Training Plan For Gold Coast Marathon

training-plan500Here is the current version (updates can be made) of our Training Plan to Gold Coast Marathon.  You can either read it below or view the full colour version as a PDF which you can download. Remember to read all the explanatory notes before delving into the schedule. To download hit the button below or read further.download_button

South Pine Striders Training Plan

Gold Coast Marathon 2013

This training plan is based on an approach to weekly training that places a high priority on 3 key training sessions:

Key Weekly Training Sessions

  • Interval Session – designed to increase speed, lactate threshold and cardiovascular capacity.  Intervals are designed race specific – according the race that runners are preparing for.
  • Hill Repeats – for improving VO2max and increasing muscle strength.
  • LSD – long slow distance (on weekends). Prepares your body for consistent output over long periods of time. Race specific distances.

Secondary Training Sessions

If you are a serious runner your additional training days will be spent doing running related things. If you are a triathlete you will be concentrating on your other disciplines. If you are keen on a range of sporting activities then you can cross train (swim, MTB, gym, plyometrics, etc)

Serious runners will do a range of additional activities:

  • Mid week long run.
  • Weekly Time Trial.
  • Recovery runs.


It is critical that you have a day of rest each week.  Rest is training. No rest is injury – eventually.


This training program is a guide only and does not constitute authoritative advice or prescription on training matters. No warranty of safety should result from its use. The guide in no way guarantees against injury or death. You need to see your doctor for advice on your capacity to undertake strenuous training. This is not the only training plan on earth that works, training plans although built on sound principles are subjective. This is a general guide to what has helped us as a club take plenty of people from the couch to the marathon finishing line.

Training Program Guide:

This program assumes that the Gold Coast Marathon is the peak race that you are building up to. My advice is NOT to do every race on the calendar, but to pick and choose your races according to which will help prepare you best for your chosen peak race of the year.

It is however very important to at least race a 5km or 10km in the run up to Gold Coast so that you have an indicative time from which your race pace can be calculated. Shorter races are essentially time trials, and you need to have them built into the program. (I don’t let runners know at Striders when we are having a TT because them they don’t show!).

Park Run is held every weekend and is a good option for a TT, although it messes with your training schedule. It is better to do a shorter time trial (3-5km) during the week and keep your training program on track, or do your TT on Saturday and your long run on Sunday at a slower pace. (make sure you get a rest day for the one you lose).

  • Training weeks are in GREEN.
  • Race weeks are in YELLOW.
  • Explanatory notes above the week.
  • Peak Training builds up relevant to the race that we are preparing for.
  • Tapering happens over a 3 week period where we taper down after Peak Training period which is strenuous.  Tapering allows recovery and arrival at race with fresh legs.

10km Strategy:

I prefer 10km runners to train past 10km (up to 16km) so that on race day you have more than enough endurance built in and you don’t need to worry about that.  You can concentrate on putting out maximum effort and the race will seem short.

Half Strategy:

I prefer Half marathoners to train past 21km (up to 26km) so that on race day you have more than enough endurance built in and you don’t need to worry about that.  You can concentrate on putting out maximum effort and the race will seem short.

Marathon Strategy:

I prefer marathoners to train to a maximum of 35km preferably 33km. It’s no use being a hero and going further because you will do damage to your legs and as a result you will not be able to train as well in the run up.  You race when you race (damage yourself) but train when you train (build not damage).

LSD Strategy:

You put your biggest effort into your two weekly technical sessions (intervals & hills) so don’t kill yourself in LSD.  Time on legs is most important rather than speed or distance.  Obviously you need to achieve your distances in the run up to a marathon but be careful.

Interval Strategy:

The distances are indicative.  We try and make our interval sessions interesting and creative, these distances are simply what the interval session is based around in terms of what runners need to achieve in their intervals. If you are doing this by yourself then you simply do the straight distances as shown.  All normal interval sessions are based around 5km. Taper intervals are based on 4km.

Week Intervals LSD
10km 4-10 Mar 800m 14km
Half 800m 21km
Mar 800m 21km
10 11-17 Mar 1200m 12km
Half 1200m 17km
Mar 1200m 19km
10 18-24 Mar 400m repeats (4km) Twilight Race Day
(Recovery Week)
10 25-31 Mar 200m recovery. Non racers 600m. 10km easy
Half  200m recovery. Non racers 1000m rpts. 14km easy
Mar 200m recovery. Non racers 1200m. 16km easy
4 weeks to Noosa
10 1-7 Apr
Half 1400m Pinnacles
Mar 1400m Pinnacles
3 weeks to Noosa Noosa Taper 1
10 8-14 Apr 100m 12km
Half 1200m 22km
Mar *Doing Half 1200m 22km
2 weeks to Noosa Noosa Taper 2
10 15-21 Apr 1000m 10km
Half 1000m 18km
Mar *Doing Half 1000m 18km
1 week to Noosa Noosa Taper 3 Noosa Festival
10 22-28 Apr 400m (4km) Noosa
Half 400m (4km) Noosa
Mar 400m (4km) Noosa
10 29 Apr-5 May 600m 12km
Half 600m 18km
Mar 600m 25km
9 weeks to GCM
10 6-12 May 800m 12km
Half 800m 22km
Mar 800m 30km
8 weeks to GCM Peak 1
10 13-19 May 1000m 14km
Half 1200 24km
Mar 1200 33km
7 weeks to GCM Peak 2
10 20-26 May 1200 14km
Half 1400 25km
Mar 1400 35km
6 weeks to GCM Peak 3 Doomben Half Race
10 27 May – 2 June 1200m 16km
Half 1600m 25km
Mar 1600m 33km
5 weeks to GCM Peak 4
10 3-9 Jun 1200m 14km
Half 1600m 24km
Mar 1600m 30km
4 weeks to GCM Peak 5 City2South Race
10 10-16 Jun 12000 Race or 14km
Half 1200m Race or 21km
Mar 1200m Race or 25km
3 weeks to GCM Taper 1
10 17-23 Jun 1000m 12km
Half 1000m 18km
Mar 1000m 21km
2 weeks to GCM Taper 2
10 24-30 Jun 800m 8km
Half 800m 16km
Mar 800m 18km
1 week to GCM Taper 3
10 1 – 7 July 400m (4km) Race day
Half 400m (4km) Race day
Mar 400m (4km) Race day
10 200m rec rpts Recovery
Half 200m rec rpts Recovery
Mar 200m rec rpts Recovery

Race Schedule At A Glance

Week Weeks to GCM Activity Taper/Peak
4-10 Mar 18 Normal Training Normal Training
11-17 Mar 17 Training Taper 1
18-24 Mar 16 Twilight Running Festival Taper 2
25-31 Mar 15 Recovery Run
1-7 Apr 14 Pinnacles 18km Trail or Noosa training
8-14 Apr 13 Noosa Training (Time Trial Week) Taper 1
15-21 Apr 12 Noosa Training Taper 2
22-28 Apr 11 Noosa Running Festival Taper 3
29 Apr-5 May 10 Recovery
6-12 May 9 Normal Training
13-19 May 8 Pine Rivers Festival or Normal Training Peak 1
20-26 May 7 Doomben taper or Normal Training Peak 2
27 May – 2 June 6 Doomben Half Peak 3
3-9 Jun 5 Recovery or Normal Training Peak 4
10-16 Jun 4 City 2 South Peak 5
17-23 Jun 3 Normal Training (Time Trial Week) Taper1
24-30 Jun 2 Normal Training Taper 2
1 – 7 July 1 Gold Coast Marathon Taper 3

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