Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K Training Plans

customized for you and the race.

get started | $19.99
  • Smarter Training Plans Smarter Plans
  • Safe Training Plans Fewer Injuries
  • Successful Training Plans Better Results

Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K Training Plans

Custom Training Plans are designed around you and the Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K course. We take into account variables that no other training plans can match because we know how important it is to achieve your specific Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K goals.

  • Expert Training Plans

    expert plans

    Developed by certified coaches with time-tested results.

  • Runner Specific Training Plans

    Runner Specific

    We know you’re unique. Your training plan should match.

  • Race Specific Training Plans

    race Specific

    Race profile, time of year, and altitude all factor into our plans.

  • Affordable Training Plans


    Custom plans shouldn’t cost more than the race itself.


In 1973, 59 entrants gathered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to take part in the first Shamrock Marathon. Since then, the events have expanded to fill an entire weekend in mid-March. Along with the marathon, there's also a half marathon and an 8K race. The Shamrock Marathon is now the oldest road race in Virginia Beach. More than 25,000 competitors come to race at least one distance. If you're signed up, let Custom Training Plans help you prepare. We offer Shamrock Marathon training plans, Shamrock Half Marathon training plans, and Shamrock 8K training plans that are completely customizable.

Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K Training Plan

The weekend kicks off on Saturday with the 8K, which starts on Pacific Avenue and 30th Street. The route weaves up and down the streets of the neighborhoods near the boardwalk and ends at the marathon’s finish line. The route is flat and fast, and the early spring conditions on the Virginia coast are generally quite friendly, with the average high temperature reaching only 60 degrees. This makes any of the Shamrock Marathon races attractive for beginners, particularly the 8K. Whether you’re using the 8K as a warmup for the next day or you’re stepping up from a 5K distance, training using a Shamrock 8K training program is wise.

The same advice holds true for those who are running the half or full marathon on Sunday. Using a CTP Shamrock Marathon training plan or CTP Shamrock Half Marathon training plan gives you a comprehensive strategy that builds the strength you need to finish all 13.1 or 26.2 miles. Each plan can be personalized to fit your current fitness level, helping you to avoid the injuries that can be caused by using a generic plan. At the start, the marathon and half marathon competitors will line up together on Atlantic Avenue. The course heads north from the Virginia Beach resort area and weaves through neighborhood streets lined with cheering spectators. The course then winds along First Landing State Park on its way to the Joint Expeditionary Base at Ft. Story. There, participants will pass Cape Henry Lighthouse – the United States’ oldest standing lighthouse. The course then heads south toward the finish line and the end of the half marathon course.

The marathon route continues across Rudee Inlet through stately neighborhoods. When the route reaches Camp Pendleton, participants return north before finishing on the world-famous Virginia Beach Boardwalk. The final miles can be windy due to the Atlantic Ocean breezes, so it’s important that you have enough gas in the tank to push through and make it to the finish line. At Custom Training Plans, our 20-week Shamrock Marathon training programs and 12-week Shamrock Half Marathon training programs can help athletes of all levels get ready for the race. We also offer 20-week couch-to-half marathon and 24-week couch-to-marathon training plans that provide four to eight weeks of pre-conditioning to help your body get ready to train safely.

Sometimes you need more than just the luck of the Irish to get you to the finish line. Let Custom Training Plans help you get ready for the Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K race with comprehensive training plans that are customized just for you.

Here’s what you’ll receive in your plan package:

  • Daily Plans


  • Pace Chart

    Pace chart

  • Lift Workouts

    Lift workouts

  • Coaching Letter

    Letter from your coach

  • Mobility Workouts

    Mobility workouts

  • RPE Chart

    RPE chart

  • Running Podcast


  • Motivational Emails

    Weekly motivation email

How Training Plans Work

How it works

  1. Complete our proprietary runner questionnaire so we can get to know you better.
  2. Your custom Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K Training Plan plan is built based on advanced analytics with expert coaching oversight.
  3. Receive your custom Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K Training Plan training plan, lifting + mobility guide, a letter from our coaches, and more within 24 hours.
  4. Finish the Shamrock Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K Training Plan with confidence.

Our method

  1. Certified Coaches

    With the expertise of USATF certified coaches and physical therapists, we built an advanced model to weigh the effects of runner-specific variables on training outcomes.

  2. Custom Race Profile

    We analyzed unique characteristics of hundreds of races across the country to build a “race profile” into our model that accounts for elevation gain, altitude, time of year, and more.

  3. Training Plan Model

    Our model generates a unique training plan for you and your race, and all plans are reviewed by a coach and hand-tweaked before they make their way to you.