Did I mention I was running a marathon?
Marathon training is hard, running a marathon is hard but it is also one of the most rewarding goals to achieve in the running community. As your coach I will be honest, getting up early on a weekend morning when it is still dark and it is raining outside and your plan says you have to run 20 miles is really hard, what makes it easier is doing it with a team who support each other and are there to share the highs and the lows. For 16 weeks’ marathon training and marathon talk will take over your lives and you will bore people to death with tales of your nutrition, your bowel movements and give blow by blow accounts of how each mile felt on your long run that day. You will abstain from drinking at parties (and people will still have parties and invite you) as you have a long run the next day, you will avoid people with colds/flu/stomach upsets and people will then tell you that you have changed. If you have a husband and a small family, you need them on your side as you will be exhausted in the peak of your training, as you get used to the long miles your legs will hurt and it will be hard to attempt even small tasks, but your body will get stronger and you will adapt and the best thing is you will be at your fittest and strongest just before the marathon. Marathon training requires sacrifices, if you are already overburdened with stress then now isn’t the time to commit to the training.
The training itself is quite simple really, at least 3 runs a week, you are training for an aerobic event, which means that you need to run 26.2 miles in a comfortable state, so you will use the aerobic energy system that utilizes oxygen and stored fat to power your muscles. This system can support activity for prolonged periods of time, as stored fat and oxygen are available in almost endless supply. What you need to do is train your body so that it will be used to running for a long period of time and work efficiently for you so that you don’t hit the “wall” running the last 6 miles of a marathon whilst you are in discomfort is hell on earth.
The three key sessions are the long run, tempo run and an interval training session, we can work out how to pace each of these sessions depending on your marathon goal time and these sessions are on the plans for experienced runners. Nothing is set in stone you can chop and change the plans, just ask me first what is the best option for you.
Rest and recovery is an essential part of the overall training plan, don’t just run and over train as you could end up injured.
My main advice is
Aches and pains must end before training can begin
A strong foundation is key
Not all long runs should be long and slow, you will need to run long miles at race pace
Don’t hang your happiness on your finish time, especially if it is your first one .If you have any questions please just ask, all training plans can be adjusted, they are not set in stone, and above all else, enjoy the ride!
Have a plan if you get injured, this is important as injuries do happen, you are putting a lot of stress on your body and if there are weakness’s in your body marathon training will find them
Be prepared for your personality to change and make sure you have a supportive partner.
Be realistic, you are still allowed to go on holiday and enjoy yourself so keep things into perspective
Enjoy the ride! It becomes addictive.
Please ask me about anything at all and as soon as you start to get a niggle seek help and don’t ignore it, in reality you have to have a plan of what you are going to do if you get injured, we cannot ignore this because when we add movement and stress into anything you are opening up the possiblity of becoming injured. Ideally we do not want to see anyone injured or burntout but we have to face the fact that this may happen hence the reason I have 3 options for marathon plans.
I will also help with mental training, just as important as physcial training and my aim is to produce some articles that are specifically to help you get stonger mentally, build up resilience as well as your self esteem.
I have created a Spring Marathon Workshop booklet for you all to download, you can either print it or download to your I-Book or Kindle
Perfect World Training Programmes - if life is good, you have few committments and can focus your time and energy into the plan
Real World Training Programmes - you are busy with work and family life but only occasionally life ge
Bare Minimum Training Programmes - you have been out with an injury or have been poorly so your training hasn’t always gone to plan. There is only one plan for bare minimum and depending on your circumstances this may need to be adapted.