This is an excerpt from Fitness Running-3rd Edition by Richard Brown.
Marathons are hard work. They don't begin at the starting line but in the training that begins many months earlier. They take hours to run, and they end not at the finish line, but with recovery that lasts for weeks. The difficulty of the marathon is one of its attractions, and there are a half-million marathon finishers a year in the United States alone.
This program, which also prepares you for races 30K and longer, extends 26 weeks, or six months. Train four or five days each week if you're a casual racer, five to seven days if you are more advanced. Priority numbers indicate a workout's order of importance, with priority 1 being the most important, 7 the least. When you run fewer days than seven, drop workouts starting with the highest number (7) and work downward. Determine the appropriate durations and paces of your runs using the tables in chapter 7, Program Setup. Take this information and plug it into the training formulas provided for each week.
If in doubt during this week, rest instead of working too hard.
If you've experienced a successful goal race, celebrate and enjoy that fact. Don't make the mistake of immediately refocusing on the next race. The longer the successful race, the longer you should relax and enjoy it!
Learn more about Fitness Running-3rd Edition.