Monday, 12 October 2009

Planning to succeed

I spent much of Saturday afternoon sorting out my marathon training plan for Paris.

I know its early but there was method in my madness. For one thing I wanted to get it sorted so I'd know what I needed to do in the intervening period to prepare and for the other, more practical and pressing reason, of wanting to know on what dates I should plan and enter races as these tend to be scarce in the winter so fill up very quickly - in some cases within a couple of days.

I’ve very closely based the training on the Runners’ World 3:30 plan with the odd allowance for the practicalities of races and local training.

As I typed it into a spreadsheet it was a bit of a shock as the plan calls for:

- 16 weeks training
- 6 runs most weeks, occasionally 5
- Long runs of 18 miles (2), 20 miles (4) and 22 miles (1)
- 2 speed sessions a week
- 4 races
- 4 weeks where the weekly mileage tops 50 miles

Compare & contrast with this year's Paris training with it's 3 runs a week for 12 weeks, no speedwork, no races, one long run of 18 miles and two of 20, and peak mileage of just 28.2 miles in a week!

Since then I’ve become more comfortable with it. For one thing I’m over the initial shock but I’ve also acknowledged a few benefits particularly compared to last year:

- I’ll be a whole lot lighter than I was last year (nearly 3.5 stone compared with the start) hence the training will be a whole lot easier
- Last year I hadn’t run for 8 weeks prior whereas this year I should have had a year’s solid running behind me
- I’ll already be used to running 30+ miles a week so my base is far higher
- I’ve still got 10 weeks to prepare for the training
- The training doesn’t get out of the 30s until the 5th week and there are another 4 weeks after that that don’t reach 40 (if you include the first 6 days of the marathon week!)
- Between racing and club runs I’m already doing more speedwork than the plan entails - that and the LSR pace will actually come down

Looking at it that way and the gap between now and where I’ll need to be doesn’t seem so great.

I’ve tweaked the plan for the next 10 weeks a little bit too. I’m tied to some degree by the 4 races in that time and the need for rest before and recovery afterwards but as it stands I’ll have:

- 6 runs of 12 miles or more which will help acclimatise me to the marathon LSRs a little better
- 3 easier weeks, including the one immediately before marathon training starts
- Topped 30 miles in 8/11 weeks preceding marathon training
- Become used to running 5 times a week with a couple of weeks with 6

I’m also going to try and have a decent stretching routine at least 4 times a week and preferably daily to try and clear up the psoas problem and any other niggles prior to the marathon training starting.

No comments: