The Journey begins here By Liz Yelling, Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist, Athens and Beijing Olympian.
f you’re reading this then what a terrific result! Congratulations. You are in the 2010 Virgin London Marathon and along with 36,000 other runners you’re going to be pounding the streets of the nation’s capital on April 25th 2010. If you’re sat quivering at the thought of what the next few months holds in terms of training and preparation, don’t panic. The key with a successful marathon finish, whether your goal is a walk:jog completion or a fast run finish, lies with effective and appropriate preparation. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can start today! A marathon isn’t something you can simply turn up on the day and complete without a considered approach to your training programme and your race strategy on the day (yes, you do need a ‘strategy’ that’s not being flash or fast it’s being sensible and committed). This may be your first marathon and you’re a Virgin London Marathon ‘virgin’ or perhaps you’re an experienced campaigner with several marathon finishes under your belt. Either way your path to race day starts months before the actual race itself. To arrive at the start line on April 25th ready and raring to go, think of the next few months as a journey to the finish line that starts today. Whether this is your first time or you’re seeking a fast time, what you do, or don’t do, between now and race day makes a real difference to achieving your perfect marathon. Make your marathon a success! Golden rules for a better marathon! Get going! Don’t procrastinate and put if off! Don’t keep saying, “I’ll start my marathon training next week”. Next week will keep coming around and before you know it race
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day will be upon you. Start your marathon training today! That doesn’t mean you have to go out and run until you drop at your first attempt. Whether you are a marathon virgin or a marathon master, be patient as you start and give yourself plenty of preparation time before the race.
Instead, take your time, walk, learn how to exercise and how it feels and find your feet a little. Once you’ve got going, use the schedules to keep going!
Tip: Establish a routine for running.
Get the right kit: Specialist running shoes are a must for better training and injury prevention. Your shoes are the tools of your job for running training so get the right ones for you. It’s a good idea to have two pairs on the go at the same time and alternate their usage. What you wear is as important as what is on your feet. You don’t need to look like a bright, too tight, lycra-clad racing snake to feel good as a runner. Layer up with comfortable, breathable materials to combat the best of British weather as you prepare over the winter months. Choose garments that keep you warm, cool you down, fit you perfectly, function and perform well and that you feel confident and comfortable in.
Gently does it: Being the proverbial bull in the running china shop for the first two weeks isn’t the best way to begin your training build up. Start your running programme early. Around 16 weeks before the Virgin London Marathon or 1st January is a great time! Be gentle and progressive. Build the frequency (how often), intensity (how hard) and duration (how long) of your running as the weeks progress. Think of your training like building a house. Strong foundations laid at the start then built on over time bring about better results in the long run. A strong base means you can develop and increase your training and your marathon world won’t come crashing down around your ears with a month to go. Getting ready for your big day in April means more than starting with the schedules themselves. Before you do anything rash and head out of the door for your first run go and get a medical once over from your GP and get the go ahead to start your build up. This is especially important if you’re a smoker, ex smoker, hypertensive, or have a history of cardio-vascular disease in your family. Give yourself a great lead in to your marathon preparations by spending 4 to 6 weeks (before you even begin your marathon training schedule) developing a robust, healthy and motivated body and mind. Don’t leap straight into a rigorous routine.
Tip: Run clever. Listen to your body. More isn’t better.
Tip: Visit a specialist running retailer for a shoe fitting and advice on clothing and gear. Plan. Know what you are going to do and when. Your training plan should be appropriate to your ability level and needs. It should be progressive, structured and motivating. You’ll need to be disciplined with your time for running. When can you fit in your runs during a typical week? When is the best time of day to run? Before work? Lunchtime? After work? When can you run longer? When do you clear family, work or other time? Tip: Don’t let your excitement and marathon enthusiasm allow you to over commit to an unrealistic schedule. Better to build up slowly than burn out later. >>
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min walk? Whatever your strategy it’s vital to practise it in training and expect it to change as your fitness improves. • Train the same – stay the same. If you’re an experienced marathoner and the same old training has been bringing about the same old result year in year out, then try something different. Change the record and put some excitement back into your running by training differently. • Go solo. Do long runs on your own. Although running in groups is great for motivation, build some solo paced long runs into your plan to work on your concentration and focus.
