What’s the best marathon training program for a first timer?
10/31/2019 2:53:13 PM
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Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 1
The best training program is the one that: starts out where you are, mpw-wise (or where you will be at the time you begin formal training) gets you the highest average mpw (and gets you there safely) you will follow (that fits into your schedule) Other than that, for a first-timer it really doesn't matter. Training happens by applying stimulus, and all stimulus is new to a novice runner. Nearly all novice runners have more speed than endurance, and will do better at the marathon with a program that emphasizes raw mileage rather than intervals or any other speedwork (though everyone should do a little fast running now and again). Really for a beginner, Hal Higdon is probably the best, because his plans are free and straightforward. If you're an experienced racer at shorter distances, I'd go with a more balanced and high-mileage program such as Pfitzinger or Hanson.
The best training program is the one that:

starts out where you are, mpw-wise (or where you will be at the time you begin formal training)

gets you the highest average mpw (and gets you there safely)

you will follow (that fits into your schedule)

Other than that, for a first-timer it really doesn't matter. Training happens by applying stimulus, and all stimulus is new to a novice runner. Nearly all novice runners have more speed than endurance, and will do better at the marathon with a program that emphasizes raw mileage rather than intervals or any other speedwork (though everyone should do a little fast running now and again).

Really for a beginner, Hal Higdon is probably the best, because his plans are free and straightforward. If you're an experienced racer at shorter distances, I'd go with a more balanced and high-mileage program such as Pfitzinger or Hanson.

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