0-26.2 in 27 Days – How I Trained For a Marathon in 1 Month

Do you envision crossing the finish line to your very own 26.2 mile race? Do you dread the 5 to 6 months recommended to prepare for the marathon? I hear […]

Patrick Hitches MarathonDo you envision crossing the finish line to your very own 26.2 mile race? Do you dread the 5 to 6 months recommended to prepare for the marathon?
I hear your call to the non-running Gods. Taking long runs on my weekends for close to half a year doesn’t exactly sound enticing in my book. Not to mention the detrimental impact that much running could have on the body.

(ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to popular demand, I’ve been working on a 2 Month Marathon program! Once I polish it off, I’m going to release it to 100 people. If you want to be the first to know, you’ll want to fill this out.)

With the insight and programing of IronMan stud, Boston marathon qualifier and ultramarathoner Jaques Tisne, I executed what is potentially the most ridiculous 27 day marathon training program ever dreamed up. I literally went from a running base of zero to a full marathon in just 27 days. In the last 5 years I may have ran a TOTAL of 10 miles. That’s an average of 2 miles a year. No exaggeration. Running has had absolutely no part in my training program. I consistently tell clients that unless you have goals to run races, there are plenty of other options to train the cardio energy system that have significantly less impact and detriment on the body.

But if you’re looking to run a marathon, obviously you need to actually run. If you would rather run 26.2 miles in the other direction at the mere thought of training for 5-6 months to a marathon, you’re in good company. With a little bit of crazy and a lot of strategy and drive, I give you the 27 Days to Marathon!

Warning: I highly do NOT recommend you attempt this training program. Unless you’re both crazy and even more crazy, then feel free to give it a whirl. Walking the fine line of pushing the limits and body injury was a constant throughout this entire process. Again, I do NOT recommend this in any way. This is simply an insight into what I did to make this marathon a reality.

Background On Me

4 Reasons I should NOT have completed the race:

  1. Haven’t ran consistently in 10+ years. Even then, I would typically run 2 miles.
  2. I was 1 1/2 months into a “bulk” and was 25lbs overweight when I started the training. Timing wasn’t on my side :).
  3. I’ve only ran 3 races in my life and I was in 7th grade for the first and 9th for the other 2. 10K being the longest.
  4. I train my body to move weight and be aesthetically fit, NOT to run.

4 Reasons why it’s no surprise I finished:

  1. I’m a bit crazy.
  2. Putting myself through extreme situations has become commonplace in my life. (ie. bodybuilding, hiking 14ers in CO, 16 months in a warzone, walking 300 miles down the east coast, etc)
  3. When I put my mind to something, it eventually happens. Not always right away, but eventually it will happen.
  4. And lastly, again, I’m a little bit on the crazy side.

The 27 Day Marathon Training Program

jpeg of Original Training Sheet

Day of Training The Plan What I Executed Style of Cardio
Week 1
Day 1 5 Mile Easy Run 5 Miles Easy Recovery Run
Day 2 8 x 800’s 6 x 800’s Speed: Track Work
Day 3 8 Miles 5 Mile Tread Mill Moderate Distance @ Aerobic Intensity
Day 4 10 Miles Took Off Tempo
Day 5 Off Off Off
Day 6 1 HR X Train 45 Min Spinning X Train @ Aerobic Intensity
Day 7 20 Miles 14 Miles Long Run
Week 2
Day 8 6 Miles Took Off Easy Recovery Run
Day 9 10 x 800’s (Yasso) 45 Min Spinning Speed: Track Work
Day 10 10 Miles 10 x 800’s (Yasso) Moderate Distance @ Aerobic Intensity
Day 11 13 Miles 7 Miles Tempo
Day 12 Off Off Off
Day 13 1 Hr X Train 1 Hr Spinning X Train @ Aerobic Intensity
Day 14 22 Miles 16 Miles Long Run
Week 3
Day 15 5 Miles Took Off Easy Recovery Run
Day 16 5 x 1 Mile Took Off Speed: Track Work
Day 17 6 Miles 5 x 1 Mile Moderate Distance @ Aerobic Intensity
Day 18 8 Miles 7 Miles Tempo
Day 19 Off Off Off
Day 20 1 Hr 1 Hr Spinning 1 Hr Spinning
Day 21 15 Miles Took Off Long Run
Week 4
Day 22 5 Miles 5 Miles Easy Recovery Run
Day 23 Off Off Off
Day 24 5 Miles Off Moderate Distance @ Aerobic Intensity
Day 25 6 Miles 3 Miles Tempo
Day 26 Off Off Off
Day 27 Off Off Off
Day 28 26.2 Mile Run!!! 26.2 Miles!!! 4:49:46 RACE DAY!!!

Listening To My Body

The deviation from the original plan had EVERYTHING to do with listening to my body and taking rest when needed. I took quite many ice baths, rubbed myself down in traumeel and rolled my body out on the foam roller daily. I also spent some quality time with a fellow trainer who specialized in Pilates. All necessary to keep my body limber through prehab and rehab while flirting with achilles breakdown and hip malfunction. In all honesty, my body was a mess the entire month!

The Resistance Training

Contrary to what may be considered appropriate, I didn’t deviate from my weight training at all. 1-2 hour Olympic weightlifting 3 days a week was consistent through week 3 of marathon training. Even with the quad blasting style this style of training imposes, I didn’t want to lose any of the gains I had made in the previous months… So obviously, I just tossed the marathon training in addition to the norm of my weight training :). The week of the race I backed off the weights and focused on recovery for race day.

Looking Back

There isn’t much I would have done differently. The key to succeeding in this training was understanding how far I could push my bodies limit and knowing when to pull back on the reigns. Teetering the fine line of pretending to be a badass and becoming a marathoning casualty was an every day reality.

I finished the Marine Corp Marathon in 4:49:46. Not the fastest time by any means, but I finished. I can cross it off the impossible list and move forward with the other wild things I want to do with my life.

What Should You Do?

No matter what you do, get after it. Life is too short to let slip away and all you’ve accomplished was 40 years of working for the man. Make your goals and dreams the number 1 priority. No one else is going to ensure you do the things you want to do other than the person you see in the mirror. At the end of your life you can only hold yourself accountable for the things you did or did not do. So get after it!

***ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to popular demand, I’ve brought on a marathon coach to give you solid insights on how to crush marathons with ease! We have a full fledged training program nearly ready to do. Once it’s polished off, we’ll let you know. If you want to be the first to know, fill out the form below!

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