Training Into 2012

I have some goals.
I have my race result.

Now for the training plan.

Heart Rate Zones:

HRmax: 188
MAF HR: 151

B: 113-131 (60-69%) Base
E: 132-151 (70-80%) Aerobic conditioning
T: 152-165 (81-88%) Anaerobic threshold
V: 166-188 (89-100%) VO2max

Training Week:

8 days (not everybody else's 7 day, Monday to Sunday)

Because of the rotational shift work and variability in commitments, the plan is a set of priorities. Each training week will then be structured in how to best meet those priorities given my other commitments.


  1. Long Run
  2. High Intensity Run
  3. Supportive session
  4. Strength session
  5. Bike
  6. Strength session
  7. Swim
  1. Basic Run
  2. Core training
  3. Bike
This is the initial training. There is a lot in there that isn't running. However, I am finding I need this other work to limit over use injuries and other issues.


1. Long Run:
2-5 hours, initially aiming for a duration of 2:30-3:00. I would like the majority of to be in the aerobic conditioning zone, but do expect that when I start pushing the duration out beyond 3 hours, then the intensity will have to drop into the base zone a lot more (at least initially). The terrain will be as much rough, difficult trails as I can find.

2. High Intensity Run:
Mainly in the form of hill repeats. Initially short (30 seconds), progressing out to 3min or longer. Performed in the VO2max intensity range. Concentration on full range of movement in stride with strong push off. This should go a long way to developing my hill running. At times, depending on upcoming races, I may move to the athletics track and run some measured intervals at the same intensity level.

3. Supportive Session:
Whatever I feel will get me closer to my goals. This will vary considerably based on how I perform in the other training sessions, how I am recovering, if I am carrying injuries or what my race schedule is. Early on I expect this to be a short, fast intervals at the track if I am performing hill repeats in the High Intensity Run. If so the aims will be about developing strong musculature, excellent technique and the ability to be comfortable at speed rather than lactate tolerance or central physiology. This session could also be a low intensity, moderately long run if endurance is my limiter. Around races it could be simply a race pace trial or even a pure recovery/rehabilitation session.

4. Strength Session:
Squats, deadlifts, pull ups, presses and calf raises are the mainstay. Accessory work as required plus focussed core strengthening. The training is truly about getting stronger. It isn't endurance based. As a result it won't resemble the majority of strengthening programs found in running magazines, but a more traditional weight room workout.

5. Bike:
Usually 60 minutes of mainly comfortable riding. Just enough to remind my legs what they are meant to do on the bike. Occasionally I may push the distance or intensity up a bit. Essentially this session should complement the run training, by providing a little basic aerobic conditioning and a way to increase blood and lymphatic flow through the legs without the more damaging eccentric loading.

6. Strength Session:
As per number 4. The difference will just be a slight change in focus. For example, one session might have more anterior loading (squat and bench press), then the other will look more into posterior loading (deadlift, glute-ham raise). 

7. Swim:
Similar to the bike session. Keep in touch with what it's like to be in the pool. A mainly comfortable hour of swimming. I find stretching out in the water helps alleviate a lot of the tightening up I can develop in running.

1. Basic Run:
About 60 minutes of running predominantly in the Base zone. At first this will feel stupidly slow, but I hope for the pace to gradually increase towards something more reasonable over the weeks. At certain times, some of these runs may be run in the aerobic conditioning zone, but for the most part anything above base will be avoided. Other than the runs listed under the Priority section, this will make up all other runs each training week. How many? Including the 3 other runs, out of every 8 days I want to achieve a minimum of 5 total runs, 6 is the expectation the majority of the time and 7 would be ideal in specific training phases.

2. Core Training:
A strength/conditioning session aim at improving my core stability. That includes shoulders, spine, pelvis and limbs. Usually about 30 minutes worth of drills and exercises that involves static and dynamic movements and anti-rotation training.

3. Bike:
Almost the same as the first bike ride, but if I'm lucky enough to fit two rides in then it should add something to my cycling ability. At times it would be good to mix things up a little, maybe take the mountain bike out onto some trails instead of sticking with the road cycling or being stuck on the trainer.


Written out it looks quite involved, complicated and a lot. To put it into perspective there is nothing ground breaking in the program. There is a fair amount of training that isn't running, but I need that other training at this stage. So what is the simplified view?

  • 8 day week.
  • Long run.
  • Fast run.
  • Another decent run.
  • Strength and cross training.
  • A few easy runs.
That's it. The trick is to be consistent and find improvement.


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