What:: Three core weekly workouts, three easy days, one rest day.
"The goal is to build up to two hours of running," says former 2:09 marathoner Benji Durden. "If you're aiming for race distances up through the half-marathon, there's no reason to go longer than that."
Durden has his runners increase their long runs by 10 minutes each week, but with a five-minute decrease every third week (i.e., 65 minutes, 75, 70, 80, 90, 85, 95, 105, 100, and so on until you reach 120 minutes).
Start with four trips to the top and work up to 10 or 12 at close to 5K effort. (Not pace. Effort.) Or run 45 minutes to an hour on a hilly road or forest trail and surge on the uphills.
What else: The other four days? On Mondays, either rest completely or do a cross-training activity at an easy effort for 30 to 45 minutes. Go for slow 25- to 40-minute runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays. And be sure to take one day off completely preferably Friday, after a busy week. On one of your easy-run days each week throughout the year, toss in some pickups.
Regular Guy recommendation: There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all training scheme. It takes a pretty strong runner to do these three core workouts week after week. If it's too much for you and you're not recovering enough between core workouts, then spread them out over a 10-day or even a two-week period.