Your training: the fundamentals Completing a marathon can’t be that hard, can it? It’s all about turning up on the start line having covered the odd mile or two in the final couple of weeks and giving it a good go on the day. Wrong! That’s one approach that is almost certainly doomed and will see you have a very tough day in the marathon office! If you’re able to crack one thing over the next few months, it should be to develop consistency in your running training. Isolated, occasional, half-hearted running won’t help you much in your quest for marathon glory. Whatever your goal, regular, appropriate, purposeful, planned and consistent running improves fitness levels and makes you a stronger, better runner. What actually makes up this training will vary depending on your marathon aspirations, your genes, your current fitness levels, your running ability and experience, your motivation and the time you have available to commit to your marathon miles. Regular easy and steady running develops a sound and strong aerobic foundation. This is called ‘base building’ and is essential for marathon running success. A good aerobic foundation is the mainstay of a strong marathon and it’s developed through progressive, consistent running over a prolonged period. Gains in fitness don’t happen overnight and there is no magic pill or quick fix to a marathon finish. You have to put in the graft and cover the miles. Starting your programme by heading out for a few walk/jogs or easy pace runs each week and building up the time you are able to run non-stop is great ‘aerobic base building’ for
a new runner. For the more experienced runner, a base period of four weeks of steady running helps you begin your marathon journey in a strong and robust way. Although it might seem tough at first, after a few weeks of progressive, planned and appropriately structured training, you’ll start to see the first signs of changes in your fitness levels. Suddenly you will notice that you are no longer puffing and out of breath as soon as you are at the end of the road; you seem to be breathing more easily and with more control throughout your run, your legs no longer ache during or after your runs, rather you feel ‘bouncy’, lighter and quickly recover. These are the first signs that your body is adapting to the regular running you have been doing – your training is working! Your training goal is simple. To arrive at the start line on April 25th having given yourself the best possible chance of attaining your marathon goal. These goals will be different for each you but the commitment and effort required to achieve them will be common to everyone who crosses the finish line. Top training tips • Get a group or running buddy! Running with others can give you the kick-start you’ll sometimes need to swap the sofa for the tarmac. •Spice it up. Doing the same type of running all the time can make your training routine boring and stagnant and see you plateau
rather than progress. Include different types of running in your week (see Training talk) • Ease the pressure - beat the stress. It can be a great stress reliever not to clock watch. Once in a while just get out and run. Leave your watch, heart rate monitor, GPS and other toys at home. • In it for the long run! Don’t neglect the miles in the bank. Long runs matter for marathon success. They don’t have to be fast, but they do have to be done! Long runs are your money miles when it comes to marathon training. • Rest! It shouldn’t be all hard work. As a rule of thumb, for every hard day take at least one easy. Balance your training with your lifestyle so you enjoy your running training and are excited by your running. Push too hard, too often, regardless of ability, and you could jeopardise making the start line let alone the finish line. • Pace practice: Even if your goal is completion, you should know your target pace to the second per mile. It’s inexcusable not to know this and failure to do so could jeopardise your finish. Practice running sections of your runs at this pace in training. If your finish goal is a walk/ run one then you should know your pacing strategy. What will your walk/run sections look like? For example, 9 min run 1 min walk continuous for the first half of the race and then 8 min run 2 min walk for the second? Run 10k walk 5 min x 4? Run the first half nonstop, walk/run the second half as 5 min jog 1
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• Fuel up. The marathon is a long endurance event. Over 80% of finishers will take over four hours. Endurance events are demanding on the body and require energy before and during the race. Ensure you stock up your carbohydrate energy reserves leading up to the race, are well hydrated before the race start, and take on board plenty of fluids during the event itself. It pays to practise your energy and hydration strategy in training. Sports drinks and energy gels help keep your energy levels topped up during exercise. Don’t let your engine run low on fuel! • Race smart. Use races as preparation and practice. Yet concentrate on your end goal, the marathon. Don’t worry about the in-between races or get stressed about the result. • It’s okay to walk! Don’t think that it’s compulsory to run all the time in training or complete the marathon running! This simply isn’t the case. In fact the majority of marathon finishers will walk sections of the race. As you get fitter and training progresses, you’ll find that you’ll do less walking and more running. Training talk Easy or recovery runs (ER) To see improvement without breaking down, you’ll need some recovery runs. These should be nice and easy and you should feel relaxed. Enjoy the scenery. You should be breathing easily and be capable of holding a conversation throughout the run. If you’re a new/novice runner then you’ll probably be questioning whether any runs feel easy and holding a conversation may feel impossible all of the time! Slow down, walk if necessary and control your effort. Steady runs (SR) These are the bread and butter of your training, the ‘miles in the bank’. These steady runs build your aerobic base that acts as the foundation for the rest of your training. Conversations are still possible at this pace but in sentences rather than long gossip!
