Marathon plans

There’s lots of plans out there, here’s a few you may be interested.

Hal Higdon Novice 1

You’re a first time marathoner, with a low milage background looking to be able to complete and try to enjoy 26.2 miles without damaging yourself in the build up! The focus here is on building your long run mileage and confidence.

Pfizinger and Douglas (P&D)

Marathon runners in Alan’s group will have on offer Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday sessions that fit into a P&D marathon plan.

Red line is the up to 55miles plan, Blue line is the up to 70miles plan. It’s hoped that people will be able to drop into these sessions or even do them all. We can talk as we go through on how to adapt for goal races on different dates.

Training Plan for this winter

Aim: Tue and Thur sessions that allow all the group to run together and have variants of each run where appropriate for those training for marathons and those who have different goals.

The following is based on P&D Advanced marathon plan (24 weeks)

There are up to 70 mile week and up to 55 week schedules that can be followed by runners in the same group with very similar key sessions (Tue/Thur/Sun) the higher mileage runners will sometimes run a few more miles on these sessions but the big difference is what they do on Fridays and Saturdays

  1. Where is all the speedwork? this plan has been built to provide the optimal stimuli to the physiological systems that most determine marathon success – endurance, lactate threshold and VO2max – IN THAT ORDER! Long runs, tempo runs and training volume determine success on marathon day, not how often you’ve churned out a blistering set on 800s!
  2. It’s important you believe in what you’re putting yourself through – if you’re interested get a copy of advanced marathoning.
  3. Tweaks to the published schedules
    1. “work days” have been moved to Tue & Thurs to fit club nights. Sticking to the hard easy pattern
      1. up to 70 plan: easy / hard / easy / hard / hardish / easy / hard
      2. up to 55 plan: easy / hard / easy / hard /easy / easy / hard
    2. The plans talks about race sat, long run Sunday which is the American way. We race Sundays, so there are tweaks for that. A Tune up race is an all out effort with mini taper and recovery. it is however a B race and result needs to be taken in context of the training load you are under. principle of max 3 hard days a week is maintained.
    3. XC and or parkrun added as we like to be social sometimes!
  4. Week one of the plan needs to look “more than achievable” to you. Be honest with yourself.
  5. Get those B races in the build up entered. B races should not put the A goal at risk. More on that as we approach them!

General aerobic running – Less than 10 miles at a steady pace; not too fast, as it will become a lactate threshold run. These are the standard, moderate miles that constitute the bulk of your training miles. For me with an LT heart rate of 170 I’d put a 145-160 HR bracket on these.

Medium long runs – These serve to reiterate the training effects of long runs, however are not quite as long, usually 11-16 miles.

Long runs – Anything longer than 17 miles. The suggested pace for long runs is 10-20% slower than your goal marathon pace. We will start at least 20% slower and tune these in as we progress. Remember the MP you are capable of on day one of the plan is slower than the MP you can run later in the plan, so don’t fixate on pace too. We’ll build in some variety to these long runs.

V02 max workouts For this you should use a recent 5K time to calculate goal paces for these workouts. These workouts are hard and fast. They range from 600m to a mile. Why do V02 max workouts while training for 26.2 at a pace that doesn’t compare to your 5K pace? Your V02 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that your heart is able to pump to your working muscles. NOTE: your muscles need oxygen to fire and produce energy. Your body will thank you for these increases in efficiency in the latter phases of your marathon.

Lactate threshold workouts Lactate threshold workouts are what you might call tempo runs. You can either use a current 15K or half time to calculate your goal pace for these workouts. Depending on the length (weeks) and volume (miles) of program you ultimately settle with, lactate threshold workouts vary between four and seven miles. The principle of the lactate threshold run is that you are working at high intensity, thus producing more lactate than your body is able to clear. Not surprisingly (and sadly), you can only maintain this pace for approximately 15-21km. Remember progression. You’re LT pace will increase as you go through the plan. But on any given day the training load may mean you can’t run at this pace, that’s OK. It’s the intensity of the session that provides the training stimulus not the minutes per mile.

Speed Quick leg turnover for 50-150 meters. The goal of these is to improve leg speed and to help any lingering form issues.

Running at marathon pace Running at your goal pace is the only way for your body to get the physiological practice it needs. These runs can serve as great confidence boosters and are scheduled on medium long, or long run days.

Recovery – Shorter and relaxed runs that aid in recovery before your next hard session. These are the slowest and most restorative of runs.

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