medium threshold 10mi @ 5.57 + 2mi c/d Snake Lane 10 0:55:46 @ 5.32 threshold 8.5mi @ 6.05/mi Retford 1/2Marathon 73:33 @ 5.34/mi
Total Miles 82mi 85mi 92mi 66mi 100mi 52mi


Day of week 6 weeks 5 weeks 4 weeks 3 weeks 2 weeks race week
Monday am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.52/mi pm recovery 9mi @ 6.28/mi am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.04/mi pm recovery 5mi @ 6.22/mi am recovery 5.3mi @ 6.57/mi pm recovery 7mi @ 6.34/mi am recovery 5.2mi @ 7.04/mi pm recovery 5mi @ 6.19/mi rest day rest day
Tuesday medium reovery 14mi @ 6.21/mi 10mi tempo 12×400 off 45sec am recovery 5mi @ 7.07/mi pm 11mi tempo 20×200 jog recovery 10mi tempo 8x2min 10mi tempo 3x 1mi + 800m + 700m 8mi 2x1mi reps
Wednesday am recovery 4.3mi @ 6.57/mi pm easy 7mi @ 6.39/mi am recovery 4.2mi @ 6.57/mi pm recovery 5mi @ 6.30/mi am recovery 4.2mi @ 7.06/mi pm threshold 8mi @ 6.01/mi recovery 8.1mi @ 6.59/mi easy run 6mi @ 7.23/mi 5mi recovery @ 6.14/mi
Thursday am recovery 4.3mi @ 7.04/mi pm easy 9.2mi @ 6.41/mi recovery 6mi @ 6.39/mi medium recovery 13.2mi @ 6.46/mi Lactate Test 6mi threshold 8mi @ 6.09/mi rest day
Friday rest day rest day rest day recovery 7mi @ 6.56/mi rest day 30min jog
Saturday long threshold 21.2mi @ 6.27/mi easy 5mi with strides @ 6.54/mi threshold 10mi @ 6.01/mi rest day recovery 7mi @ 6.35/mi 20min jog
Sunday medium recovery 11mi @ 6.26/mi Lincoln 10k 33:24 PB long recovery 18mi @ 6.23/mi medium threshold 13mi @ 6.18 medium threshold 11mi @ 6.13/mi Manchester Marathon
Total Miles 84mi 50mi 83mi 54mi 41mi 20mi pre race


Recovery Runs The purpose of this type of run is to help the removal of waste products that accumulate with hard training and racing. The heart rate is purposefully kept relatively low so that minimum stress is incurred.

Lactate Threshold Runs Running just below/around your LT will allow you to maximise each training run improving your aerobic endurance capacity. These runs should be undertaken at all other times when not doing a recovery run, tempo run or speed-work session. These are pretty tough efforts not because of the pace but because of the duration of running so be prepared to increase your concentration to stay on pace and acknowledge that it takes a good few weeks to adapt to performing regular threshold runs.

Tempo Runs These runs are continual efforts typically lasting over 20 minutes or above in duration. They are run at a faster pace than LT runs aimed at improving your overall speed. Tempo runs are meant to be “comfortably hard” so don’t push the pace.

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