Threshold runs (TR) To really improve, start to stretch your physical boundaries! Running at ‘threshold’ pace is about running under ‘controlled discomfort’ and is great for improving your running economy. After the long endurance runs, threshold runs are probably your most valuable workouts. You will find them slightly uncomfortable and they’ll require concentration, but they are well worth the effort. You’ll only be capable of uttering a couple of words as you run. As you get fitter and more experienced, you’ll learn how to find your own ‘threshold’ pace and this will change the fitter, stronger and faster you get. Long runs (LR) Long runs are vital and should be a key ingredient of your marathon plan. After all, a marathon is a very long run. At first, concentrate on increasing the time on your feet rather than worrying about distance. So, work in time (hours and minutes) as opposed to distance (miles/kms). How long is long? The duration of a long run varies according to your level of fitness, running experience and phase of running training programme. Expect a 3-3.5 hour run to be a part of your training in the later stages of your preparations. (Remember, it’s about time on your feet and you don’t have to be running the entire time!). Long runs are usually done at slow pace so are a fabulous way to spend a Sunday morning catching up with your running friends whilst developing your stamina. Do you need to cover 26.2 miles in training before the marathon? Arguably not. The accumulation of the right training over a number of weeks and months prior to the event will mean you’ll have developed sufficient stamina to tackle the marathon distance. Fartlek running (FR) Fartlek is a Swedish word for ‘speed play’ that means run fast, run slow…whenever you feel like it. Fartlek is best done running over varied terrain. The concept is to mix easy, steady and fast running for different amounts of time or distances with varying amounts of recovery. Interval running (IR) When running intervals, you clearly specify how long you are going to run for and how much rest you are going to have between efforts. Each running effort in an interval session is called a ‘rep’ or repetition. Reps can be time- or distance-based and are always followed by a period of rest or ‘recovery’. Interval running is done at a pace that is difficult to maintain. Definitely no witty social interactions are possible! Hill running (HR) Hill running involves running continuously over a hilly circuit or fast up a hill and jogging easily back down again to the start before
running hard up again. This is repeated for a specified number of ‘hill reps’. The hill can vary in gradient and length depending on the purpose of the training session. Warming up and cooling down (WU/CD) Don’t forget to ease yourself into your run workouts. Any training session should begin with gentle cardiovascular exercise (light walking/running) to raise your body temperature, get the blood flow moving and the heart and lungs going. Some dynamic stretching and mobilization also help get you ready for your run. Don’t come to an abrupt stop after your run. Gradually slow it down to a walk and give your body time to calm down with a gentle cool down. This is a good time to stretch out muscles. Marathon Pace (MP) This is your target marathon pace (normally expressed in ‘minute miles’, e.g. 10 minute miles will give you a marathon finish time of 4 hours 22 min). It helps to know what this pace is and what it feels like to run at it during your training. This pace should feel comfortable and in control but one that you’ll certainly have to work to maintain as the miles tick by. It may take a few weeks of regular running before you can estimate your target marathon pace and this may change throughout your preparations. Staying motivated! Finishing a marathon is as much in the head and the heart as in the legs and lungs. Although your engine might be capable of completing the race because of the great training you’ve done in your build up, if your mind isn’t ready to go the distance then you may stutter and even crash as the race progresses. The longer the race goes, the harder it gets. There’s no escaping that. When it gets hard (and it will!) you’ll need to draw on every ounce of your physical and mental strength and courage to push past boundaries you’d previously thought were impossible. Confidence to complete a marathon can come in different ways: Confident training: Give yourself race day confidence by completing workouts in training that prove your goal is attainable – just! Although negative thoughts may creep in mid-race when your legs are burning and your heart is pounding, remind yourself that you’ve been here many times in training and can handle the pressure and the pace right through to the finish. Determination, drive and desire: There will be times in your preparation when you’ll question your sanity for actually choosing to run 26.2 miles and you can guarantee that you’ll have moments during the race itself. >>
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The Journey begins here The Programmes
Plan 1 You must really want to run this marathon and have the commitment to do what it takes to make the finish line. Making the commitment to your training will see you arrive at the start line knowing you can go the distance. Stretch yourself. Don’t run in your comfort zone all the time – push your boundaries. Threshold and faster runs will boost your ability to tolerate discomfort for longer. After all, achieving personal stretch goals is not supposed to be easy. Run with intent, passion and purpose. Each time you leave your front door for a training run, ask yourself a simple question. ”Why am I doing this run and what do I want to gain from it?” What’s the point in investing half your energy and effort when you can give it total commitment? Run with purpose, whether that is to run for longer than you’ve run before without stopping, run faster, or be disciplined and back off the intensity. Remember why you are running. Remember why completing the Virgin London Marathon matters to you. Are you running in someone’s memory? Are you raising money for a charity cause close to your heart? Are you trying to beat your brother or friend? Do you want a PB? Whatever your personally salient motivator, draw inspiration from this in your training. Why is this run important to you? What is its meaning? If you do nothing else, remember how privileged you are that you actually can run and are physically able to participate.
