As the weeks go by you really will be surprised how easy and how rewarding it is – and the elation we will feel when we cross that line is something that 99% of the population will never experience.
Over the 14 week schedule, we will be running at four paces – easy, steady, tempo and fast. Easy and steady will represent about 80% of our running. The marathon is all about endurance and stamina – the easy and steady runs will build our endurance and increase our glycogen levels – glycogen is what helps our muscles to go on for longer. The brisk and fast parts will develop our stamina and raise our lactate threshold levels – these levels are when our muscles can no longer absorb oxygen sufficiently and we slow right down. It may sound technical, and to a certain extent it is but so are our bodies. We have to listen to them and remain injury free – we’ll probably have a few niggles over the weeks, but this is only to be expected.
Before embarking on our schedule let us first of all remind ourselves and make sure of the paces at which we are going to run during training, these are so important.
EASY PACE - Running at around 60% working heart rate (WHR). This is warm up and recovery running, and long Sunday runs with the object of feeling fresh and being able to chat easily the whole time.
STEADY PACE - Running at around 70% WHR. Run a little harder than warm up and recovery, but you should be able to maintain a conversation. This should be the average pace of your long endurance runs.
MARATHON PACE - Running at around 75% WHR. Run at a pace where you can talk, but only a short sentence at a time. Maintain control and stay focused to ensure you don’t drift into a slower run. Practise this on your weekly long runs by inserting segments of this faster running that increases in frequency and time as we build up to the big day.
TEMPO PACE - Running at around 80% WHR. This is what we call threshold running and is the key to better running economy and building an aerobic base. You should only be able to speak a couple of words at a time. Remain focused and you’ll be able to stay in control – but, don’t push too hard.
FAST PACE - Running up to 90% WHR. This is interval training. Your body will start to work anaerobically (without oxygen). This running will help build your lactate threshold levels – that is, the speed at which our bodies struggle to cope with lactic acid created by burning energy without oxygen.
So, let’s get on with it – it will be one less thing to do in life !!
…. Unless of course you become addicted. When you cross the line you will probably say “ never again ………………until the next time !! “
So here we go – and remember – the difference between the impossible and the possible is called determination !
THE MONTH AHEAD
14 weeks to go
Day 1 – 1 mile easy, 3 miles fartlek, then 1 mile easy
Day 2 – 5 miles easy
Day 3 – 1 mile easy, 2 mile brisk, then 1 mile easy
Day 4 – 2 hours easy
13 weeks to go
Day 1 – 5 miles steady
Day 2 – 1 mile easy, 4 miles steady, then 1 mile easy
Day 3 – 1 mile easy, 3 miles brisk, then 1 mile easy
Day 4 – 11 miles easy
Total – 27 miles
12 weeks to go
Day 1 – Recovery – 5 miles easy
Day 2 – Track – 1 mile easy, 8 x 200m fast with 200m jog recovery, then 1 mile easy
Day 3 – Tempo - 1 mile easy, 4 miles brisk, then 1 mile easy
Day 4 – Long run - 10 to 12 miles easy
Total – 25 to 27 miles
11 weeks to go
Day 1 – Recovery - 1 mile easy, 2 miles fartlek, then 1 mile easy
Day 2 – Hills – 1 mile easy, 8 x 2 minutes climb, 1 mile easy
Day 3 – Tempo – 1 mile easy, 4 miles brisk, 1 mile easy
Day 4 – Long run - 13 miles easy
Total – 23 to 25 miles
There you are then, the first four weeks – a gradual build up in mileage and with a short introduction to some faster running. There will be more of that next month.
Chances of not finishing – 100 %
Chance of not trying – 0 %
IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING