Basic Structure 2011

Having a simple, repeatable structure works for me. I proved this to myself in my last marathon, and has been reaffirmed over the first part of this year. Routine is good. With routine I know what I need to do, and it is easier to set up my life to achieve that. Also routine provides a constant back drop from which I can create and monitor progression in my training. For example, the routine might be that my long run is run every 7 days, but the progression is 10 minutes longer each time.

Here I present my structure for the base period.

The general guidelines:

Make running for 3 hours comfortable
Become efficient and relatively fast at low effort levels
Develop the strength and structure to handle the next phases of training

The next 4 weeks will be 7 day cycles working off the following:

  1. Hill Repeats: Aim is for strength & power. Effort roughly VO2max or harder paces, but relatively short. A little bit of pure speed work thrown into too.
  2. Basic Run: aerobic conditioning 45-70min
  3. Long Run: 3 hours (however potentially starting a little shorter depending on how they feel). Comfortable, even pacing. No pushing the pace at this stage.
  4. Basic Run: aerobic conditioning 45-70min
  5. Basic Run: aerobic conditioning 45-70min
  6. Threshold: 2x7.5km @ threshold, 3-5min recovery. Plus some speed drills, and run throughs in warm up.
  7. Basic Run: aerobic conditioning 45-70min
Added on top of this, I would like to get in:
  • Swim x 1
  • Bike ride: aerobic conditioning (maybe a little strength work) x 2
  • Strength training x 2
However I fit those extras in will depend on how everything else fits into my world. It is a simple, straight-forward routine. For the marathon there are no magic workouts, the blue-collar work has to be done. The above is my marathon working week.


  1. I have found that simple structure in a training program allows for measurement of progress and allows for sensible increase in volume.
    And, the significant others in my life have a pretty good idea of what I am doing. This leads to better family planning. Structure benefits everyone involved in my life and my support team as well.


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