Marathon Plans

I have recently added Marathon Training Plans to my “RunWithAmby” Beginning Plans on These plans are designed for beginning and intermediate marathon runners, and for those on the comeback trail. They will help you achieve a successful race, though not necessarily your fastest ever. Advanced runners should look elsewhere.

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These Marathon plans are based on what I call the KISS system of running: Keep It Simple and Smart. These KISS plans last 16 weeks, and ask you to run just 3 or 4 times a week. You can begin with a first training run as short as 3 miles.

Each KISS Marathon plan has a “name” that tells you everything you need to know about the plan.This will help you pick the plan that’s exactly right for you. For example, the Marathon 16-3-3 (10-26) Plan lasts 16 weeks, includes 3 runs a week, and begins with a run of 3 miles. It has a total weekly mileage of 10 miles in week one and 26 miles during the highest-mileage week.

Similarly, the Marathon 16-4-5 (21-42) Plan lasts 16 weeks, includes 4 runs a week, and begins with a run of 5 miles. It has a total weekly mileage of 21 miles in week one and rises gradually to 42 miles in the highest mileage week.

All KISS training plans follow a pattern that I call the “EnduroPeaking” system. This system guides you to avoid the injury and overtraining problems that many runners face toward the end of their traditional training programs.

Here’s how the EnduroPeaking system differs from most typical training programs. Other programs get harder and harder as the weeks roll past. The total weekly mileage increases, the length of long runs increases, and even the midweek runs get tougher. Many programs include a recovery week or two, but this barely interrupts the program’s ever-rising difficulty.

This upward climb of total mileage, long runs, and midweek runs is great … until it isn’t. Often these programs work well for about two months. But then the training load becomes too much. You get injured or overtrained. All the hard work you’ve done fails to bear fruit.

My KISS-based EnduroPeaking programs are different. Yes, the long runs keep getting longer, because long runs are essential to marathon training. But the total weekly mileage “flat lines” about midway through your program. How is that possible? It’s possible because the midweek runs actually get a little shorter (and faster).

As a result, you stay fresh while you build endurance and speed. Doesn’t that sound like the way a training program should work?

I think it does, and I believe you will too. Just consider it for a few moments: You train less, you feel stronger, and your chances for success on race day increase dramatically.

If EnduroPeaking makes as much sense to you as it does to me, please click here to check out my Marathon Training Plans, and to pick the one that looks best to you.

View Marathon Plans