Training


Spring Training - Novice Schedule

A Simple 12-Week Schedule for Novice Runners

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BECOME A RUNNER? Would you like to get in shape? Lose some weight? Feel better? Look better? Maybe you'd like to run in The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, or another marathon, later in the year.

If so, here is a simple 12-week training program for Novice runners. It was designed originally for Chicago-area runners to fill the 12-week gap between The LaSalle Bank Shamrock Shuffle in March and the start of my 18-week training program to prepare runners to run Chicago in October.

But you don't need to live in Chicago to take advantage of this Spring Training program, which can become an "Off-Season Program" other times of the year. Use it now to get started as a runner and to build a base of fitness so you later can utilize my 18-week program with less stress.

Indeed, the first weekend's 6-mile run in my marathon training program can be intimidating if you've never run before, or if your workouts have been limited to a few miles jogging on weekends when the weather's nice. But hundreds of thousands have successfully used my training schedules to prepare for marathons. You can do it--but you'll have more success and find marathon training easier if you start now!

Start now

There's no better way to begin than by following my 12-week Spring Training program for Novice runners. It begins with a 3-miler the first weekend (and 9 total miles) and climaxes a dozen weeks later with a 6-miler and 15 total miles--exactly what you'll run the first week of my 18-week marathon training program.

Training for the marathon, or any other running race, is not easy. It's hard work. It takes discipline. But it's also a lot of fun, as you'll soon discover, particularly if you run with a friend or a group of runners (something I recommend). If you live in Chicago and want to join the Chicago Area Running Association (CARA) marathon training program, the class features weekday clinics in five locations and weekend runs in several more locations beginning in June. For more information, contact the CARA office at 312-666-9836, or visit the CARA web site. Click here!

Spring Training: Novice
Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Miles
1 Rest 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 30 min walk 3 m run 9
2 Rest 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 30 min walk 3.5 m run 9.5
3 Rest 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 30 min walk 3 m run 9
4 Rest 2 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 30 min walk 4 m run 10.5
5 Rest 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 30 min walk 3 m run 10
6 Rest 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 30 min walk 4.5 m run
11.5
7 Rest 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 30 min walk 3 m run 10
8 Rest 2.5 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 30 min walk 5 m run 12.5
9 Rest 2.5 m run 3 m run 2.5 m run Rest 30 min walk 3 m run
11
10 Rest 2.5 m run 3 m run 2.5 m run Rest 30 min walk 5.5 m run 13.5
11 Rest 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 30 min walk 3 m run 12
12 Rest 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 30 min walk 6 m run
15

Spring Training, Novice Schedules:

Week 1Week 2Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12