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.
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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!
Good overall plan, but should include non running days of weighted squats and lunges, anerobic exercises
This training plan was amazing! I started this plan 11 weeks in advance of the Boston Marathon hoping I would be able to find a bib, and I was accepted onto a charity team 8 weeks in advance. This was my first marathon, and the longest I ran before this was 13.1 miles. I followed this plan and was able to finish the Boston Marathon in 4:11:22, having had food poisoning the day before.
Half Marathon Under 2 Hours
I completed my first 10 K with my daughter at the end of May and she invited me to run a half marathon with her. She told me her goal was to complete the half marathon in under two hours, so that became my goal as well. In order to accomplish that, she recommended that I start following a training plan. After looking at several plans, I requested this 10 week half marathon plan. What really made the difference in my training was the helpful emails covering various topics that I really needed to succeed. I followed the plan and we both finished the race in under two hours! Thank you Thomas at Marathon Handbook.
Weekly milage totals
Weekly milage totals do not equal the sum of the weekly workouts
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 hundred of runners, refined and improved – and are free to download and customise to suit your needs!