16 week Improver Training Plans

Two Improver Training Plan Schedules

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From the www.edinburgh-marathon.com website

There are two Improver schedules to choose from below.

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs (sometimes called threshold runs) are runs where after a 10-15 minute warm up you run at a sustained pace for anything from 20 min up to an hour with a 10-15 min slower jog at the end. You are running hard, possibly just below your normal 10k pace, but not flat out. And the distance and effort should be such that you do not finish feeling exhausted. As with interval runs, it is such an individual area, to recommend individually.

Pace Runs

Pace runs are training runs, run at approximately your estimated race pace. That is if you are aiming for a 3 hour 30 marathon averaging approx 8 min miles.(5 min km) then your pace runs are run at 8 min miles. For a planned sub 3 hour marathon you are running just under 7 minutes a mile. They help build pace judgement and even paced running. It is important to note that unless you are very experienced or have good guidance, it is unusual to run all of your weekly long run at your planned race pace. The long training run is there to build endurance, not speed, and running your long run at a faster pace than you are ready for could lead to you taking longer to recover each week and upset the steady gradual improvement all schedules are designed to bring.

Repetition/Interval training (8×800)

Repetition or interval training are a feature of schedules where you are really committed to improving and bringing the best out of yourself whatever your standard. You do not have to be an elite or even good club standard runner to run the advanced schedules. Rather you have probably a background of a few years of training fairly hard at any distance from 10k up to marathon and understand how faster paced running or running “out of your comfort zone” once a week has helped you improve.

Interval or repetition running, are efforts run at faster than your planned marathon race pace. Impossible to give more than general guidance as it is such an individual area and depends a lot on where you are starting from and what your goal is and is usually best done under guidance from a group environment or a coach or experienced personal trainer. 4x 800 is one example which can build to 8x 800 as the schedule progresses. You run the 800 metres or whatever the chosen distance is at the faster pace. Then walk or jog 400metres very easily before repeating the faster distance again etc. For marathon training long intervals of at least 800m or longer (1000m or even a mile) are acknowledged to be most beneficial.

Hill Repeats

These are a variation on repetitions on the flat. They are a great variation with a similar benefit of building leg strength. Find an incline of approx 4-600 metres or one that will take about 2 minutes. Run hard up the hill and slightly over the crest, turn around and jog slowly down the hill before repeating the run up again etc

 

Improver Schedule – Option 1

Week Date Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
1 W/E Feb 10 Cross Train 3m run 5m run 3m run Rest 5m pace 6m run
2 W/E Feb 17 Cross Train 3m run 6m run 3m run Rest 6m pace 11m run
3 W/E Feb 24 Cross Train 3m run 6m run 3m run Rest 6m run 12m run
4 W/E Mar 3 Cross Train 3m run 5m run 3m run Rest 6m pace 9m run
5 W/E Mar 10 Cross Train 4m run 7m run 4m run Rest 7m pace 14m run
6 W/E Mar 17 Cross Train 4m run 7m run 4m run Rest 7m run 15m run
7 W/E Mar 24 Cross Train 4m run 5m run 4m run Rest Rest Half Marathon
8 W/E Mar 31 Cross Train 4m run 8m run 4m run Rest 8m pace 17m run
9 W/E Apr 7 Cross Train 5m run 8m run 5m run Rest 8m run 18m run
10 W/E Apr 14 Cross Train 5m run 5m run 5m run Rest 8m pace 13m run
11 W/E Apr 21 Cross Train 5m run 8m run 5m run Rest 5m pace 20m run
12 W/E Apr 28 Cross Train 5m run 5m run 5m run Rest 8m run 12m run
13 W/E May 5 Cross Train 5m run 8m run 5m run Rest 5m pace 20m run
14 W/E May 12 Cross Train 5m run 6m run 5m run Rest 4m pace 12m run
15 W/E May 19 Cross Train 4m run 5m run 5m run Rest 3m run 8m run
16 W/E May 26 Cross Train 3m run 4m run Rest Rest 2m run EMF Marathon

Improver Schedule – Option 2

Week Date Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
1 W/E Feb 10 Cross Train 3m run 6m run 3m run Rest 6m pace 9m run
2 W/E Feb 17 Cross Train 3m run 6m run 3m run Rest 6m pace 13m run
3 W/E Feb 24 Cross Train 3m run 7m run 3m run Rest 7m run 14m run
4 W/E Mar 3 Cross Train 3m run 7m run 3m run Rest 7m pace 10m run
5 W/E Mar 10 Cross Train 3m run 8m run 3m run Rest 8m pace 16m run
6 W/E Mar 17 Cross Train 4m run 8m run 4m run Rest 8m run 17m run
7 W/E Mar 24 Cross Train 4m run 9m run 4m run Rest Rest Half Marathon
8 W/E Mar 31 Cross Train 4m run 9m run 4m run Rest 9m pace 19m run
9 W/E Apr 7 Cross Train 4m run 10m run 4m run Rest 10m run 20m run
10 W/E Apr 14 Cross Train 5m run 6m run 5m run Rest 6m pace 12m run
11 W/E Apr 21 Cross Train 5m run 10m run 5m run Rest 10m pace 20m run
12 W/E Apr 28 Cross Train 5m run 6m run 5m run Rest 6m run 12m run
13 W/E May 5 Cross Train 5m run 10m run 5m run Rest 10m pace 20m run
14 W/E May 12 Cross Train 5m run 8m run 5m run Rest 4m pace 12m run
15 W/E May 19 Cross Train 4m run 6m run 4m run Rest 4m run 8m run
16 W/E May 26 Cross Train 3m run 4m run Rest Rest 2m run EMF Marathon