Prior to starting a training program, runners should already have built a sufficient running base where the total training duration (including the “base building” phase) is recommended to be:
- Full marathon: 16 weeks.
- Half marathon: 12 weeks.
- 10k: 8-10 weeks.
This program covers the last 8 weeks of a runner’s full training program, where runners are expected to perform relatively harder-effort workouts (the “sharpening” phase). To prepare for these workouts, runners are expected to be able to run the following weekly mileage during their base-building phase (the 4-8 weeks prior to the sharpening phase):
- Full marathon: 25-35 kilometers per week.
- Half marathon: 15-25 kilometers per week.
- 10k: 5-10 kilometers per week.
An example of a base-building program for Full Marathon runners is shown in this page.
Runners who have not performed the necessary base building can still use this training program, but it is advisable to cut down on the prescribed time and distances when signs of significant physical discomfort arises, or even rest completely until the signs have disappeared. There is nothing worse than showing up at the starting line with a nagging injury.
Before starting any training program, it is recommended that runners seek professional advice from their preferred physicians.