2014 Marathon Training

I'll keep this one fairly dry. With the first lot of training already under way, I've noticed I've got some significant gaps to address. Having run a 100km last September and covering a 56km race earlier this month just do not translate anywhere near to the level I wanted. Time for some honest training.

I'm aiming to the Traralgon Marathon in mid-June. On the way I'll have a good crack at the Australasian Police & Emergency Services Games in April where I'll race the 5000m, 10km cross country and half marathon in quick succession. I'll throw in a handful of other races along the way. My training will be geared towards developing the speed endurance required to perform well at the Games with the background of developing marathon specific endurance alongside this preparation. Beyond the games will then become completely directed at the marathon, depending on my strengths and weaknesses as they develop. So the following guidelines will take me into April.

I'll aim to keep volume at an average of about 15km/day (minimum 100km/wk). I'll fill out the with easy mileage as required. While not completely dictated by weekly totals, I have slacked off in this over the year and the problems are really showing their heads at this time. Key runs to have extended warm ups and cool downs, which is not about volume, but have always been a feature of when I have raced well in the past. Frequency is important and I prefer to run every day. However things do happen so I will only allow one day off per 7-9 day week.

I don't follow a typical Monday to Sunday calendar and as part of that I don't put exact starts and ends to weeks. Instead I will follow the pattern of key session below, that can loosely be put across to kind of weeks.

Alternate weekly (7-9 day week) with below key runs:
Week 1

  1. 1000m reps @ current 5000m pace
  2. 2000m reps @ current 10km pace
  3. 30km Long @ pace
Week 2
  1. 400m reps @ goal 5000m pace -> 200m faster
  2. Hill reps
  3. 10-15km @ goal hm pace
  4. Long 3hr trail, easy
Non key runs: easy aerobic for 15km if possible 1 or 2 per week to include speed sets.
Key weights session 3/wk (minimum 2/wk) preference to have as 2nd session on key run day.
Additional strength, core, unilateral work, extra remedial if able to fit in on day after key weights.
Limit strength work to 30min (max 40min), 20min for extra.
Run Descriptions
5000m Current Pace
Start w/ 3x1000m@3:36, 600m easy,(lane 3 1045m@3:45)
Progress by adding reps up to at least 6x1000m, then reduce rest to 200m float
10km Current Pace
Start w/ 3x2000m@3:50 (7:40), 400m float. (lane 3 2090m in 8:00)
Progress by adding reps to at least 6x2000m, aim for 10x2000m
Long Paced
Use a fixed 30km loop aiming for a steady pace (terrain permitting) looking to progress to 4:00-4:10/km on flat. If achieving above then push the final hills. Always start relaxed and gradually build to pace in opening kilometres.
5000m Goal Pace
Start w/ 2x400m in 81s (3:24/km) w/ 400m @AT -> 200m sprint (95%).   (lane 3 415m 84s)
Progress by adding 400m reps and with up to 3x200m sprints to total of 3200m of all 'on' reps.
Further progress by changing to 800m reps.
Hill Reps
Uphill approx 3:00, with relaxed/high cadence down hill, aim to achieve >30min of uphill running. Effort >10km race.
HM Goal Pace
Start with 10km@4:00/km progress to 15km then work pace down to 3:45/km.
Long Trail
Relaxed run in the trails with plenty of hills for 3 hours.

All the above looks good on paper. Of course it isn't as easy to produce day in, day out. Yet that is exactly what is needed if I am seriously chasing a time well below 3 hours at the marathon. I expect a mixture of some spectacular key runs and some dismal failures. The key for me is that I keep coming back and progressing along the way. I have some good records of what I have done to achieve my better race results in the past. At the moment I am a good distance away from that level of training. I have my pathway, now I just have to go out and blue collar it.


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