Marathon Training : Personal Best

About the Personal Best Program

This 30-week Personal Best Marathon Training Program is designed for experienced runners, those who have run two or three or more marathons and who would like to improve their times, to achieve Peak Performance, to set a Personal Record (PR), perhaps to score a Boston Marathon qualifying time (BQ). It combines the 18-week Intermediate 1 Marathon Training Program with an additional 12-week Intermediate Base Training Program. Each day, Hal will send you an email telling you what to run and offering a training tip.

Interactive program available on

At a glance


Author: Hal Higdon

Length: 30 Weeks

Typical Week: 5 Run, 7 Other, 1 Day Off, 1 X-Train

Longest Workout: 20 miles

What do I get?


  • Stay motivated for the marathon with daily tips from Hal in your inbox
  • Monitor your progress within TrainingPeaks’ online tools, apps, and wearable integrations
  • Access charts and graphs to understand training load
  • Tap into TrainingPeaks experience
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Hal on his Personal Best Program

I DESIGNED THIS PROGRAM FOR EXPERIENCED RUNNERS, individuals who have run two or three or more marathons and who would like to improve their times, to achieve Peak Performance, to set a Personal Record (PR), perhaps to score a Boston Marathon qualifying time (BQ).

If truth be told, this is not exactly a new marathon training program, but rather two training programs combined for the convenience of Intermediate runners. Personal Best combines my 12-week Intermediate Base Training Program with my popular 18-week Intermediate 1 Marathon Training Program. If you are an experienced runner, you could just as easily access each of those programs here on my Web site and move from the first to the second at the end of 12 weeks. Similarly, you could sign up for each of those Virtual Training programs available through TrainingPeaks online. But I’ve done the work for you.

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, particularly if you run with a friend or a group of runners (something I recommend). For more instructions, check the introductions to Intermediate 1 Marathon. Still more in the way of tips and instructions are available when you sign up for the interactive version of Personal Best from TrainingPeaks.

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 3 m run 3 m run 3 x hill 3 m run Rest 30 min tempo 6 m run
2 3 m run 3 m run 3 x hill 3 m run Rest 30 min fartlek 7 m run
3 3 m run 4 m run 4 x hill 3 m run Rest 35 min tempo 6 m run
4 3 m run 4 m run 4 x hill 3 m run Rest 35 min fartlek 7 m run
5 3 m run 5 m run 5 x hill 3 m run Rest 35 min tempo 8 m run
6 3 m run 5 m run 5 x hill 3 m run Rest Rest 5-K Race
7 3 m run 4 m run 8 x 200 3 m run Rest 40 min fartlek 7 m run
8 3 m run 5 m run 6 x 400 3 m run Rest 40 min tempo 8 m run
9 3 m run 6 m run 10 x 200 3 m run Rest Rest 8-K Race
10 3 m run 4 m run 7 x 400 3 m run Rest 45 min fartlek 7 m run
11 3 m run 5 m run 12 x 200 3 m run Rest 45 min tempo 6 m run
12 3 m run 6 m run 8 x 400 3 m run Rest Rest 10-K Race
13 Cross 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 5 m pace 8 m run
14 Cross 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 3 m run 9 m run
15 Cross 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 5 m pace 6 m run
16 Cross 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m pace 11 m run
17 Cross 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m run 12 m run
18 Cross 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest Rest 15-K Race
19 Cross 4 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 7 m run 14 m run
20 Cross 4 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 7 m pace 15 m run
21 Cross 4 m run 5 m run 4 m run Rest 8 m pace 11 m run
22 Cross 4 m run 8 m run 4 m run Rest 8 m run 17 m run
23 Cross 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 8 m pace 18 m run
24 Cross 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run Rest Rest Half Marathon Race
25 Cross 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 5 m pace 20 m run
26 Cross 5 m run 5 m run 5 m run Rest 8 m run 12 m run
27 Cross 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 5 m pace 20 m run
28 Cross 5 m run 6 m run 5 m run Rest 4 m pace 12 m run
29 Cross 4 m run 5 m run 4 m run Rest 3 m run 8 m run
30 Cross 4 m run 4 m run Rest Rest 2 m run Marathon