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  • Writer's pictureTommy Trees

When Talent Meets Hard Work




Josh took me out for a birthday meal in November 2022. He was feeling a bit unmotivated with his current weightlifting programme and was finding it pretty monotonous. So like any good friend would do, I convinced him to enter a Spring Marathon. Our original goal in November was to run a sub 3:15 marathon.


Long story short, after training for 4 months he went from zero mileage to running a 2:50 Marathon in Rome.


We’ve had a huge amount of people asking how he did it, so Josh has kindly agreed to let me share his last 11 weeks of his Rome Marathon training block to show what’s possible with the right mindset, work ethic and a decent sprinkle of talent. I think it will shock most people how fast he went off such low mileage.


Key points about Josh:

  • He is an active person

  • He cut out alcohol for the whole 12 weeks

  • He rolled and stretched for 30-45 mins a day and got weekly massages

  • He committed 100% of his life to this.


Key points about the training:

  • As this was Josh’s first marathon block I didn’t want to push the weekly mileage over 50km/week.

  • All the runs were done at 2-10 degrees celsius on a flat tarmac surface.

  • For the last 6 weeks we decided to cut out intervals completely as the hips kept flaring up. We decided to prioritise the long run and do them at race pace. Looking back, I think this was the smartest decision we made throughout the entire block.

  • We used the elliptical at least once a week for extra cardio


This is the last 11 Weeks of Josh’s Marathon Plan in a simplified version. He had already completed 6 weeks of training prior to this point. Building from 0km/week to 30km/week.


January 2nd-8th (10 weeks out)

Session 1: 40mins easy

Session 2: Intervals: 4 x 1600m at 4:00/km

Session 3 3: 70mins long run

Weekly Mileage: 27km


January 9th-15th (9 weeks out)

Session 1: 40mins easy

Session 2: Intervals: 2 x 800m at 3:50/km, 2000m at 4:00/km, 2 x 800m at 3:50/km

Session 3: 90mins easy

Weekly Mileage: 32km


January 16th-22nd (8 weeks out)

Session 1: 40mins easy

Session 2: Intervals: 5 x 1000m at 3:45/km

Session 3: 105mins easy

Weekly Mileage: 40km


January 23rd-29th (7 weeks out)

Session 1: 60mins elliptical

Session 2: Intervals: 2 x 1600m at 3:50/km, 2 x 1200m at 3:45/km, 2 x 800m at 3:40/km

Session 3 : 60mins easy

Session 4: 2 hour long run

Weekly Mileage: 47km


January 30th-5th Feb (6 weeks out)

Session 1: 40mins Elliptical Interval

Session 2: Intervals: 5 x 1500m at 3:45/km

Session 3: 60mins easy

Session 4: 1 hour 45mins long run

Weekly Mileage: 50km


February 6th-12th (5 weeks out)

De-Load Week

Session 1: 30mins easy

Session 2: 60mins easy

Session 3: 60mins easy

Weekly Mileage: 31km


February 13th-19th ( 4 weeks out)

Session 1: 50mins elliptical

Session 2: 60mins elliptical

Session 3: 60mins easy

Session 4: 28km at 4:05/km

Weekly Mileage: 41km


February 20th-26th (3 weeks out)

Session 1: 50mins elliptical

Session 2: 45mins easy

Session 3: 32km run at 4:05/km

Weekly Mileage: 40km


February 27th-5th March (2 weeks out)

Session 1: 30mins elliptical

Session 2: 45mins easy

Session 3: 34km at 4:04/km

Weekly Mileage: 44km


March 6th-12th (1 week out)

Session 1: 30mins elliptical

Session 2: 40mins easy

Session 3: 18km at 4:10/km

Weekly Mileage: 26km


March 13th-19th (Race Week)

Session 1: 30mins elliptical

Session 2: 30mins elliptical

Session 3: 25mins easy

Marathon: 2 hours 50 minutes


You will be happy to hear that Josh has caught the Marathon bug. He will be training for a 2:44 Marathon next. He’s currently eyeing up the New York & LA Marathon. I truly believe that Josh has the potential to be a future sub 2:30 runner!




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