Marathon training can take up to 12 weeks to complete. You need a buildup (base) training phase and then a specific marathon training phase. I go 200 kilometers (124 miles) a week or more when I get ready for a marathon. At the end of this heavy training, you will need a tapering period of two to three weeks. I do a minimum of 10 to 12 long runs in that period. Four to six of those will be around 40 kilometers (24.8 miles), the rest between 25 and 30 kilometers (15 to 18 miles).
I also include interval sessions on the track (two times a week); some hill runs (once a week); tempo runs (twice a week) and recovery runs. Four or three weeks before my marathon race, I normally race a half-marathon to test myself. When doing marathon training you need to take lots of rest, get sports massages, consume lots of liquids, eat lots of good food and focus more as the load of training is taxing on the body. -nytimes
MY COMMENT: Hendrick Ramaala is a self-coached S. African that won the NYC Marathon in 2004.