4-Hour Marathon


Details: Over 130 pages of detailed marathon guidance
Last Updated:
May 2020
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The book that has now helped thousands of runners run a sub 4-hr marathon – Revised and Expanded May 2020

4-hour Marathon‘ gives you a focussed framework to prepare, train and complete a marathon in under four hours.

Whether it’s your first marathon or your fiftieth, the ‘4-hr marathon’ method is designed to get you comfortably over the finish line in your target time.

Comprehensive 20-week training plan. Includes distances, paces and detailed instructions on every workout to perform. Links are provided to download digital versions of the plan.

Detailed chapters on the importance of pace, what your marathon pace strategy will be, and how to increase your current running speed using the Block Method

Expert advice on gear – how to choose marathon shoes, packs, clothing, accessories – as well as nutrition and hydration.

Detailed marathon preparation guide to ensure you get to the start line ready to kill it!

The 20-week training programme included has been reverse-engineered from that 4-hr goal. No more nebulous goals, no more vague advice. This book presents one concentrated, proven method to achieve your marathon goals.

Thomas Watson ran his first marathon in 3hrs and 58mins and has gone on to run dozens of sub-4hr marathons since. He also runs a website, www.marathonhandbook.com, through which he has helped thousands of runners achieve their goals.



Are you looking to run a

☆ Sub 4-Hr Marathon? ☆

4-Hour Marathon 2
There are two ways to run a sub 4-hr marathon.

The first way is to train a lot, then come race day go out and do your best.
Results may vary if you train the first way – anywhere between ‘crash-and-burn‘ to ‘limp over the finish line and swear to never run again‘.
(perhaps I’ve being a bit over-the top, but you get my point – it’s painful).
The second way to run a sub 4-hr marathon is to train smart.

✰     ✰     ✰

What does training smart mean?

It means every single workout has a purpose which leads towards your goal of a sub 4-hr marathon.
No junk miles.
No directionless long runs.
No random training.
Everything has a structure, a purpose, and a plan.
✰     ✰     ✰
When it comes to a sub 4-hr marathon, the great news is that your goal is already identified.
This means that we can work backwards from this objective, and construct a training plan that will get you to that objective in the most efficient and strategic way possible.
I’ll teach you the principles behind:
– Marathon Pacing Strategies
– Training For Race Pace
– How To Do Long Runs Correctly
– Train To Avoid The Wall (Bonking)
– And every aspect of training and race preparation.

4-Hour Marathon 3

Stephen Wiseman bagged a 3hr 48min marathon at Loch Ness, Scotland! (quite a hilly route!)


Rebecca Gilmore killed the Melbourne Marathon in 3hrs 43 mins!

4-Hour Marathon 4 When starting out I thought completing the marathon in under 4 hours would be impossible!
As the weeks went on and I followed Thomas’s plan, I realised that maybe 4 hours wasn’t such an unreachable goal after all.
The plan was do-able and I felt myself getting stronger and fitter every week. 
After following the 4-Hr Marathon book, I managed to finish my first marathon in 3 hrs 43 minutes.
I loved the training plan and the supportive tips!
Thanks Thomas – looking forward to smashing some more goals with your help ? “
– Rebecca Gilmore
Melbourne Marathon finisher (3hrs 43min)

☆ Who Am I ? ☆

My name’s Thomas Watson, I’m a UESCA-certified running coach . . . and basically I’ve run a lot.
I’ve run dozens marathons and ultra-marathons, and now spend my time helping others to achieve their running goals through Marathon Handbook.
But a few years ago, I was where you probably are now –  sitting online researching how to run my first marathon.
In the end, I ran 26.2 miles and crossed the finish line in 3hrs 58mins – I just squeezed in under 4 hours.  

4-Hour Marathon 5

My first sub 4-hr marathon (it was agony)

But I made a lot of mistakes.
I had gone out too fast.
My training didn’t prepare me properly, so I hit the wall.
I got my nutrition completely wrong, and I screwed up with my gear choices.
(the photo above isn’t too clear, but those are board shorts – which started chafing after about 6 miles . . . ).
I went back to the drawing board, and started to research the right way to train and prepare for a marathon.
I became a certified coach, and went on to run marathon after marathon – each time refining my knowledge and strategies.
And now, having worked with hundreds of other runners, these are what I want to pass on to you, in this new book – the 4-Hour Marathon.

Here’s another success story – Natasha Floyer finished the Sydney Marathon in 3hrs and 47 mins!

4-Hour Marathon 6
On signing up to my first marathon I was extremely fortunate to come across Thomas’ 4-hour Marathon!
It was packed full of useful tips which prevented me from making any rookie errors along the way.
Using the strategy in the book , I ended up finishing the marathon in 3:47! 
I would certainly recommend Marathon Handbook to anyone!”
– Natasha Floyer
Sydney Marathon Finisher (3hr 47min)

You too can join the sub 4-hr club – simply grab a copy of the book below and you’ll instantly get access to book and the downloadable, customisable 4-hr marathon training plan!


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