4 Week Crash Marathon Training Programme

You have four weeks until a marathon … how do you go from maintenance fitness to race-ready shape, without hurting yourself?


Running a marathon a month from now is not impossible – as long as your recent weekly distance has included several 10km runs and at least one 12 to 20km run.

Begin your weeks with the long run, because, obviously, the more long runs you fit in, the better your chances of completing the race.

You won’t be able to run the same long-run distance you’re used to doing during typical marathon training.

Tempo and fartlek workouts will teach your body to transport oxygen and burn fuel efficiently, which is key to a successful day.

A goal-pace run familiarises you with sustainable race-day speed.


Long run: 16 – 20 km.
Two or three easy runs.
Fartlek workout: Run five minutes at 10-K pace, then jog for two to three minutes; repeat four or five times.


Long run: 21 – 24km.
Two or three easy runs.
Tempo run: Warm up, then run 5 or 6km at 10-K pace.


Long run: 25 – 29km
Two or three easy runs.
Goal pace run: 16km at your goal marathon pace.


Long run: 20km.
Two or three easy runs.
Fartlek: Run five minutes at half-marathon pace then jog two minutes. Repeat three times.


Not ready for a full? What about prepping for a half marathon or 5 / 10-K.

Got something to say?

  • http://phillipgibb.com Phillip Gibb

    funny – that’s my normal training program when it comes to running, lol

    • Brian

      HA. My kind of training program!!

    • Almanda

      That sounds reachable,also my normal training for long distances!

  • Ncamsile Nhlabathi

    How many rest days a week? I’m going recently ran 50km so I feel fairly fit but also want to avoid injuries.