The programmes are built to work around your life, so you don’t have to do everything exactly as set out; you can switch days around to suit your schedule. Getting enough rest is probably the most important way to keep fit and healthy and ensure you’re as ready as you can be on race day.
You should make sure whenever you do your long run that it’s followed by a rest day. And listen to your body. If you’re exhausted and other parts of your life are suffering, ease up on the running, get a couple of early nights and begin again when you’re feeling refreshed and motivated.
The programmes will take you towards, but not necessarily up to, your full event distance. The idea is that your fitness and ability progress steadily so that you’re ready to complete the full distance by race day. The atmosphere and cheering crowds on the day will help to push you on for that extra mile or so.
How to choose