So where does one start, and how much time is needed?
- So we start with the race and work backwards
- We need a week to taper / rest, now if you are training big miles (150+km/week) you might need a longer taper / rest.
- Now to earn that rest we need a couple of hard weeks OK make that 3, 4 or 5 depending on your time available.
- Just how hard are those weeks going to be? Well that depends on the weeks before.
- Just how fast are we going to train? Well that also depends on the weeks before.
- OK so now we are at the spot where your training starts: 3, 4 or 5 weeks (depending on your time available) of building up to your marathon training.
- At the end of these weeks we would like a TT of some sorts, anything between 5km-21.1km, I like a 5km TT so we know what pace to train at!!! Yes I like doing things like 2km/1mile/1.5km/1km / 800m reps at 5km pace.
I hope we have all been running up till now, so as we hit week 1 we've got something to work with... The 1st 4 or so weeks we want to build our weekly mileage and get a couple of longs runs and sessions in. By the last week before our well earned rest I'm looking at having 3 sessions (maybe 8 x 1000m 60sec rest, 15 x 60sec hills & a tempo run of 20km), 2 long runs (18km and 30km), & 5 easy 8-10km runs. Does that scare you? Maybe you would settle for 1 session, 1 long run (put in 5-15km tempo in the long run) and 3 / 4 easy runs.
Love rest weeks, but aim at a TT of maybe 5km (it is a good idea to be running sessions at 5km pace).
Now that we are rested and we are ready to tackle the last leg of training, another 3-5 weeks or hard running. Because we are rested we can put in 2-3 really good weeks of training, with a couple of long runs and hard sessions before we cut back a bit.
Then it is taper/rest week before our race.
I'll leave it there for now, another day I'll tell you about what type of session I like...