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Marathon Training Plan – Intensity 16 Weeks

Marathon Training Plan – Intensity 16 Weeks


Written by Rachel Zambrano

SKU: RZ-MAI-TP Categories: , ,



Plan designed by Rachel Zambrano of Peaks Coaching Group.  Hosted on TrainingPeaks

Rachel can be contacted at rachel@peakscoachinggroup.com.

This marathon plan is designed to focus on intensity and training is based on a five zone training system to prepare an athlete for a marathon. The preferred method of training is by power, followed by pace, then by heart rate, then, if no other training tools exist, RPE. The zones are as follows: Zambrano Run Power Training Zones (based on % of threshold): Z1 (recovery) < 82% Z2 (endurance) 82% – 88% Z3 (tempo) 89 – 95% Z4 (threshold) 96% – 104% Z5 (anaerobic) >104% For athletes using pace, this plan uses Joe Friel’s running pace zones, however zones 5a, 5b, and 5c will not be used separately in this plan. For athletes using heart rate zones, this plan uses Andy Coggan’s heart rate zones. The RPE scale used in this plan has only five zones and is roughly equivalent to the zones listed above. Zambrano Run RPE Training Zones: Z1 (recovery) This is easy. You should be able to hold a conversation at this pace without breathing hard. Z2 (endurance) This is your all day pace. Conversation becomes difficult, but not impossible. Z3 (tempo) This is your marathon pace. Holding a conversation isn’t impossible, but it is challenging to run and converse at the same time at this point. Z4 (threshold) This is almost the top of your ability. You aren’t sprinting, but conversation is impossible Z5 (anaerobic) This is everything you have – all the gas in the tank that you can give. Intervals here don’t last more than a few minutes because your muscles simply can’t go much longer than that.

Sample Workouts:

Workout #1: Run

Planned Distance: 5 mi

Warm up: 800 meters build through zone 1 into the top of zone 2, then 3 x (100 meters sprint/100 meters easy) 200 meters zone 1/2 Main set: 12 x (200 meters zone 5 then 200 meters zone 1-2) Warm down: 1600 meters zone 2

Workout #2: Run

Planned Distance: 5 mi

Warm up: 1 mile, build from zone 1 to zone 2, insert 3 x (30 second sprints, 30 second easy jog) after the first half mile Main set: 15 x 45 seconds hardest sustainable uphill effort, easy jog back down Warm down: Zone 1-2 run to complete the distance

Workout #3: Run

Planned Distance: 5 mi

Warm up: 1 mile, build up to the top of zone 2 Main set: 4 miles – top of zone 2, bottom of zone 3 Cool down: 1 mile Zone 2

Workout #4: Run

Planned Distance: 13.1 mi

Warm up: Use the first 5k to build from zone 1 to the bottom of zone 1 to the top of zone 2/bottom of zone 3. Main set: Alternate zone 2/zone 3 every mile Warm down: After this run, stretch well. Take 20-30 minutes to rehydrate while you stretch.

Workout #5: Run

Planned Distance: 6 mi

Warm up: 1 mile build from zone 1 into the top of zone 2 Main set (complete twice): 2 x (.5 mile zone 3 then .5 mile zone 2) 1 mile zone 4 Warm down: 1 mile zone 1-2


Once you purchase the plan you will be emailed a PDF explaining how to access your training plan. Please note our store hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm Eastern Time. Any orders placed outside of store hours may not be filled until store hours resume.

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