This is a full marathon (42.195 km) training plan for Mumbai Marathon in under 4hr 10min and New Delhi Marathon in under 4hr, which, respectively, are in 2 weeks and 8 weeks away.

I am of a firm opinion that anyone who is able bodied and is remotely fit, is capable of running a full marathon in under 4 hrs, of course with appropriate training. 85 year old Ed Whitlock recently did the distance in 3hrs 56min 39sec. 

Ed Whitlock completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 3 hours 56 minutes 34 seconds to become the oldest person to run 26.2 miles under four hours. Credit Todd Fraser/Canada Running Series / New York Times

This one is in your faces, all those experts who tell folks that they are too old to stay active. Probably those experts are looking for company while sitting on their wheel chairs. Read more about Ed in this article by New York Times. 

It is important to note that, this plan is applicable to those who have managed to do half marathon in last couple of months in under 2 hrs.

Tips for this week:

  1. This is the last week of intense training before you run the Mumbai Marathon so I suggest that you use the New Resolution to its best. Get Off Your Arse and make it count.
  2. Reminder to all the folks who will be going from North Indian winters to Mumbai, please wear an extra layer, one more than what is comfortable for you, so you can come closer to the temperatures in Mumbai, sooner than later. Heat and Humidity start taking their toll from 20-25 kms onwards. 
  3. If you are carrying injuries, have a very honest conversation with yourself if you should skip this marathon. Idea should be to run forever, not just one more race. You have picked up a great habit. Don’t mess it up long time. 

Sunday: The only drill I want you to do throughout the day. Let go. Viren style. This will help you run effortlessly by being soft on your feet, something that I have been talking about for ever. 

Or the Winona way in Reality Bites. Of course Reality Bites. Just bite it back. 

Monday: Active rest day: Focus today is only on drills and exercises. If you are up for it, 30-45 min walk or easy jog.

  1. Skip: Skip or hop in the same spot very softly for 45-60 seconds. Repeat 6-10 times throughout the day. Reminder, be as soft on your feet, as you possibly can be.
  2. Squats (from 1st week): Do 30-50 repetitions. 5-7 sets throughout the day. 
  3. Single Leg Heel Raises (from 2nd week): Do repeat 50-70 times with both legs. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
  4. Toe Curls (from 3rd week): 30-40 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day. 
  5. Nordic Hamstrings Exercise (from 4th week): Do 10-15 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day
  6. Gluteus Maximus Activation (from 5th week): Do 10 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  7. Squeezing the orange (from 6th week): Do 20-30 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  8. Planks on the ground (from 7th week): Hold the plank for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.
  9. Sitting Side Bending: Hold for 10 seconds, increments of three, both sides. Repeat 4-5 sets throughout the day. 
  10. Butterfly: Do 15-20 repeats. Do 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  11. High Knees: 10 metres for 4-5 min. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day. 
  12. Heel to butt: 10 metres for 4-5 min. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.
  13. Soft but quick steps: 1 min, Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.

Tuesday: Tempo Run

Run 5 km between 25min - 25min 20sec. Rest for 2-3 min to recover completely. Take a sip or two water. Sit, if you have to. I would rather have you walk up and down. Catch your breath and be in control again. Repeat 5km twice more in the time suggested above. 

Wednesday: Repeat exercises and drills done on Monday. 30-45 min easy jog.

Thursday: 2 km repeat intervals in 9min 40sec - 10min. Do 6 to 8 repeats with 2-3 min long rest between repeats. All repeats need to be at the same pace throughout. Remember you need to maintain the same pace throughout all the repeats. 

Friday: Today is an active rest day. Do 30-45 min jog. Please don’t exert yourself. Simply focus on time on feet.

Saturday: Repeat exercises and drills from Monday. 45-60 min easy run with focus only on time and not on speed or distance. Take walk breaks for a min every 15 minutes. I want you feeling as fresh as possible after this run because tomorrow is a very important run.

Sunday: Today is the longest run before Mumbai marathon. Just remember to run only for time and not for speed or distance. Depending on your sexual preferences, hot guys or gals on the course might tempt you to run faster, but please hold yourself back. 
Walk - run for 3hrs 30min to 4hrs. Its ok if you take walk breaks every hr for 2 min. Idea is to be as fresh as you can be every time you restart. 

Please be careful not to pick up an injury unnecessarily.