Stockholm is officially 16 WEEKS away which seem like ages . . . but I remember last year with my Paris marathon, the time flew by and suddenly it was 6 weeks away and I was P-A-N-I-C-K-I-N-G.
I tried to follow the “run less run faster” training program last year, which I didn’t really stick to. However, I am going to try it again for this marathon as I like their philosophy of training. It is designed to produce optimal results with running LESS. They focus on the concept of 3 quality runs a week. You then supplement the 3 runs with 2 days of strength/cross training/ conditioning training. 3 runs a week isn’t actually that much running if you are training for long distance. However, they feel the cumulative training effect of the 3 “quality” runs and additional conditional training, over a period of 12-16 weeks, will improve endurance, leg speed and lactate-threshold running pace. They state that many runners focus primarily on clocking up miles, do not allow sufficient recovery and will occur overuse injuries through running repetitively. In essence, successful endurance training is more than running.
When choosing a training program, it is completely individual based, there isn’t “one size fits all” marathon training program. That is why I feel it is important to chose a program that you are MOST likely to keep up with. For me, as a junior doctor, my work/life balance is rather hectic. Especially as I am currently working in A&E #nolife and majority of my time I am either at work or sleeping! So the likelihood of trying to fit in more than 3 runs a week is just not realistic.
A Break Down of my Training Program . . .
I have sketched out a 16 week training program, following the run less run faster program, each week compromises of 3 quality runs and 2 conditional training days. The 3 runs are split into:
Run 1: Intervals/ Track repeats – involves running short distances of 400 metres to 1200 metes at high speed with brief recovery periods. The aim of interval training is to improve VO2 max running speed. I live next to Southwark Park in South East London so this is ideal to do interval training and means I dont need to go far!
Run 2: Tempo run – begins with an easy pace building it up to a faster tempo phase. The aim of the tempo run is improve endurance by raising lactate threshold.
Run 3: Long run – involves steady running from 21km to 36km, over the 16 week period. The long run will improve endurance by raising aerobic metabolism.
Conditional Training: Yoga – I have chosen yoga as my other form of training as I really enjoy the practice and think it complements recovery from running. Yoga will help improve flexibility and strength. I love YogawithAdriene Youtube videos and it is so easy to do at home. All you need is a yoga matt, your laptop and press play! Also I have recently discovered the London Buddhist Centre, in Bethnal Green, who offer yoga classes. Their yoga classes focus mainly around meditation and mindfulness, instead of perfecting the actual yoga moves. I find the classes very liberating, so rarely do we try to switch off and focus purely on our breathing and mind.
Summary of WEEK 16 . . .
With the start of February, I was slightly concerned about my lack of commitment to training. I hadn’t run more than 10km since end of November. Last week I went on a long run with a friend who is training for her first ever marathon #genevamarathon. She wanted to do 21 km [half marathon distance] so I said I probably would not be able to run the whole distance and leave her to carry on at some point. HOWEVER, I ran the whole 21 km and quite enjoyed it! I could have in fact pushed myself more but my friend was struggling the last few miles. It made me realise that currently my fitness is quite good and I have a good baseline endurance.
This week’s training went well- I managed to do 3 runs and 3 yoga sessions. My tempo run I missed and instead ran with a friend. I am going to be flexible with my training program as some weeks I will not be able to commit to the 3 runs, due to my work shift pattern.
Intervals: I did x8 400 metres with 2 min rest interval. You can see my split times below. I think I am going to find this run the hardest- i was exhausted at the end!
Long run: 24 km at an average pace of 5″38/ km. I was pleased with this run. I ran at a fairly consistent pace. I love running along the Thames river, counting down the bridges as I run along! I did find the last few km hard and could feel the lactic acid building up in my legs. I only took one fuel snack with me and I could have done with another one for the last few km.
Tempo run: missed. Instead ran 16km with a friend around Greenwich Park and Blackheath. Average pace 5″37/ km
Happy Running guys!