This Stage Race Training Plan is a key part of the Stage Race Handbook – my complete guide to preparing, training, and running races like Marathon des Sables, or the 4 Deserts series . . . multi-stage races over several days and hundreds of kilometers!
Who Is It For?:
Anyone preparing for a Stage Race!
Six months // 24 weeks.
The training plan is over six months, so starts off quite lightly (3-4 10km runs per week).
As pace isn’t essential for stage race training, I have not included any recommended pace and mainly made the runs time-based as opposed to distance based. The one exception to this is the long runs on Saturdays, which I have given set distances to cover – this is to ensure you reach the criteria of completing certain distances in preparation.
Your weekends will be busy. I’ve scheduled the longest weekly runs for Saturdays, and a shorter run for Sundays. This is called running “doubles” – doing back-to-back long runs to get your body used to running long distances on tired legs.I’ve scheduled two cross training days per week, and one rest day per week. If you wish, feel free to take two rest days and only cross train once.
I’ve assumed a taper of 4 weeks. This should suit most stage racers, though the more experienced runners may wish to have a shorter taper.
Download The Training Plan Here
Enter your email and I’ll send you this free training plan now, in PDF and Google Sheets formats (completely customisable), in both miles and kilometers.
The most comprehensive plan you will find
I had run a couple of half marathons and was in reasonable shape coming into the plan and it was a good rise in intensity throughout. You need to want to do an event like this – I was getting up at 3am to get my long run in before kids weekend sport etc and this was hard. When you combine the plan with the online community through the Marathon Handbook FB page and website, you get complete support. Have used this plan with great success and now looking at upping the pace in the marathon space… GREAT JOB!
The Perfect Plan!
Easy to follow plan. I recently ran my 5th Half Marathon. I managed to do a sub 1.45 beating my previous best by 4 minutes. I shall be following the marathon plan later in the year as I prepare for my first 42k!
Remember that speed is not important for this training plan – more important is your ability to keep running the distances necessary.
The information is helpful.
10 / 10 - Got my through my race!
This plan hit so well!
Well, I have been marathoning for almost 15 years and wanted to test something new out. I tried this plan because it looked completely different than any training method before. It didn’t make sense how the running peaked, and I got to the start line exhausted and sick, clearly under rested. The marathon had actually gone pretty smoothly until mile 17, when my ankle rolled and my ACL ripped. Had to quit the race and was upset with this training plan. However, free IS free. 6/10. Would not recommend
Proven Training Plans by a UESCA-Certified Running Coach
Every one of our training plans has been developed by Thomas Watson, a UESCA-certified running coach.
Thomas is also a podium-finishing ultra-marathon runner and has dozens of marathons under his belt.
Each training plan has been road-tested by hundreds of runners, refined and improved, and is free to download and customize to suit your needs!