Harness your nerves. If this is your first ever crack at the marathon distance, you might feel petrified of the task ahead. Nerves, apprehension, and self-doubt plus excitement are all part of your marathon journey. As your journey unwinds and progresses, learn how to harness these nerves and turn them into confident, directed energy for training and race day. Write it down. Documenting your training in a log (a written diary or online blog) helps you monitor your progress, review your success and plan your training but also when you look back it shows you just how far you’ve come. This gives you confidence in your achievements and the self-belief you can complete the marathon on race day. Understanding a training schedule Have you ever heard a runner talk about a training schedule? Complicated and professional sounding aren’t they? It’s easy to get intimidated by this or to think it is better to manage without one. A good training plan includes all the ingredients you want in your training in the right quantities and at the right times. The key with using a training plan lies with making it personal to you, being flexible and taking ownership of your running. Runners train in different ways and there is no single ‘right way’. What works for one runner might not work for another. One person’s ‘easy’ run is another’s ‘steady’ or ‘threshold’ pace. These schedules are ideas to help you reach the finish line. Use them as a guide but
also become a better runner by educating yourself and understanding what you do and why you’re doing it. Tailor the programmes to fit with your lifestyle and don’t expect them to flow seamlessly without a blip! Following them religiously isn’t compulsory, although regular running will definitely help you finish happy (and less sore!). It is far better to allow for pressure points, whether they are work, domestic or social related, and work round them with your training rather than have them cause a total stop. Three types of programme: We are all unique and run at different speeds, even when the training might be the same. You’ll need to pick the plan that most suits your aspirations, fitness, available time, motivation and commitment. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the ‘going for it’ plan is only for the faster runners or that the ‘completion’ plan is a bit of a get out. Of course, things may change mid-way through your build up and you may need to tweak plans, jump ship to another one, or up the ante a little. These plans include the first 13 weeks of a build up. The final few weeks, or your ‘taper’ phase, will appear in the next issue of Marathon News. Remember, you can change the order of the days you run on to meet your own set of circumstances and needs. For example, you might like to run Monday, Wednesday and at the weekend. Don’t be afraid to be flexible with your training but at the same time, firm with your commitment to the principles of progression, overload and rest.
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Completion: If survival and just getting round is your goal then this plan could be for you. This isn’t a total start from scratch programme but assumes you can already complete 30 minutes of continuous easy/ steady running.
ER = easy run. SR = steady run. TR= threshold run. HR = hill run. FR = fartlek run. IR = interval run. LR = long run. MP = marathon pace run.
Tues: Steady 30 min walk. Thurs: Brisk 10 min walk, 20 min ER, easy 10 min walk. Sat or Sun: LR: 15 min steady walk, 30 min ER, 10 min steady walk.
Tues: Brisk 40 min walk. Thurs: 15 min walk, 20 min ER, 10 min walk. Sat or Sun: 10 min brisk walk, 45 min LR, 5 min easy walk.
Tues: 20 min ER. Thurs: 10 min ER, 10 min SR, 10 min ER. Sat or Sun: 55 min LR (have 5x1 min walk breaks if necessary).
Tues: 30 min ER. Thurs: 30 min FR (remember this is varied paced running. Include 3 different speeds, easy, steady and threshold). Sat or Sun: 1hr 5 min LR (have 5x1 min walk breaks if necessary).
Tues: 35 min ER. Thurs: 40 min FR. Sat or Sun: 1hr 20 min LR (have 7x2 min walk breaks if necessary).
Tues: 10 min ER, IR: 4x5 mins at faster pace (3 min walk recovery), 10 min ER. Thurs: 10 min ER, 10 min SR, 10 min TR, 10 min ER. Sat or Sun: 5 min brisk walk, 30 min SR, 5 min brisk walk. 30 min ER, 5 min easy walk.
Tues: 10 min ER, 5 min SR, 2x15 min TR (2 min walk recovery), 10 min ER. Thurs: 35 min ER. Sat or Sun: 1hr 45 min LR or half marathon race. A good opportunity to practise your race day preparation.
Tues: 10 min ER, IR: 6x3 min fast (2 min walk recovery), 10 min ER. Thurs: 10 min ER, 3x10 min TR (2 min walk recovery), 10 min ER. Sat or Sun: 2hr 15 min LR (include10x2 min walk breaks if necessary). Practise your hydration and refuelling strategies.
Tues: 30 min ER. Thurs: 60 min SR (include 20 min at marathon target pace, MP). Sat or Sun: 1hr 30 min LR.
Tues: 40 min ER. Thurs: 10 min ER, 40 min TR, 10 min ER. Sat or Sun: 2hrs 45 min LR (include 10x2 min walk breaks if necessary). Practise your fuelling and hydration strategies.
Tues: 10 min ER, IR: 8x90 sec fast (2 min ER recovery), 10 min ER. Thurs: 30 min ER. Sat or Sun: 2hr15 min LR (or target half marathon race).
Tues: 40 min SR. Thurs: 10 min ER. 3x15 min TR (3 min walk recovery), 10 min ER. Sat or Sun: 3hr 15 min LR (3 min walk after each 30 min if necessary). Practise your fuelling and hydration strategies. Wear the kit and running shoes you plan to complete the marathon in to check they are comfortable.
Tues: 30 min ER. Thurs: 40 min SR. Sat or Sun: 2hrs 30 min LR.
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The Journey begins here The Programmes
Doing better: You’ve done some running in the past and may have already completed a marathon. You are ready and motivated to invest a little extra time and effort into your running. Monday is a day for resting after the weekend effort. Tuesday is an ‘interval day’ intended to develop your speed endurance and threshold running. Wednesday is about developing your core and leg strength if you can get to the gym or active recovery through swimming. Thursday is for steady running and just putting in the miles. Friday is for rest. The weekend is for building for stamina and strength to help you go the distance, practise your race day pace and your hydration strategies.
