I first came across
the 100 Day Marathon Program by Dr. Marius Bakken, 2 Time
Olympic Runner and M.D., quite a while ago, when I was
browsing the Web looking for different marathon training ideas.
I got Marius' program to see for myself, and decided to share the key
points with you in this article...
The 100 Day Marathon Training Program is neatly packaged in the 'eBook Pro'
electronic book reader. You just click on the application file
to get access to the information. The program covers all aspects
of marathon training from selecting a training schedule to the
marathon race itself. There is also an in-depth analysis of the
training philosophy that Marius proposes. There are 14 main
topics and plenty of videos to help your understanding of the
The Training Philosophy
The first thing that surprised me when going through the 100 Day
program was the radically different approach to marathon
training. This approach is based on the Italian and Kenyan
training methods -two very successful countries who have
consistently produced world class marathoners.
The training is split into six
distinct periods, each with a different focus as follows:
Half marathon training
Full marathon training
The concept here is to keep
varying your running goal instead of settling down into a
standard pattern of training where improvement becomes more
difficult. As Marius' puts it:
sound familiar? - A runner using the traditional approach to
marathoning never seems to improve, running the same time for
years. At some point, the runner becomes frustrated and quits
the pursuit of improvement. This is typical in the sport. Maybe
it's time to try something different!"
The idea behind
the 100 day program
is to see a substantial performance improvement over the course
of the 100 days. To me, this makes a lot of sense and I have
written several articles on the need to vary your training
intensity if you want to improve your marathon time. (You
can find one article here)
Just as important as the actual
running schedule is the level of intensity you apply on a day to
day basis. This is the Kenyan approach to each training run.
Marius adapts this to his program so you will be doing 'tempo'
runs on a regular basis. (Tempo runs involve varying your pace
during the same workout - another technique that we endorse as
part of our marathon training).
Marius goes on to explain how
these training principles can be followed by everyone from the
novice to the elite marathon runner.
The Training Plans
As Marius says "this is the exciting part"!
He presents 8 different training schedules from the faster
runners (~ 2h 45m finishers) to what he calls the super-beginner
levels. He has included a calculator so you can find out your
expected marathon time based on the results of running shorter
Each schedule presents a very
detailed plan for each week as well as the level of effort
required. Here is an example of the different intensity levels
required for the sub 3h 30m plan:
Marius explains how to adjust for
running by heart rate according to your own maximum rate. He has
a video at the start of each training level where he reviews key
points of each week or phase.
The actual training is by session
- starting with three per week and working up to five sessions.
Each type of run is well described and the layout is easy to
follow. There is a three week recovery plan after the race.
Marius has included many more
sections in his program, covering a broad range of marathon
training topics, with plenty of photos and videos to illustrate
the key points.
Here are some of the things he
Adjusting the Schedule + "Schedule FAQ"
- Race Adjustments
- Missed Training
- Find Your Foot Type
- Shoe Suggestions For each type
Injuries / Weight Loss
- Staying Injury Free
- Cycling/Alternative Training
- Weight Loss
Day - Nutrition
What to Eat and Drink
Day - Pace Yourself
Day - Special Tips
- Stomach Cramps
- Regular Cramps
Advanced - Heart Rate Training
- How to Run by Heart Rate
- Find Your Maximum Heart Rate
I find the 100 Day Program to be a
very comprehensive marathon training plan that most people
should have no difficulty in following. I personally agree with
the basic training philosophy of the plan - which is to vary the
intensity of each workout. Marius has put all this into a well
organized training structure that should pay off when it comes
to race day.
Because the plan includes some
faster workouts I would caution the less experienced runner to
follow the program carefully and not to overdo it, or they may
end up injured. I would also like to have seen more on nutrition
during the training itself.
Overall this is a well thought-out
training program from a former Olympic runner.
What Does It
The cost to purchase the 100 day
Program is $47 - which is not a lot when you consider the
average running store training clinic costs $60 or more.
You can visit Marius'
100 Day Training web page here, where he describes the
benefits of using his program to train for your next marathon
and run your best.
The publisher of the
'26.2' website does receive a commission if you decide to
purchase the 100 day program. However to the best of our
knowledge the above content is a fair and accurate description
of the program. Our promotional policy is to only present or
endorse products we have seen for ourselves.