Five months Schedule to get from 21k to 42k

Assumptions

  • You have comfortably run a 21K before or more
  • Your 42k is 5 to 6 months away

Points to remember

  • Your Sunday long run is your marathon practice. Everything else is a support activity.
  • Nutrition – Running long in like driving long – you need fuel. More carbs to take you longer, more protein to fix damaged muscles, more water to keep your body temperature low, more electrolytes (SALT) so that everything keeps functioning well. Vitamin D supplements, Vitamin B12 supplements, Fish Oil supplement, Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic!
  • Leg strength day is to make sure you don’t get injured. Don’t miss it. Body forgets easily so two sessions a week is needed. You can also mix it with a small run day or have its own day. Cycling hills or even cycling alone is leg strength but not for all muscles that are needed in running.
  • Speed sessions are important because they will make you an efficient runner and point out any issues quickly in the form of an injury.
  • Hill sessions are important because they will exercise your heart and lungs the most and make your oxygen processing efficient.
  • Rest days – Before your long run not after!. After is recovery run

Optional points

  • Two sessions a day – whoever can do it will teach your body that it must recover faster. Don’t try to get to it soon but remember why its important. If you tell your body that you are needed again in 8 hours, it will try its best to get ready!!!
  • Cycling, Swimming, Yoga, Walking – To increase your running stamina you can choose to cycle for longer than 2.5 hours and you will have an impact on running. If you swim, you lungs and heart health will get better for running.
  • Muscle endurance vs Muscle Strength – In the gym for any exercise, if you can do 16-18-20 reps then you are building muscle endurance (red muscle fiber). This will help you do better in your marathon. If the weight is so much that you can only do 4-5-6 reps then you are building muscle strength (white muscle fiber). This will help you to remain injury free.
  • Plyometric – Its important because many muscles like your calves need extra strength. Very few gyms have those equipment to make them strong. So the alternate is to do this which will make your calves and other muscles stronger.
  • Chief coach – You are your own chief coach because you need to balance training, family, partying etc. Everything else is a guideline. You will need to tweak the plan to fit into your schedule.
  • Does it feel like work? – If yes then you may be training too much or not eating well or not resting enough. Its not supposed to feel like that. Review your training plan. Review your nutrition.
  • Foam Rolling / Massage – Sometimes no amount of stretching is going to relax and recover your muscles. You need to do foam rolling and get a massage.
  • Recovery – Are you fully recovered before your next session? If not, add carbs, protein, salt, water, foam rolling, massage and believe it or not, twice a day sessions to see yourself recover faster than before.
  • Don’t combine weight loss with marathon training – if you do, then you may end up getting injured. Marathon training requires massive amounts of fuel. You may overeat and gain a little weight but if you combine your weight loss goal with marathon training you will end up getting injured.
  • Discipline – The more disciplined you are the easier is the execution of this plan! However humans are not robots. Its ok to skip sessions but then don’t try to double down on the next session to cover up. Its not going to happen and you may injure yourself.
  • Optimal time for marathon training – Its like figuring out how to climb that peak – should you climb from the steeper side or the easier side? Depends on your fitness level. This is six months plan. You may need 4 months. Some others may need 12 months!
  • Listening to your body – You must learn to distinguish between normal aches and pains and injuries. If the pain has not gone away after two to three days rest or you always get a pain at a particular spot, you need to research on it.
  • Post your marathon – Don’t become a fat pig by eating as much and not running as much. Portion control post your marathon is a must! Don’t become a marathoner with a paunch!!!
  • Building in slack – Fitness should be a way of life and not a one time marathon thing. After a marathon you don’t need to do an ultra! Its ok to do a 5K or a 10K. You need to build in slack into your schedule so that it does become a way of life and does not become monotonous. One week (9 days including weekends on both sides) is a good slack every three months. Rest day is good in a week.

 

Schedule

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Sat Sun
Running Yes   Yes       Yes
5 KMs Recovery run Option 1            
Interval training 5 times 1km     Option 1        
Interval Training 2 times 5KM     Option 2        
Interval Training 1 time 10KM     Option 3        
Hill run 10 KM     Option 4        
Rest Day           Yes  
Long run 21, 23, 25,27,30,32, 36, 41             Pick one of the distances. You can go back on the distance. But not three weeks in a row. E.g. you can do 21 then 23 then 25 then 21 then 27.
               
