Couch to Marathon in 6 Weeks -- My Ill-Advised 6-Week Marathon Training Plan

There's a scene in Something About Mary where that psycho hitchhiker has a brilliant business idea -- 7 Minute Abs. You know, it's just like 8 Minute Abs, but better (and it's guaranteed). Well, I'm your psycho hitchhiker, and you can get rid of your 24- or 30-week marathon training programs, because I have a 6-week program that blows those out of the water.

First, a major disclaimer: this is not an ideal way to train for a marathon. In fact, this may lead to injury. But if you only have 6 weeks to get in shape to run a marathon, this plan just might work for you. Just don't expect to set any PRs.

Some backstory. Four weeks ago I received an email from the Jerusalem Ministry of Tourism inviting me to run the Jerusalem Marathon. The trip includes a tour of some of the major sights in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I thought for a second, and just for a second about how tired and out of shape I had been feeling. I also thought about how the 10 extra Christmas/New Years pounds were starting to feel like permanent residents, not merely holiday visitors. After seeing the date of the Jerusalem Marathon, and how quickly it was approaching, I thought about how difficult it would be to get myself fit enough to complete a marathon in six weeks, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and there was no way I was going to turn it down.

So, after sending a quick "of course I'll do it" email, I changed into some running clothes and started my six week plan. That day I went out and ran harder than I had in months, and it hurt. My previous running over the previous few months, really since my last race in May, 2014, had been leisurely 5 milers at my friend's dog's pace (which is a lot of stop and go, because the dog gets tired and pretends to pee every few minutes). I was running fairly regularly, so wasn't literally a "Couch to Marathon" situation, it was more like a lazy-ass-ex-ultra-runner-burnout-eating-and-drinking-too-much-to-run-more-than-five-miles to Marathon training program. Again, a big fat warning: use this plan at your own risk, don't expect to PR your marathon, but you may just get fit enough to finish your marathon with a smile.

The plan's coming, but first a word about...

Strength and Mobility

This is the most important thing for me. I use a strength circuit plan from Competitor magazine. I feel that it hits all the muscle groups, and if I do 2-3 sets, it really kicks my ass, and I start to feel stronger after a couple weeks. I also do the MYRTL mobility routine after nearly every run. This keeps my hips from tightening up, and I can feel a difference in my flexibility when I do the routine regularly. I feel that both of these steps, along with using The Stick and the foam roller every night allowed me to increase the quantity and quality of my running while at the same time avoid injury, drop weight (at least 5 pounds so far), and increase my overall body strength.

Here's the 6-Week Couch to Marathon Training Plan (click the link, or check out the form below):

Thanks for reading and check back in a couple weeks to see the results.

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