Going for it! This plan is for you if you’ve got the time, energy and commitment to give it a go.
Tues: 30 min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 40 min ER. Sat: 40 min SR. Sun: 60 min LR.
Your weekend running is designed to build your strength and stamina. Saturday will develop your speed endurance whilst Sunday will improve your efficiency ability to run for a long time. Monday will give you the opportunity to rest and recover from your weekend effort whilst Tuesday is a day for developing your threshold and interval running. Wednesday and Thursday are for steady, ‘miles in the bank’. Friday is a day to recover and prepare for the weekend.
Week 1 Tues: 30 min ER. Wed: 40 min ER. Thurs: 30 min FR. Sat: 40 min HR. Sun: 60 min LR.
ER = easy run. SR = steady run. TR= threshold run. HR = hill run. FR = fartlek run. IR = interval run. LR = long run. MP = marathon pace run.
ER = easy run. SR = steady run. TR= threshold run. HR = hill run. FR = fartlek run. IR = interval run. LR = long run. MP = marathon pace run. Week 2
Tues: 10 min ER, 20 min SR, 10 min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 40 min SR. Sat: 50 min SR. Sun: 1hr 15 min LR.
Tues: 30 min FR. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 50 min SR. Sat: 30 min HR. Continuously over a hilly circuit or up and down a 200m hill. Sun: 1hr 30 min LR.
Tues: 40 min FR. Weds: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 60 min SR. Sat: 40 min HR. Sun: 1hr 45 min LR.
Tues: 50 min FR. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 10 min ER, 2x10 min TR, 10min ER. Sat: 10 min ER. 40 min HR. 10 min ER. Sun: 2 hr LR. Practise taking on board some fluid whilst you run.
Tues: 10 min ER, IR: 6x3 min (90 sec recovery), 10 min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 50 min SR. Sat: 10 min ER, 2x15 min TR, 10 min ER. Sun: 1hr 45 min LR. Practise taking on board some fluid whilst you run.
Tues: 10 min ER, IR: 8x60 sec (60 sec recovery), 10 min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 50 min SR. Sat: 10 min ER. Sun: Race Half Marathon. A good opportunity to practise your race day preparation.
Tues: 50min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 10 min ER, IR: 5x5 min (2 min recovery), 10 min ER. Sat: 10 min ER, 2x20 min TR, 10 min ER. Sun: 2hrs 30 min LR (30 min ER, 30 min SR, 30 min MP, 30 min SR, 30min ER). Practise your pace and fuelling/ hydration strategies.
Tues: 10 min ER, 10 min SR, 10 min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 60 min SR. Sat: 50 min SR. Sun: 2hrs 50 min LR (include 8 miles at target marathon pace, MP). Practise your fuelling and hydration strategies.
Tues: 15 min ER, IR: 6x5 min (90 sec recovery), 10min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 50 min SR. Sat: 10 min ER, 3x15 min TR (3 min recovery), 10 min ER. Sun: 3hrs LR. Practise your fuelling and hydration strategies.
Tues: 10 min ER, IR: 8x90 sec (90sec recovery), 10 min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 40min ER. Sat: Rest. Sun: 2hrs 20 min LR (include 80 min at MP). Practise your fuelling and hydration strategies. (Or target Half Marathon race).
Tues: 30 min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 10 min ER, IR: 4x8 min (2 min recovery), 10 min ER. Sat: 10 min ER, 3x15 min TR (2 min recovery), 10 min ER. Sun: 3hr LR. Run middle 60 min at MP. Practise your fuelling and hydration strategies. Wear the kit and running shoes you plan to complete the marathon in to check they are comfortable.
Tues: 30 min ER. Wed: Rest/gym/swim - including plenty of stretching/mobility. Thurs: 10 min ER, IR: 8x4 min (2 min recovery), 10 min ER. Sat: 10 min ER, 3x12 min TR (60 sec recovery), 10 min ER. Sun: 2hrs 20 min LR. Final 60 min run at MP.
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Tues: 30 min ER. Wed: 40 min ER. Thurs: 40 min FR. Sat: 45 min HR. Sun: 1hr 30 min LR.
Tues: 30 min SR. Wed: 40 min ER. Thurs: 50 min FR. Sat: 50 min HR. Sun: 1hr 45 min LR.
Tues: 15 min ER, 15 min TR, 15 min ER. Wed: 40 min SR. Thurs: 40 min FR. Sat: 10 min ER, 10 min TR, 30 min HR, 10 min ER. Sun: 2hr LR.
Tues: 15 min ER, 15 min SR, 15 min TR, 15 min ER. Wed: 40 min ER. Thurs: 50 min SR. Sat: 15 min ER (10 min SR, 5 min TR), Repeat 4 x 15 min ER. Sun: 2hrs 20 min LR. Practise taking on board some fluid whilst you run. Include 40 min at MP.
