There are many racing training plans created by many different sources in the racing community. Often, local run clubs or health fitness clubs will have their own training plans and coaches.
While there are differences plan to plan, most marathon (26.2 miles) plans consist of about 16-20 weeks of training, with ramps up in mileage, and inclusion of some speed and tempo work, and a 2-3 week taper phase leading into the race day.
For half marathons (13.1 miles), often the race training plans are shorter in length than marathon– say 10 – 12 weeks, with the same concepts and components as the marathon training plans, but with fewer weekly miles, and less need for a long taper phase.
Many training plans also have different levels of training, based on experience and goal of the racer. Examples:
- Beginner – first time racer with goal of finishing
- Intermediate – racer has done one or a few races, with goal of establishing a PR
- Advanced – racer has done several races, and / or is dedicated to competing to optimize race results, PR, etc
The intermediate and advanced training plans generally are similar to beginner plans in structure, but they entail possibly running more days during a week, for longer miles on most runs, with more speed work built into the plan.
Visit the Tools section of AskRunGuy for some helpful resource for planning or tracking your training.