Thursday, February 24, 2011


With the Marathon running world all starting to look to April (Paris, Rotterdam, London, Boston, 2Oceans) it is time to start looking at your marathon plans...

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.
So with all this info how is our program going to look?

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...


  1. That all sounds like a good plan! 8 x 1000 meters sounds brutal, haha
    15 x 60 sec hills also sounds rough =)

  2. Ughh so I'll let you down before the results come up, I've been checking constantly too bc I'm not sure of my exact time. . .but it was over 12. I set my sites a little high and forgot how hard track races are especially when you haven't done one in 9 yrs :) But I gave it my all and I can't keep anything in my stomach right now sooo success ?? I'll consider it good training for my sub 20 5k :D A little (lot) more track work and those HS PRs are history! I need to train in SA w you and your team :)

  3. Ohhh and despite trying to go out conservatively I ran my first 400 in 1:20, it felt really easy at the time but I payed for it later ;)

  4. Katie I'm so sorry, but yes a 1:20 for the 1st 400m will hurt you, that is 10min pace!!! Running fast is hard, that is why I can myself a trail runner now, it is slow...
    For you I'll have to write that blog about sessions to give you an idea about getting back on the track