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The marathon is the ultimate test of endurance for every long-distance runner. Run a fast marathon time once, and brag about it for the rest of your life.


Marathon race intensity

  • 40% of your maximal speed
  • 80% of your VO2max
  • 2.6mmol/L blood lactate (LT = 4mmol/L)

Marathon energy supply

  • 99.5% aerobic
  • 0.5% anaerobic

Marathon muscle fiber recruitment

  • 100% of your slow-twitch fibers
  • 23% of your intermediate fast-twitch fibers
  • 0% of your super fast-twitch fibers


Marathon training requires a unique combination of maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max), lactate threshold/tolerance, maximal running speed, resistance to fatigue, and running economy. In order to maximize these variables, you will need to carry out your training in different training zones.


What’s more, peak performance training requires a logical sequence where one adaptation piggybacks on another. I’m an advocate of non-linear periodization (multi-pace training) where the emphasis transitions from general to marathon-specific pace.


Focus Block 1 = Twin-Base

Highly polarized training with a focus on the extreme ends of the pace spectrum.

>>> General Endurance + Maximal Speed


Focus Block 2 = Conditioning

The inclusion of middle-paces that develop your fitness to maximal levels.

>>> Lactate Threshold + VO2max


Focus Block 3 = Race-Specific

Emphasis on MRA-specific training while all other variables are maintained.

>>> MRA Race-Specific Endurance + Economy

Marathon Training Plans

Faster times from the 5K to the marathon are not just the result of training more or harder. Start training with the non-linear periodization method used by professional athletes and elite coaches.

You can choose marathon training plans from 4 levels or have one custom made for you.

Elevate your aerobic capacity (VO2max)
Boost your lactate threshold/tolerance
Increase your neuromuscular power
Upgrade your fatigue resistance
Improve your running economy

MRA Beginner

16-week plan
3 running days/week
25 miles/week (40 km/week)

MRA Intermediate

16-week plan
3 - 5 running days/week
40 miles/week (64 km/week)

MRA Advanced

16-week plan
4 - 6 running days/week
55 miles/week (88 km/week)

MRA Pre-Elite

16-week plan
5 - 7 running days/week
70 miles/week (112 km/week)

Marathon Custom

Do you prefer a plan handcrafted for you?

See more details...