Marathon Training Plans

by kbarry on September 18, 2012

It’s that time of year again to begin training for the Disney World Marathon that will be held on January 13th.  For the past four marathons that I’ve run I’ve used Hal Higdon’s training plans with good results.  This year I decided to take a look out there to see what other training plans there are and also to get some different ideas/approaches to marathon training.  There seem to be two schools of thoughts as to training, most are similar with the main difference coming in the distance of the long run.  Do you go over 20 miles or even over the 26 mile marathon distance?  Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway have two different schools of thoughts.

The tried and tested Hal Higdon marathon training plans are great for first timers all the way up to experienced runners.  Each training plan is approximately 16 weeks with a build up to 20 miles for the long run.  He doesn’t believe in running more than 20 miles for your longest run.  There are training plans for all distances and ability levels for each race distance.

Jeff Galloway has a formula system for finding your magic mile or MM which then guides you along your marathon training based off of that mile time. His plan is much longer – 27 weeks and takes you well over the marathon distance to a 29 mile long run.  Jeff also has a walk/run system if you’re looking to walk and run your first marathon.

For this marathon I will probably stick with Hal’s plan but may work in a long run or two over 20 miles.  I don’t agree with Jeff Galloway that you should be going over the marathon pace, let alone a 29 mile long run.  I believe that you’re setting yourself up for injury by going that long during training.

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