as a marathoner, there are 3 important workouts: 1) Long runs at marathon pace 2) tempo runs 3) Mile repeats
I am assuming that you are trying to get FASTER in the marathon, and not just trying to finish your first marathon.
Many people think that 18 miles at marathon pace will "beat you up too much" If it does, then that is NOT your marathon pace ! If you feeel too tired after running 18 at 8min, then try 18 at 8:15 or 8:30. Y9ou must have at least 6 more miles at that pace inyour legs ! Realistically, you will probably slow down 20 -30 sec/mile in 18 - 26. Mostly vbecause we are not pro's and not training at 80 miles per week.
2) Tempo runs at faster than mathon pace. This imnproves form, and are shorter, sucha s 6 or 8 miles. This also could get you faster. You will NEVER get faster if you don't do some running at a faster pace!
3) Mile repeats and 1/2 mile repeats. These should be at 60-90 sec/s faster than marathon pace. They should also be an increasing amount in training. 400's and 200's are for 5k runners.
The book I recommend is Galloway from 1980! or Bob Glover "handbook for competetive runners"
If you read runner's world, you can beleive that on 3/days per week, and walking backwards down stairs cna get you a 3-hour marathon.
Running Times has a few articles eahc month on training for faster marathons. They are written by elites who extrapolate down for average runners without watering down the programs too much.
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