Tues: 10 min ER, 30 min TR, 5 min ER, 15 min TR, 10 min ER. Wed: 50 min ER. Thurs: 50 min SR. Sat: 15 min ER, 3x15 min TR (2 min recovery), 15 min ER. Sun: 1hr 45 min LR. Practise your hydration strategies on this run.
Tues: 15 min ER, IR: 5x3 min (90 sec recovery), 15 min ER. Wed: 40 min ER. Thurs: 10 min ER, 8x60 sec fast (60 sec recovery), 10 min ER. Sat: 10 min ER. Sun: Race Half marathon or 1hr 45 min LR. Practise your race day preparations and hydration strategies.
Tues: 40 min ER. Wed: 40 min ER. Thurs: 15 min ER, 6x5 min (2 min recovery), 15 min ER. Sat: 15 min ER, 3x20 min TR (2 min recovery), 15 min ER. Sun: 2hrs 30 min LR (30 min ER, 30 min SR, 30 min MP, 30 min SR, 30 min ER). Practise your pace and fuelling/ hydration strategies.
Tues: 15 min ER, IR: 8x3 min (90 sec recovery), 15 min ER. Wed: 40 min ER. Thurs: 60 min SR. Sat: 15 min ER, 4x15 min TR (2 min recovery), 15 min ER. Sun: 2hrs 45 min LR, First 60 min at MP. Practise your pace and fuelling/ hydration strategies.
Tues: 15 min ER, 6x5min (60 sec recovery) IR, 15 min ER. Wed: 50 min ER. Thurs: 60 min SR. Sat: 15 min ER, 3x10 min TR, 1x10 min MP (90 sec recovery), 15 min ER. Sun: 3hrs LR. Final 60 min at MP. Practise your pace and fuelling/hydration strategies.
Tues: 15 min ER, IR: 10x90 sec (90 sec recovery), 15 min ER. Wed: 40 min ER. Thurs: 30 min ER. Sat: 10 min ER. Sun: 2hrs 20 min LR. First 20 min and final 40 min at MP (Or target Half Marathon race).
Tues: 30 min ER. Wed: 40 min SR. Thurs: 10 min ER, IR: 4x8 min (1 min recovery), 10 min ER. Sat: 10 min ER, 3x15 min TR (1 min recovery), 10 min ER. Sun: 3hrs LR. Run middle 60 min at MP. Practise your fuelling and hydration strategies. Wear the kit and running shoes you plan to complete the marathon in to check they are comfortable.
Tues: 30 min SR. Wed: 50 min ER. Thurs: 10 min ER, IR: 8x4 min (1 min recovery), 10 min ER. Sat: 10 min ER, 3x20 min TR (60 sec reovery), 10 min ER. Sun: 2hrs 20 min LR. Final 60 min run at MP. Practise your fuelling and hydration strategies.
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the 26.2miles and that energy comes from the food eaten in the final few days before the race. You’ll need to make sure your body is well stocked with carbohydrates at this time. That said, there’s no need to over indulge in your final week or cram in as much as you can at a pre-race pasta party! Maintaining a healthy, balanced and nutritious eating programme in your final 4 weeks will help prevent any last minute illnesses and keep your energy stores topped up. A high carbohydrate intake in the days immediately preceding the race, coupled with a reduction in training volume should ensure your energy levels are sufficient for race day.
G o ld en r u les
to get it right on race day
TRAIN SENSIBLY NOT EXTENSIVELY!
n 2006 Liz Yelling won Commonwealth Bronze in the marathon. She represented Team GB at the Athens Olympic marathon and finished in 4th place at the 2007 Chicago marathon. She is the current British half marathon champion and national cross country champion. Although an elite athlete herself Liz takes a down to earth approach to helping runners of all abilities achieve what they’d previously thought impossible!
FOUR WEEKS & COUNTING... By Liz & Martin Yelling
Congratulations on getting this far with your marathon training! Most of your journey to the marathon start line is behind you and with just 4 weeks to go before your big day it’s a great time to take stock of how far you have come, where you are currently and what lies ahead of you. Although it might seem like the marathon mountain still looms unclimbed in front of you, in reality your hard work over recent months will have taken you three quarters of the way to the summit! At this stage the real ‘money miles’ are in the bank and you should feel almost ready to make your final push to marathon finish line glory on April 13th. The last few weeks leading up to race day are crucial in polishing your preparation. Following a few simple ‘four weeks to go rules’ will help you maximise your London Marathon experience and boost your performance on race day.
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With 4 weeks to go it’s time to consolidate and maintain rather than build and progress your training. Trust the training you have done over the past weeks and months to get you to the finish line. A few final tweaks and subtle shifts in your running workouts and you’ll be ready to cruise past the Cutty Sark, trot over Tower Bridge, cane round Canary Wharf, eat up the Embankment and blast past Buckingham Palace!
you run) and the intensity (how fast you run) in the weeks leading up to the race whilst maintaining some frequency (how often you run). Aim to start your taper 3 weeks before the London marathon by running roughly 10% less than a typical week for you. With 2 weeks to go reduce your volume by a further 30% and during the final week by a further 30% again. It’s a good idea to maintain some intensity in your running even in the final few weeks, just cut back on the length of your runs but stay sharp. The key is to keep reminding your body what it feels like to run without over doing it. It’s common to feel a little restless and full of energy or more lethargic than normal during a taper. Don’t worry. The goal of your taper is to maintain your fitness, revitalize your muscles and reach a peak on race day!
