[IMPROVERS] #AKWest Dublin Marathon Program – Weeks 0-4 or 23-19

So, you have tackled a few marathons already and want to go again. What happened to “Never again!!” ? 🙂

Never running

Having done a few marathons before or you are an experienced runner with plenty of miles already under your belt you will have a fair idea of what to expect in 22 weeks as you toe the start line.

Along the way we hope to help structure your training and possibly add to your existing knowledge base or possibly remind you of some things you forgot along the way (like “never again!”). Fingers crossed the extra structured sessions, group runs and seminars on nutrition, strength & conditioning, flexibility etc that we will be hosting will be of benefit to you, reinforcing that will to run.

Regardless of the how or why you want to run Dublin Marathon in October our goal here is to deliver you to the Start line in 22 weeks in good enough condition that you are raring to go and that you hit the finish line at or under your goal.

In this improver’s group we are going to talk about paces, pacing, goal times, nutrition and racing strategy. All of this will be conversational and hopefully in a manner that it becomes a resource for you and others.

This marathon is going to be the one you really get to grip with and start to realise your potential as a runner. The sessions, especially when we start introducing speed sessions will be there to challenge you. It is up to you to challenge yourself and work hard.

The harder you work in the preparation months, the better the result on the day.

Now, you should have a target time in mind. It should be a healthy and realistic target. There is no point rocking up here looking to go from a 4:30 marathon to 3:05 the structure of this simply won’t allow for such a dramatic change. These program’s are incremental. If you have the potential for that sort of improvement taking a look at the Experienced Group and interacting with one of the Coaches (outside coaches – not us) regarding a customised plan based on your race results may be the way to go for you.

You are welcome to dip in and out of the various groups to read what is going on, you will notice a difference in tone from one group to the next. All of the stuff, Beginner / Improver / Experienced is going to be in the Public domain (here in posts, or possibly on a forum we might use and in the news emails) so you are free to browse.

What we don’t want you to do is mix and match the workouts!! It might look ok, but the plans are independent of each other and should be approached as such.


Hopefully you are still running and keeping the miles in the legs, ideally have a half marathon (or 2)  already under your belt this year. To be 100% honest some of these early weeks will be beyond some of you, but that is fine, simply play along and let the structure take over again, we’ll have you humming a tune in no time!! 🙂

Our week starts on Monday, you can shift the schedule to suit your timeline, school, work, kids etc. You can run morning or night. As and when you see fit. What you won’t do (please) is shift runs around or skip rest days. Pile too much running together and you can forget about running this marathon. You will likely get injured (again different with the Experienced group who may be running 6 days). This is what I mean by read it but don’t mix & match the different plans.

So nice and easy into it!

 Week 23 5 Rest  5 5 Rest  5 8
 Week 22 8 Rest  8 8 Rest 8 10
 Week 21 8 Rest  8 8  Rest 8 10
 Week 20 8 Rest  10 10  Rest 8 (w 2k fast in mid) 12
 Week 19 8 Rest 10 10  Rest 8 (w 2k fast in mid) 12


All distance are in kilometers (km / k) at no point do we use miles or mph to designate speed, distance or pace!

All runs must start with 10mins of easy running to warm up and loosen out. Think about your form, relaxing the shoulders etc before getting into the main body of the run.

Control your running so you are not running Threshold all the time. Think “base weeks”. Plenty of time for fast running!!

‘Rest’ is ‘rest from running’ NOT sit on the sofa and eat crisps and ice-cream. Go for a swim, a nice walk, easy cycle. You should also consider flexibility exercises like pilates or yoga on these ‘Rest’ days.

These are all easy base runs for this block. Don’t worry about speed, breathing, pacing. They are steady runs to get the legs used to running. If you are using a HRM most of this will be Zone 2 & 3 at most. More detailed speed work will be introduced later.

There is no group run next week as both of us will be recovering from our Adventure over the weekend and it is unlikely we will be fit to walk nevermind run! 🙂

Have a good weekend and a solid start on Monday.


Happy running!! 🙂

Edel & Sean

PS. a quick poll on what you think we should do to manage discussion. We would like for you to be able to find the answers to the most frequently asked questions as they arise along the way. We think either the Google+ Community  or a separate forum would be ideal but what do you think?:

Like it or leave it, please let me know what your views are.

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