Marathon Training: Week 15

We continue working on the taper but do one more speed workout this week.

By Alyssa Shaffer
woman running road picture
Photograph: Photo by: iStockphoto

Plan developed by Mindy Solkin, owner and head coach of The Running Center in New York City.

Marathon day is just two weeks away, so continue to enjoy your taper. After so many weeks of doing long runs, it might feel odd to cut back on your mileage, but your legs need this recovery period to help you run the full 26.2 feeling very fresh. Take it easy, and remember to fuel your body with healthy foods and water. We’ll do one more speed workout — a double set of striders to keep your feet fast.

For Tuesday: Striders (2 sets)

Warm up for 1 mile at a moderate pace (70 to 75 percent intensity), and then take a short break (just a couple of minutes) to catch your breath and let your heart rate come down. When you can breathe comfortably, do the following speed exercises. Don’t stop between each interval; you’re aiming to run continuously. You’ll do two sets of eight speed bursts.

Run 30 seconds fast (90 to 95 percent effort, pretty much as hard as you can) while staying in control. You can’t speak at all at this level. Then run 60 seconds at a moderately hard level (80 to 85 percent; you’re able to catch your breath a little but are still working hard).

Repeat three more times.

Recover by continuing to run at a moderate pace (70 to 75 percent intensity) for two more minutes, then do your next set of striders.

Run 30 seconds fast/60 seconds moderately hard

Repeat 3 more times.

Finish by running at a moderate pace (70 to 75 percent) for about 1 mile.

Total distance: 4 miles

Total weekly distance: 18 miles

Week 15 Training Calendar

Monday Off
Tuesday Run 4 miles (striders)
Wednesday Off
Thursday Run 5 miles (75% intensity; you can speak in phrases)
Friday Off
Saturday Run 6 miles (75% intensity; you can speak in phrases)
Sunday Run 3 miles (80% intensity; you can speak short words)



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Originally published on, January 2009.

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