Cycling/Swimming/
Yoga/Walking
Option 2       Yes    
               
Plyometric   Yes   Yes      
Skipping – Sets of 500/250/150              
Soleus Plyometric jump              
Jumping on and off a bench              
             
             
             
Core Conditioning Warm up   Yes   Yes      
Standing Knee to Elbow March              
Standing Knee to Elbow CrissCross              
CrissCross Mountain Climbers-Start              
Hover w/side-to-side Shuffle              
Kickbacks              
The Shimmy Back Extension              
Hover w/Rotation to Side Hover              
SkyDiver Back Extension              
Hip Lifts              
               
Core Conditioning   Yes   Yes      
Superman position              
Low plank              
High plank              
Side plank              
Plank on a balance ball              
Reverse plank              
V sits              
Squats              
Back Bridge              
Hip Lift              
Oblique Twist              
Dragon Flag              
Dragon Flag Sideways              
Lunges with the swiss ball              
Lunges with Twist              
Single leg Bridge              
Sit ups of various kind (400 to 500)              
             
             
Strength Training – Weight Training (See the details below)   Yes   Yes      
               

 

Endurance Training – First Month

Rest Only 15 Seconds between Sets. Goal Is To Keep Weight the Same as Reps Increase. 2 days a week

Exercise Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Incline Hammer Strength Chest Press 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Standing Pull Downs 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Seated Shoulder Raises 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
One Arm Standing Tricep Press 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Seated One Arm Curls 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Step Ups 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Seated Quad Extensions 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Hamstring Curls 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Seated Independent Calf Press 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Dumbbell Press ups 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Dumbbell Side Lifts 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Dumbbell Front Lifts 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Press outs 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Push ups/Elevated Pushups 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Chin ups 3×12 3×15 3×20 3×25
Stretch Cord – Free 3×50 3×60 3×70 3×80
Stretch Cord – Fly 3×25 3×30 3×35 3×40
Stretch Cord – Stretch Straight 3×25 3×30 3×35 3×40
Stretch Cord – Finishes 3×25 3×30 3×35 3×40

Strength Training – Second and Fourth Months

Rest – About 45 Seconds Between Sets – Increase   weight as reps decreases. 3 days a week

Exercise Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Incline Hammer Strength Chest Press 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Standing Pull Downs 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Seated Shoulder Raises 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
One Arm Standing Tricep Press 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Seated One Arm Curls 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Step Ups 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Seated Quad Extensions 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Hamstring Curls 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Seated Independent Calf Press 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Dumbbell Press ups 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Dumbbell Side Lifts 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Dumbbell Front Lifts 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Press Outs 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Push ups 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Chin ups 3×12 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Stretch Cord – Free Red 3x50G 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Stretch Cord – Fly Red 3x50G 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Stretch Cord – Stretch Red 3x50G 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6
Stretch Cord – Finishes Red 3x50G 12-10-8 10-8-6 10-8-6

Speed Training – Third month

Superset Exercises Grouped Together Increasing Rest Each Week.

  • Week 1-30 Seconds Rest.
  • Weeks 2 And 3-1 minute Rest.
  • And Week 4-2 Minutes Rest.
    Goal Is To Keep Speed at 1 Rep Per Second. 3 days a week
Exercise Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Incline Hammer Strength Chest Press 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Standing Pull Downs 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Seated Shoulder Raises 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
One Arm Standing Tricep Press 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Seated One Arm Curls 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Step Ups 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Seated Quad Extensions 3×12 3×10 2×10 10
Hamstring Curls 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Seated Independent Calf Press 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Squats 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Dumbbell press ups 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Dumbbell Side Lifts 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Dumbbell Front raises 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Press outs 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Push ups 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Chin ups 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Stretch Cord – Free 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Stretch Cord – Fly 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Stretch Cord – Stretch 3×21 3×10 2×10 10
Stretch Cord – Finishes 3×21 3×10 2×10 10

 

257 comments on “Five months Schedule to get from 21k to 42k

  1. Hi boss. Tx for a detailed schedule. I have been running HM since last 2 years. My current ave pace is about 6.30-7 min/km. Now planning to run FM in December. A friend suggested that hence forth I have to increase the speed to less than 6min/ km. Logic – for FM if you run at 7 min pace then total duration will exceed 5 hrs as in later half maintaining 7 speed will also be difficult.
    But I find this more tiring. What’s the right way to go ?

    1. 1. For longer runs Go at your own pace that is of 6:30 to 7 minutes per km. As soon as you start doing 25 to 32k …your HM time will come down meaning your pace for shorter runs will increase.

      2. Introduce hill runs. 5k to begin with and then upto 10k

      3. Introduce interval training. Slightly faster runs of 1km ….take a break..and then go again. do this 5 times.

  2. Great to see all are covered meticulously. Noted all which i missed during my first marathon. Whenever you start the marathon training you are likely to start from scratch

  3. Hi anirabji, me in gandhinagar, i dont have hills for hill runs, how to do,,we have overbridges over rivers and canals,,but of short distance with little ramp,,how to practise,,any suggestions?

  4. Thanks for the wonderful plan Anirban, Is it possible to email me a copy in printable format. I have done about 4 half marathons in the last 2 years and planning to do one more before I move on to a full sometime early next year.

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