Needs Analysis

So the new training plan. It needs some explanation. Best to start with the goals.

My racing plans are far from set in stone over the next year. I will be working from the assumption of racing the Surfcoast Century next September and aiming to go considerably faster. Before then I am racing the 28km option at the Two Bays in January. Between these two races I haven't worked out any particular events. However I am likely to have another crack at the Emergency Services Games.

So how do I direct my training based on the above?

The key component across all potential races is the need for exceptional aerobic capabilities. Whether referring to substrate use, aerobic threshold, anaerobic threshold, speed at certain heart rates, or fatigue resistance, they are all interrelated. Of course there are ways to focus on the individual aspects, but my main goal is to progress my aerobic running capabilities as a package.

The aerobic development needs to be supported with a reasonable level of speed development, strength, coordination and flexibility to reduce injuries and ensure a full range of race skills and fitness can be used.

So far the above is very generalised and not clearly measureable. To fix that my program will be based on working towards a sub 2:45 marathon. Of course taking into account current fitness and the fact my marathon PB is 2:58, and progressing from there. I will use an array of training and performance tables that includes a mix of the McMillan calculator, Jack Daniels vDot tables, Canovas training paces, Maffetone aerobic heart rate, Lydiard's recommendations and a few others. Combined these give estimated racing and training paces required for performance levels at different race distances. I can then collect data for my current level and gradually work towards my goal paces.

Why 2:45?

It's not completely arbitrary. Based on being a human lab rat in various exercise studies back in my university days, it was predicted a number of times that this was my potential best for a marathon. Plus it is good throw, but not completely unreasonable from my current PB.

For the most part, I'll build my training from the bottom up. Focussing on developing the lower intensity speeds to the required standards before shifting up to concentrating on the faster end. That means plenty of low intensity kilometres to ensure Incan cover the distances then some work at achieving both distance and time goals over aerobic threshold and sub-anaerobic threshold levels before moving towards increasing level and endurance at around the anaerobic threshold. That does not exclude fast running, it just dictates where the focus lies. I believe all areas need to be addressed at least to some level throughout the training cycles in order to reach true potential.

So in summary, my goal is to my aerobic capabilities as a complete package along with the supportive attributes based on working towards a 2:45 marathon. Keeping in mind some tempory shift to accommodate upcoming races will be needed and with the underlying assumption I will be racing 100km in September.

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