The goal ahead is to reach our maximum mileage for the long run. We are going to combine speed work, steady to brisk pace over longer distances, put in one double figure mid week run and aim for an 20 to 22 miler. We can reckon our own paces for easy, steady, brisk and fast. Remember though that these are approximate targets for training and by now we have a clearer idea of our marathon pace which is steady. Please don’t forget the rest days and please, please, please stick to the schedule – no slipping in an extra session – trust me.
Lactate threshold levels ( stamina ) will increase with the speed sessions and the glycogen levels ( endurance ) will increase with the long runs and also our diet. Diet is so important, for we are what we eat. We take a lot out of our bodies when we run so we have to put a lot back particularly as marathon runners. It’s so important too to put the right things into our bodies, - trust me :-
Right : Pasta, lean meat, fish, particularly oily fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel, all rich in omega 3 fats, fruit – dried or fresh, bananas and pineapple, are very good, nuts such as almonds, brazils and walnuts (we can snack on fruit and nuts throughout the day), vegetables, particularly bright and dark coloured and all lightly cooked, whole grain rice, quinoa ( pronounced keenwa ) and whole grain bread. All these foods have an abundance of the right proteins and vitamins to aid our heart, blood and liver functions and the fibre, low in GI, being slowly absorbed, to help our digestive systems. If we want a tipple, Guinness and red wine are far better than lager and white wine, - trust me.
Wrong : Fatty meat, sausages and anything with saturated fats such as our red milk, processed and fast food, take-aways, all three of which contain hydrogenated or trans fats which are alien to our body functions. All these inhibit our digestive and heart functions and increase our adipose tissue levels to drain us of energy - not good ! – trust me.
So – here we go, and don’t forget, the next four weeks are probably the most important part of the schedule in preparation for the big day. The next four weeks will make our marathon easier than you would ever expect and when you cross that line you’ll be saying – what wall ? – trust me.
1st to 7th August - 4 weeks to go
Day 1 – 1 mile easy, the 6 x 400 fast with 200 m recovery, 1 mile easy
Day 2 – 1 mile easy, 4 miles brisk ( tempo ), then I mile easy.
Day 3 – 8 mile easy
Day 4 – 18 to 20 miles easy, easy, easy.
Total – 35 to 37 miles
8th to 14th August - 3 weeks to go
Day 1 – 1 mile easy, 2 miles brisk, 1 mile easy
Day 2 – 10 miles easy
Day 3 – 1 mile easy, 4 miles steady, 1 mile easy
Day 4 – 20 - 22 miles easy
Total – 40 to 42 miles
That’s it – well done! - all those miles in the bank – in fact, over 400. We have been running over the marathon distance each week now for eight weeks. The next two weeks will be a serious taper and a rewarding marathon. We’ve been there, we’ve done the miles and while we are running the race we will be thinking what we have done to get here and we will know that we can do it and enjoy the fantastic feeling of crossing the line – trust me.
Think about it – one less thing to do in life !!!
On the other hand …………until the next one !!