Rule 2. TRY OUT AND TEST YOUR
LAST LONG RUN
Assuming your marathon preparation has gone to plan you’ll have progressively built up the duration of your long runs over the previous months and also included some varied paced running in your programme. Your final long run (this will vary in duration depending on your estimated finish time, but as a general rule of thumb it shouldn’t exceed 3 hours) should take place 3 to 4 weeks before April 13th. This last long run will boost your endurance and leave you feeling confident that you can go the full distance on race day. Avoid leaving your best run out on the roads of training in the final 2 weeks pre-race. Save it for race day! The key to a successful marathon is to keep your endurance levels topped up during the final few weeks but resist the temptation to cram in extra miles. As the race draws closer reduce the length of your longest runs. More is not better at this stage.
Don’t jeopardise race day by testing yourself out in the final week before you race. The running fitness you have gained doesn’t just disappear overnight. The last few weeks and especially the final days before the event you will need to ‘ease down’ or ‘taper’. This involves a reduction in the volume (how long
DEVELOP A PRE-RACE ROUTINE
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO WEAR?
Don’t save your race kit for race day! Wear you kit for at least one long run and a few other shorter runs in your final few weeks. Wearing it will help you check for potential friction points on seams and joins and a few washes will soften material reducing risk of chaffing or rubbing. The same applies for your running shoes. Don’t wear shiny new trainers for the first time in the race. Instead, break a new pair in during a few training runs in the weeks before April 13th.
DON’T TRY ANYTHING NEW IN THE FINAL WEEK.
Don’t try anything new in the final week. Although it might seem tempting to try something different or new in the final days leading into the race stick to the familiar and to what works for you. This applies to food, massage, work, training. If you’re not really sure it’s going to help, don’t do it!
DON’T NEGLECT SLEEP AND REST!
With a taper comes extra time where you’d normally be running. Avoid trying to fill your days with ‘catch up’ jobs or admin during race week. Instead use this time to grab a few precious moments to yourself to relax and take it easy. Make sure you get sufficient high quality sleep during race week. A restless night before the race is a possibility so get a few early nights in the week leading up to the race.
PLANNING PREVENTS PROBLEMS
Doing the same things in roughly the same way and same order before you race will help you remember everything and keep relaxed and focused. Practice this on some of your training days and races before the London Marathon. Run your routine through in your head during the week before the race. Where possible do some of your runs at race day start time in the last few weeks leading up to the race. This will help your body’s bio-rhythms adjust.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO EAT AND DRINK AND WHEN?
Know what works for you in training and do the same on race morning. Use your training runs in the last 4 weeks to practise your race day nutrition and hydration strategies. Know what you’ll eat for your breakfast and how long before the start you’ll eat it. Leaving 2 to 3 hours is normal. The average marathon runner needs about 2,800 calories to cover
The key to a successful and enjoyable event day lies in the planning and preparation. Your training programme should have taken care of your running fitness so just relax and enjoy your final few weeks building towards race day. To avoid last minute panic be strategic with planning. Put things in place to make your life easier. Think about the balance of all your other work, family commitments and how you can make these
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simple for you during race week. Read and re-read the race pack and know where you should be and when. Always allow extra time! Have contingency strategies in place incase of the unexpected. Arrange and pack your kit the night before.
KIT BAG ESSENTIALS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Race entry details and ﬁnal instructions Safety pins Timing chip Race number Bag labels for handing in kit at start and collecting at the finish Running shoes Racing kit: shorts, vest, socks Post race clothing (watch the weather forecast) Toilet paper Wet wipes Vaseline Towel Plastic bag for used race kit! Post race snack: banana, fruit bar. Drinks bottle for before and after the event: energy and recovery drinks.
Rule 4. HARNESS YOUR NERVOUS
FLORA LONDON MARATHON INJURY CLINICS
Top 5 tips
Top 5 marathon mistakes and what to do instead! 1. Train too hard (or not enough). Instead: Trust your training. Get the balance right. Taper and relax leading into race day. 2. Worry too much about the race. Instead: Focus on the things you can control and don’t worry about those you cannot. Believe you can do it. 3. Not planned enough for race day. Instead: Be thorough before race day. Check and re-recheck all your arrangements, kitbag and instructions. 4. Start too fast. Instead: practice your race pace and be disciplined to stick to it once the gun goes. Don’t get carried away. Success comes in the final 6miles not first 6! 5. Insufficient fluid and fuel intake. Instead: Begin the race well hydrated and regularly take on board available water and energy drinks.
