Well I’m at it again this year. After coming in over the four hour mark in last year’s London marathon (4:10:46), I figured that I couldn’t really cross ‘marathon’ off my bucket list. After having completed two marathons, I now have a much better understanding of how to structure training. I figured a rigid training diary was not going to work. When you have set days to achieve certain goals, life can get in the way. Events with friends and family, leisure and work commitments, and random curve balls like getting ill or picking up injuries can throw a rigid diary wildly off course. Instead, I work with a training spreadsheet. I mapped out a training period of 22 weeks, starting in mid-November. I set an initial weekly target of 15 miles. By week 16, I intended to have built up to 40 miles, so I could spend a month maintaining that distance. I could then interpolate between those two values to give me weekly targets between week 1 and week 16. All I have to do is hit my weekly targets, with whatever combination of running distances that seems appropriate. So here’s what I have so far, half-way through my running program:
A gentle increase in weekly distance ensures that I’m not over-stretching myself.
Last year, I had a similar training regime. One major difference in my approach to runs was that I was running almost every day, but doing smaller runs. Having a 17.5km commute distance into work was one of the factors that encouraged me to invest more time in doing longer distances, and I must say it has been useful. My shorter runs tend to be around the 7.5km mark, and I get to have more rest-days, if I am working two long runs a week into my routine. Last year, I was almost training every day, so the longer runs at the weekend were painful, as I was always on the brink of injury.
The Brighton Marathon seems to be the ideal marathon for many reasons.
- It costs £70 to enter, as opposed to the £1800 I had to raise for charity to enter London.
- It’s one week before London, so I can train with other London marathoners.
- I can feel smug on London Marathon day, knowing I’ve already done my bit.
- It’s not going to be clogged up with slow traffic all the way round.
Here’s a map of last years route:
So now I’m half way through my training, I just need to keep it going. Week 11 had me doing 32 miles, so I’m not too far off getting to 40 miles. Training is definitely becoming achey, tedious and dare I say it, lonely! If I hit my 4 hour marathon target though, it’ll be worth it.