I feel more than obligated to pass this on to anyone who is interested in running a marathon because I thought it was pretty much the perfect training schedule when I used it. It comes from Hal Higdon’s set of training programs which are free online and this particular one is the Novice 1 program. I liked everything in this schedule from the distances, to the days that are chosen as rest days (Mondays and Fridays, allelujah), to the incorporation of cross training. I especially liked that after every few weeks of increasing the long run distances he has a week where you run noticeably fewer miles on the long run so that your body can recover. The plan is 18 weeks long and starts with a long run of 6 miles at the end of the first week.
Just a suggestion – print it out, put it on your fridge. Because if what you’re supposed to be doing is staring you in the face every day then it is hard to ignore.
Here is Hal’s website with all of his programs (there are some for half marathons and every other distance too): http://www.halhigdon.com/training/
Here is a copy of the schedule that I used. Distances are obviously in miles:
Marathon Training Schedule: Novice 1