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
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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!
I used the plan to train for my first marathon, and happy to say I hit a time of 3:58! (With a little bit of gas left in the tank) I didn’t have much of a running base when I started the plan. I had some cardio from playing rec hockey, but didn’t do any running before hand. Had enough of a base to run a 5k with moderate effort, and a 10k with high effort.
A Great Training Plan
This was a great training plan to follow. Ended up doing my 1/2 marathon in 1:58.45 which is 20 minutes better than my previous PB. Thanks a mil!!
Thanks for helping all the runners out there
Really nice work by Thomas. Everyone should download and follow his training plans.
Get out of my way
Really good book. Not a lot of extra fluff. Here is what you need to do. Now go do it. Building for my 1st marathon. See you on the other side.
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!