Waitz's Run your first marathon

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This book is by the nine time winner of the New York City Marathon and the focus of the book is, as the name suggests, the first-time marathon. There is only a single plan, but because the plan is short, the buildup of distance is too quick, so there is a higher risk of injury. There is also relatively little advice on training plans. In some ways this is quite similar to Higdon's Novice plan. (This article should be read in conjunction with my Comparison of Marathon Training Plans.)

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  • Key Characteristics
    • A single plan focused on the novice marathoner.
    • Initial Ramp (mileage increase/week from start to 16): Rather too steep at 1.0 as the plan is short.
    • Other than the Long Run, there are three weekly runs of 3-8 miles.
    • Core Ramp (mileage increase/week from 16 to max): Way too steep at 2.0.
  • Pros
    • The initial buildup to the first 16 mile run is quite gradual and linear.
    • The plan is only 16 weeks long, so if you don't have many weeks before the race this is a good option.
    • The book includes a 'pre-plan' to get you running.
    • While this plan does not provide as many Long Runs as would be ideal, it is probably a good compromise between effectiveness and time commitment.
  • Cons
    • Obviously this is limited to a first-time marathoner.
  • Modifications
    • This plan is fine for what it is.
  • Overtraining risk
    • The risk of Overtraining is probably low as the ramp up is slow and you only run 4 days/week.
  • Good For::
    • Beginner: 2. The dedicated nature of this plan makes this worth considering, but I feel you'd be better off elsewhere. The initial ramp up is slow, but the ramp up from the 13 mile Long Run is rather abrupt.
    • Novice: 1. This plan is worth considering, but you'd be better off elsewhere.
    • Ringger: 0. This plan is for people running the first marathon with relatively little prior experience of racing.
    • Maintenance: 0. This plan is for people running the first marathon.
    • Improver: 0. This plan is for people running the first marathon.
    • Enthusiast: 0. This plan is for people running the first marathon.
    • Elite: 0. This plan is for people running the first marathon.
    • Limited Training Time: 2. In terms of training time this is a middle-of-the-road plan.
    • Traditionalist: 4. This is generally a fairly traditional plan.
    • Triathlete/Multisport: 3. The rest days could be used for other sports, or the midweek runs could be converted.
    • Prior Overtraining: 0. This plan is for people running the first marathon.
    • Sub 3:00: 0. If you're a fast runner, look elsewhere.
    • 3:00-4:30: 2. This plan is probably a reasonable approach for mid-pack runners.
    • 4:30-5:30: 2. This plan would work, but I think Galloway is a far better bet.
    • 5:30+: 0. Use Galloway.
    • Speedwork. There is no speed work in this plan.

Comparison With Other Plans

Main article: A Comparison of Marathon Training Plans

  FIRST
Marathon
FIRST

Novice

Jeff Galloway's
You Can Do It!
Hanson's
Marathon Method
Just Finish
Hanson's
Marathon Method
Beginner/Advanced
Hanson's
Marathon Method
Elite
Jack Daniels
4Week
Jack Daniels
2Q
Jack Daniels
Plan A
Jack Daniels
Elite (AKA 12 Week)
Pfitzinger's
Advanced Marathoning
Hal Higdon's
Ultimate Training Guide
Waitz's Run
your first marathon
Running With Lydiard
Beginner 0 2 5 2 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 3 2 0
Novice 1 3 4 1 1 0 3 1 2 0 0 3 1 0
Ringger 2 4 2 0 2 2 3 3 4 1 1 2 0 2
Maintenance 2 2 3 2 2 0 3 2 2 0 0 4 0 0
Improver 4 3 3 0 3 0 3 4 4 3 3 2 0 1
Enthusiast 4 2 3 0 2 1 3 5 5 4 3 2 0 2
Elite 3 0 1 0 1 3 1 3 3 4 3 0 0 3
Limited Training Time 4 4 0 3 2 0 5 5 5 4 0 2 2 0
Traditionalist 2 2 2 0 0 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 1
Triathlete/Multisport 5 5 4 0 0 0 5 5 5 3 0 2 3 0
Prior Overtraining 3 3 4 1 4 1 5 4 4 0 0 0 0 0
Sub 3:00 5 5 2 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 4 2 0 3
3:00-4:30 5 5 4 2 3 0 5 4 5 3 3 3 2 1
4:30-5:30 3 3 5 1 2 0 2 2 3 0 0 2 2 0
5:30+ 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Like Speedwork 5 5 0 0 3 3 5 5 5 5 3 1 0 5
Hate Speedwork 0 0 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 5 0