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22-Week Faster Walking Marathon Program

If you really want to break six hours walking a marathon, the key will be speedy walking technique. But you don't have to dramatically alter your training program, though you have to add a little more intensity as the race approaches if speed is an important goal for you. The following 22-week program makes a few adjustments to the 18-week program, by repeating weeks 12 through 15 and boosting some of the long Saturday walks.

Week Easy 1 Tues. Easy 2 Thurs. Saturday
Progressively longer endurance walks. (Walk in the p.m. if Sunday walk is an hour or more.)
Sunday
Either a 20 to 40 min. recovery walk, or combines with Saturday for more endurance.
1       40 min. 40 min.
2         50 min. 40 min.
3         1 hr. 40 min.
4         1 hr. 15 min. 1 hr
5         1 hr. 30 min. 20 min.
6         1 hr. 20 min. 1 hr.
7         2 hr. 20 min.
8         1 hr. 30 min. 1 hr.
9         Long hilly hike; at least 3 hrs. 20 min.
10         1 hr. 40 min. 1 hr. 20 min.
11         3 hr. 30 min. 20 min.
12         1 hr. 45 min. 1 hr. 15 min.
13         All-day hike; off-road for more than 4 hours 20 min.
14         5 mile to 10k road racefor speed! 1 hr.
15         4 hrs. 30 min. 20 min.
16         1 hr. 45 min. 1 hr. 15 min.
17         All-day hike; off-road for more than 5 hours 20 min.
18         10k to 10-mile road racefor speed! 1 hr.
19         5 hrs. 20 min.
20         2 hrs. 45 min. 1 hr.
21         1 hr. 15 min. 40 min.
22         Race weekend! Walk 26.2 miles(and HAVE FUN)

Adapted from "The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness," by Mark Fenton (Lyons Press, 2001).