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Physio in the city Physiotherapy Cheam, SM2 020 8770 7858
Fact- After completing one of the hardest challenges in your life your body will be temporarily damaged and aching! The Flora London Marathon would like to help you recover in the quickest time possible. Help yourself avoid prolonged pain and plan ahead! The Flora London Marathon Injury Clinics are offering you upon the completion of the race a 10% sports massage or injury treatment session. The clinics below are now taking bookings for the week after the Flora London Marathon. To get your 10% discount you must take your RACE number to your appointment as evidence of your participation! Get in touch with your local clinic to book the earliest possible appointment!
CENTRAL LONDON Barbican Physiotherapy Clinic Physiotherapy Barbican, EC2 020 7606 6530
Body Logic Ltd. Physiotherapy Battersea, SW11 020 7738 8712 Central Health Physiotherapy Chancery Lane, WC2 020 7404 6343 Health and Fitness Solutions Aldgate Physiotherapy, Chiropody and Podiatry Aldgate, EC3N 020 7702 1112 Health and Fitness Solutions Moorgate Physiotherapy, Chiropody and Podiatry Moorgate, EC1Y 020 7702 1112
It’s very natural and normal to be anxious about completing the London Marathon. Being nervous is a healthy sign as it shows you are motivated and ready to get going! But at the same time it’s important to stay in control and focused. Don’t let your nerves overwhelm or panic you. Learn to harness your nervous energy and channel it into your running. Read the race instructions and understand them to gain confidence in how the day works. In the week before practice your race and pace strategies in your head. Harness your mental potential by using visualization and positive self-talk. See yourself running how you want to and reinforce this by thinking positively during the race. For example, say ‘run strong, relax, enjoy’. Most of all believe you can do it! It’s also a good time to remember why you are running the marathon. What are your personally salient motivators and why is the event so important to you? What’s going to help drive you to finish line when it feels tough? Bank these thoughts and pull on them on race day to get you to the finish line.
Sport Dimensions Physiotherapy Chiswick, W4 020 8563 0007
Health and Fitness Solutions Harley Street Physiotherapy, Chiropody and Podiatry Harley Street, W1G 0207 702 1112 Josephine Lawson Physiotherapy Clinic Physiotherapy, Chiropody And Podiatry Fenchurch Street, EC3M 020 7488 4924 PhysioFit Physiotherapy West End, W1B 020 7734 5002 Physio in the city Physiotherapy City of London, EC4R 020 7283 0108 Physio in the city Physiotherapy Paddington, W2 020 7289 4686 Physio in the city Physiotherapy West End, W1H 020 7724 8008 Sprint Physiotherapy Kensington, W8 020 7938 1350 West End Physiotherapy Physiotherapy West End, W1F 020 7734 6263
West London Physiotherapy Kensington, W8 020 7937 1628 West 1 Physiotherapy and Pilates Physiotherapy Harley Street, W1G 020 7935 5652 NORTH LONDON Backs & Beyond Ltd Osteopath Dartmouth Park, NW5 020 7284 4664 The Great Health Company Physiotherapy and Podiatry Islington, N1 020 7226 6406 Kentish Town Physiotherapy Kentish Town, NW5 02074823875
Physio in the city Physiotherapy Wimbledon, SW19 020 8947 9627 W4 Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic Physiotherapy Chiswick, W4 020 8994 8328
Complete Physiotherapy Physiotherapy Reading, RG4 01189 462299
CROYDON Croydon Physio Physiotherapy Grave Hill 020 8662 5059
Health and Fitness Solutions Brentwood Physiotherapy, Chiropody and Podiatry Brentwood, CM15 01277 201106 STaR Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Basildon, SS14 07796 936442
EAST LONDON Physiotherapy London Physiotherapy Canary Wharf, E14 020 7093 3499
Physio in the city Physiotherapy Canary Wharf, E14 020 7970 0912
The Physiotherapy Clinic Physiotherapy Nr Bishops Stortford, SG10 01279 505501
Waterside Physiotherapy Physiotherapy Canary Wharf, EC2 020 7606 6530
SOUTH EAST LONDON PhysioActive Physiotherapy, Podiatry Mottingham, SE9 020 8857 6000 SOUTH LONDON Back on Track Physiotherapy Catford, SE6 020 8314 1200 WEST LONDON Harlequins Sports Injuries Clinic Physiotherapy Twickenham, TW2 020 8410 6020 Kingston Physio Physiotherapy Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 020 8541 5556 Physio4life Physiotherapy Putney, SW15 0208 87045998
Orchard Clinic Physiotherapy St Albans, AL1 01727 855414
KTB Prescribed Pilates & Physiotherapy Physiotherapy Dartford, DA1 01322 277200 Podplus: Podiatry Ashford, TN24 01233 660851
MANCHESTER Athlete Matters Physiotherapy Worsley, M28 0161 7029474
The White House Physiotherapy Group Physiotherapy Sheffield, S10 01142302030
Foot Mechanix Podiatry West Byfleet KT14 01932 353568 Surrey Physio-Sutton Physiotherapy Sutton, SM1 020 82542150 www.london-marathon.co.uk MARATHON NEWS XX