Twenty-two years ago, the Deseret News/Pioneer Days Marathon was introduced to Utah. Some 73 runners showed up for what was the state's first marathon; only 43 finished. Since then, the race - now known as the Deseret News-KSL Radio Marathon - has survived the coming and going of the running boom and several rival marathons to become an annual summer rite.

The popularity of marathoning in the U.S. can be charted in the Deseret News race, which peaked with 1,493 entries in 1980 and then declined steadily for the next nine years. For the past four years, the number of entries has leveled off at about 400.The race seems to have settled comfortably into middle age.

The 22nd running of the Deseret News-KSL Radio Marathon will be held July 24, beginning at the usual time (5:15 a.m.) and place (Washington Park in Parleys Canyon), following the usual course (the Pioneer Trail down Emigration Canyon, eventually reaching Main Street and the Days of '47 Parade route), and finishing in the usual place (Liberty Park).

Why bring up all of this now? If you plan to run in the race, it's time to begin training for it. The marathon is now three months away, which is about how long it takes to prepare properly for the 26.2-mile distance - provided you've already been running with some regularity.

To assist your training efforts, the Deseret News is reprinting a marathon training schedule - the same one we've printed for years. You could say it's back by popular demand, judging by the number of requests we receive to reprint it.

The schedule was designed years ago by Joe Henderson of Runner's World Magazine. He believes anyone can finish a marathon, and indeed the Deseret News race has been completed by seven-year-olds and 70-year-olds; by 220-pounders and 57-pounders.

The training schedule assumes that you are already running three to five miles per day. If you are doing less, you probably will have to lay down a better foundation.

Here are some other tips from Henderson:

- You have to reach the point where you are averaging at least a fourth of the marathon, or about 61/2 miles, daily.

- You should run longer before you run faster. Speed isn't the most precious commodity. Distance is. And run regularly.

- Don't run the same distances or times every day. Improvement comes quicker when you mix long, medium and short runs. It takes the body time to recover, so you should follow every hard run with an easy day or two.

- Run longer once a week. Test yourself. Extend your distance by going up to twice your average daily distance or time. But stop at that and take two days of easy running afterward.

- Progress slowly and steadily. Add about 10 percent to each day's distance or time each week.

Training for a marathon means making a daily time commitment, but really your training usually shouldn't require more than an hour a day. An hour is enough for anyone except the best competitive racers, and it's certainly adequate for someone who is only concerned with finishing.

The marathon, of course, won't be the only race held on July 24. The 10,000-meter race, now in its eighth year, also will take place that morning, beginning at 6:15 in Research Park (it also finishes in Liberty Park). The 10K was selected by Runner's World magazine as one of the top road races in the country.


Marathon training schedule

1. Choose the marathon you want to run, then begin the program exactly three months earlier.

2. The schedule presumes that you're starting from a base of about a half-hour of running a day. If you're significantly below that, don't begin this program until you've reached that basic level.

3. If you're running more than 35 minutes a day, start later and at the appropriate place in the schedule. There is, of course, no reason to back down.

4. Typically, the weeks will run from Monday (Day 1) through Sunday (Day 7), with the longest run on Saturday. But weeks can start and end anywhere you want.

5. One day a week - labeled "optional" - is left open for rest or as a makeup day if you've come up short for the week.

6. The entire schedule has alternating long and short days to allow cycles of work and recovery. They're planned on about a 1-2-3 ratio; a short run is one part, a medium-long run two parts, and the longest three parts.

7. The program calls for a five-week buildup, leveling off at an average of an hour a day for seven weeks and then a one-week easing off before the marathon.

8. In the next-to-last (11th) week of full training, you're asked to go at least a half-hour longer than ever before. This is a confidence builder.

9. You are trying to accumulate an average of an hour a day for an eight-week period (all averages are figured on seven-day weeks). This theoretically gives you the ability to run for four hours or to race for three hours.

10. Three months includes 13 weeks, and we give only 12 here. We hope you aren't superstitious, because the 13th is race week. "Taper" all week with runs averaging about half of normal - 30 minutes a day.

11. Do all your training about the pace you expect to maintain for the full marathon at the end of the program.

12. You may run a race of 5-10 miles in the second month instead of the long runs. But this is not a requirement.

Day Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

1 25 min. 30 min. 35 min. 35 min.

2 50 min. 55 min. 1:00 1:10

3 25 min. 30 min. 35 min. 35 min.

4 50 min. 55 min. 1:00 1:10

5 25 min. 30 min. 35 min. 35 min.

6 1:10 1:20 1:30 1:45

7 optional optional optional optional

Avg. 35 min. 40 min. 45 min. 50 min.

Day Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8

1 40 min. 40 min. 40 min. 40 min.

2 1:20 1:30 1:30 1:30

3 40 min. 40 min. 40 min. 40 min.

4 1:20 1:30 1:30 1:30

5 40 min. 40 min. 40 min. 40 min.

6 1:45 2:00 2:00 2:00

7 optional optional optional optional

Avg. 55 min. 1:00 1:00 1:00

Day Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12

1 40 min. 40 min. 40 min. 40 min.

2 1:30 1:30 1:30 1:30

3 40 min. 40 min. 40 min. 40 min.

4 1:30 1:30 1:30 1:30

5 40 min. 40 min. 40 min. 40 min.

6 2:00 2:00 2:30 2:00

7 optional optional optional optional

Avg. 1:00 1:00 1:05 1:00