Training program
​by Alain Bordeleau​

Olympic Athlete, distance runner and coach. Alain still owns four Quebec records, including the marathon in 2h 14m 19s.

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Strength training for runners
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Terminology and programs explanation



You are aware that running represents a potential risk of injury. It is highly recommended that you seek the approval of your doctor before starting any training program.
By using one of the training programs offered on the Marathon P’tit Train du Nord web page, you release all responsibility of Le Marathon and its specialists. In addition, you waive all claims or lawsuits that may be directed against the Marathon or its specialists. French text will prevail.

Programs explanation

These programs are aimed at people who easily run more than 60 minutes continuously, and doing it, for at least one year.
Program A : 3 to 5 sessions per week
Program B : 4 to 6 sessions per week (with interval sessions)
Important : For best results, we recommend that you respect the intensities asked for each training.

Term definitions

E: Endurance – (170 – Age = E) Example: 170 – 40 year old = 130 (THR: 130puls/min) *
QE: Quality Endurance – (190 – Age = QE) Example: 190 – 40 year old = 150 (THR: 150puls/min)
Inter: Intervals – (210 – Age = Inter) Example: 210 – 40 year old = 170 (THR: 170puls/min)
* Target heart rate


Top line of the grid: Week intensity (Green = Easy / Yellow = Medium / Red = Difficult)
Last line of the grid: Following week intensity + day and type of training.

The suggested heart rates have been established on the premise that an individual’s maximum average frequency is 220 at the age of 20.
Note-1: The maximum heart rate may vary depending on the individual.
Note-2: Target heart rates may vary depending on the individuals.

Interval Training (Example)

E : 15 min  – Inter : 4 x  3 x 200m – Rec. : 2 min – Inter series : 4 min – E : 15 min

Warm up

  • E: 15 min
  • Run 15 minutes endurance.
  • Follow with a few light stretches (5 to 7 minutes)
  • Do 3 to 4 sprints – Distance from 50 to 70 meters at 60% of your maximum effort.
  • Walk the same distance between each sprint.
  • Take your breath a few minutes… You are ready to start!


Inter – 4 x 3 x 200m
Four (4) sets of three (3) times 200m.
At the end of each repetition, your heart rate should reach (210 – your age). You must provide a constant effort throughout the workout. The effort and the speed should be equal for all repetitions.
For some workouts, you will be asked to run at a specific pace. Example: 5 km pace.
Rec.: 2 min
After the 1st and 2nd repetition, take two (2) minutes recovery.
Inter séries: 4 min (series)
After the third repetition, take four (4) minutes recovery.
Important : Recovery time can be: walk, easy run or alternating run and walk.
At the end of the recovery period, your heart rate should be in the range of 100 to 110 beats per minute.
If the asked recovery time is too short, do not hesitate to take extra time.
If it is too long, you can run slowly to keep your heart rate at 100-110.

Cool down

E: 15 min
Run 15 minutes endurance. Feel free to run at a slower pace than your usual endurance pace.

Fartlek (Example)

Fartlek – Time: 75 min – 6 x 45 sec – fast pace

Fartlek means change of rhythm.
Time: 75 min
Means total duration of the workout
6 x 45 sec – fast pace
You have to do 75 minutes endurance run with six (6) changes of rhythm of 45 seconds each.
During rhythm changes, you must run faster in order to elevate your heart rate to reach the same values (or close) as for intervals: 210 – your age. After each change of rhythm: you can walk and run very slowly before gradually resuming your pace of endurance.

Quality endurance (Example)

E: 15 min – QE: 20 min – E: 15 min

E: 15 min – 15 minutes endurance run. Your heart rate should reach 170 – your age.
QE: 20 min – 20 minutes of quality endurance. Your heart rate should reach 190 – your age.
E: 15 min – 15 minutes endurance run. Your heart rate should reach 170 – your age.
Note: All the training is done continuously, while respecting the requested heart rates.


After each endurance run, it is recommended to do 3 to 4 sprints between 50 and 70% of your maximum effort, over a distance of 50 to 70 meters.


October 4, 5 and 6, 2024

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35km north of Montreal