Training plans for The Marsden March

The following guides outline two progressive programmes designed to prepare you for the 14-mile route. Feel free to adapt them to suit your specific needs, targets and limitations.

Download the PDF of the training guide

Pacing and routes

When we suggest a slow pace we mean one that you are comfortable with for a long duration. A moderate pace is a little quicker but you should still be able to maintain a conversation. A fast past is quicker still and it would be difficult to maintain this for extended periods.

It doesn’t matter which days of the week you train on, though we recommend you take recovery days following tough sessions, particularly the long session (Sunday on our schedule). On this walk try to pick an interesting route, perhaps off-road with varying terrain.

14-mile walk – training plan for beginners

Follow this plan if walking non-stop at a moderate pace for an hour is too challenging for you at the moment.

WeekDayActivity and pace
1 and 2
(19 Dec-1 Jan)
Tuesday 30mins slow
Thursday 30mins moderate
Sunday 3-4 miles slow
3 and 4
(2-15 Jan)
Tuesday 15mins moderate, 5mins slow, repeat x3 (60mins total)
Thursday 45mins moderate
Sunday 4-5 miles slow
5 and 6
(16-29 Jan)
Tuesday 20mins moderate, 5mins slow, repeat x3 (75mins total)
Thursday 1 hour moderate
Sunday 5–6 miles slow
7 and 8
(30 Jan–12 Feb)
Tuesday 10mins fast, 5mins slow, repeat x5 (75mins total)
Thursday 1 hour 15mins moderate
Sunday 6–8 miles slow
9 and 10
(13-26 Feb)
Tuesday Tuesday 15mins fast, 5mins slow, repeat x4 (80mins total)
Thursday 1 hour 30mins moderate
Sunday 8–10 miles slow
11 and 12
(27 Feb-12 Mar)
Tuesday 20mins moderate, 5mins fast, repeat x 3 (75mins total)
Thursday 1 hour 45mins moderate
Sunday 10–12 miles slow
Week before
(13-19 Mar)
Tuesday 30mins moderate
Thursday 45mins slow
  Sunday 19 March – The Marsden March

14-mile walk – training plan for intermediate walkers

Follow this plan if walking non-stop at a moderate pace for an hour is currently achievable.

WeekDayActivity and pace
1 and 2
(19 Dec-1 Jan)
Tuesday 45 mins slow
Thursday 45 mins moderate
Sunday 4 miles slow
3 and 4
(2-15 Jan)
Tuesday 15 mins moderate, 5 mins fast, repeat x3 (60 mins total)
Thursday 1 hour moderate
Sunday 5 miles slow
5 and 6
(16-29 Jan)
Tuesday 20 mins moderate, 5 mins fast, repeat x3 (75 mins total)
Thursday 1 hour 15 mins moderate
Sunday 6 miles slow
7 and 8
(30 Jan-12 Feb)
Tuesday 10 mins fast, 5 mins moderate, repeat x5 (75 mins total)
Thursday 1 hour 30 mins moderate
Sunday 8 miles slow
9 and 10
(13-26 Feb)
Tuesday 15 mins fast, 5 mins moderate, repeat x4 (80 mins total)
Thursday 1 hour 45 mins moderate
Sunday 10 miles slow
11 and 12
(27 Feb-12 Mar)
Tuesday 20 mins moderate, 5 mins fast, repeat x3 (75 mins total)
Thursday 2 hours moderate
Sunday 12 miles slow
Week before
(13-19 Mar)
Tuesday 30 mins moderate
Thursday 45 mins slow
  Sunday 19 March – The Marsden March

Training for the 5-mile walk

Walkers on the 5-mile route will also benefit from following a progressive training plan like the ones above. Start gently and over shorter durations, and gradually build your training up over a number of weeks. Generally, you should aim to have completed at least two walks of an hour or more before the event itself.

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Thank you to Headstart Sports

This training guide was kindly written by Mark Smith, Director of Headstart Sports and a long-term supporter and fundraiser.