Building races into your Marathon Training Plan or Spring 2020 Training is a fantastic way of motivating yourself through the Winter and helping you achieve the longer runs in the lead up to race day. It allows you to be in a race environment and and helps learn what it’s like to run alongside others.
I find that it’s a great way to practice my pre-race breakfast routine, finding the start line, replicating the pre-races nerves and trialling of any kit or fuel (never leave it to race week to not try gels, blocks, beans etc., even if you feel you don’t need them on a long run, use this time to practice).
Knowing what races to put in your plan as and when can be tough so here are some of my suggestions based on races I’ve done previously and from friends feedback.
WEEK 1 – 4 / JANUARY
I’m going to start with Weeks 1 – 4 of your plan. For those training in the Spring, this will be January. I would advise adding in a 10k or 10 mile event in the first 4 weeks. This doesn’t need to be ‘raced’ as it can be used as a training run, but also good if you want to try a faster pace for a base and early confidence boost into training your training plan. A few local races for those training in the East Anglia region:
Saturday 12th January – Draycote 10k
Sunday 19th January – Fred Hughes 10 Miles
Lots of London 10ks in Victoria Park, Battersea, Regents Park etc. all can be found on www.findarace.com
WEEKS 5 – 8 / FEBRUARY/MARCH
In February and March, it’s worth doing a half marathon or two, to either support a long run day or ‘race’ if you’re feeling good and training has gone well, it could be the chance for a PB and confidence boost along the way. If you’re an experienced runner, I’d recommend a 20 miler around 7-8 weeks in. Some of my clients run 2-3 20 milers in a 16 week block.
Sunday 2nd February – Watford Half
Sunday 9th February – London Winter Run 10K
Sunday 16th February – Bramley 10/20
Sunday 16th February – Stamfords St Valentines 30K
Sunday 1st March – Brett Lydd 20 – Kent
Sunday 1st March – The Big Half – London
Sunday 8th March – Hillingdon 20
Sunday 15th March – Cyprus Half
Sunday 15th March – MK Festival of Running – Half & 20
WEEKS 9 – 12 / MARCH
I would then advise for a 20 mile event 3 or 4 weeks prior to race day. This may be a second or third 20, or your first. It’s a great idea to use these to practice some of your target ‘race pace.
You can use some of the previous suggestions; Brett Lydd 20, Hillingdon 20 or MK Festival of Running if it fits in with your marathon plan and target race.
Sunday 15th March – Oundle 20
Sunday 15th March – Ashby 20
Sunday 22nd March – Twin Lakes 20, MK
Sunday 29th March – Dorney 20, Eton Dorney
Sunday 29th March – Oakley 20
I hope that this helps you shape your race calendar for the New Year working towards your running goals or Spring Marathon. Leave a comment with any other suggestions and which races you have booked!
Happy Training 🙂
Week 1 – COMPLETE. Great feeling to have a full 7 days done and done well. If you missed week 1’s recap you can read it here: The Road To London – Week 1 of Marathon Training.
Day 8 – Monday 8th January
At a glance, looking at my diary, today should have been a relatively quiet day… how different could it have been!
7am – Easy run – 6.3 miles
8am – breakfast, emails, client training plans, finalising info for the Need for Speed Course
12.30pm – Yoga at Sweat Studios followed by being treated to lunch by Mum
4pm – quick drink (soda and lime) with Lynn & Freya to celebrate Lynn’s birthday
5.30pm – arrive to set up and teach Circuits Class
7.30pm – My first experience as a Run Lead for the Redway Runners – taking 30 people under my wing to help improve their 5K times. 3.1 miles covered here too.
8.45pm – home to scoff down dinner before getting ready for morning PT clients
23,000 steps, 13.6 miles covered, 9.4 of them running. PHEW!
On Sunday of Week 1 I also took James through the foam rolling and stretching routine we went through at the workshop last week – it did wonders for me today!
Weekly Mileage Total – 9.4 miles
Day 9 – Tuesday 9th January
Early morning PT clients meant my run ‘session’ had to be done just before lunch. I had a great morning in the studio so I was in a good mood. I made sure I quickly changed and got out as soon as I could. If I sat down that would have been game over, distractions would have got in the way and hours would have passed by without me knowing.
A mile warm up and 1.2 miles cool down including 4 miles of different speed work left me with another 6.2 miles for the day.
Pretty happy I was able to hit the relevant paces for each interval too and found the pace of sub 7s much easier than last weeks tempo. Funny how the mindset can play games with you. More evening PT sessions to finish off the day – #StrongerFitterFaster
Weekly Mileage Total – 15.6 miles
Day 10 – Wednesday 10th January
Today’s plan – a leg and glute work out, 30 mins easy run and teaching core class, all in between PT clients.
My workout was higher reps and lighter weights, saving myself for this weekends Cross Country. 4.1 miles done in 32 minutes and a jam packed class finished the day well. A record breaking 32 attendees in total. I’m lucky enough to be able to host another session at 7pm next week too. Allowing more people access to these classes. Spaces still available for the 7pm class – booking link here – http://bit.ly/2ml893n
I was pleased to sit down once the day was done!
Weekly Mileage Total – 19.7 miles
Day 11 – Thursday 11th January
Tempo Thursday’s – UGH.
I think I have a mental block with these runs now.
5.1 miles completed in 6:56 min/per mile average with 0.5 mile cool down.
I finished the run and felt deflated. 6:52 is meant to be my half marathon pace in 7-8 weeks time and I do not feel ready or anywhere in shape for it. But my coach reminded me that 6 months ago I would have not been able to complete a run like that.
‘Remember how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go!’
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.4 miles
Day 12 – Friday 12th January
Rest Day – Yipppeeee! And a record day for me in the PT studio. 9 clients in total BOOM!
Some great sessions but a long day. I hoped that all the squat demo’s wouldn’t affect tomorrow’s XC haha.
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.4 miles
Day 13 – Saturday 13th January
Today was the 4th match of the Chiltern League Cross Country.
This race was in Keysoe in Bedford and is known for the famous ‘water splash’.
James and I made our way over to Bedford and arrived around 45 minutes before the women’s race. We went to check out said ‘water splash’ and I was immediately filled with fear. I’m not keen on being in water, getting wet or muddy – such a girl (rolls eyes).
(Photo credit, Ben Munns)
With the limited time I had, I did a short warm up (which in hindsight was probably not enough as it felt soooo cold) and lined up ready to race.
Today’s game plan was to just run, no pace expectations. I didn’t look at my watch during the race, which I’m usually quite bad for, but only glanced down when each mile ticked over. I ran at effort and tried to drive up the uphills and push at effort on any flat parts. The course was pretty muddy and boggy and with the various races throughout the day, the mud was pretty churned through by the time we raced.
I was pleased with Lap 1, but by the time Lap 2 came around, the course was taking it out of my legs and they became heavier and heavier. I finished in 26:27 over 3.75 miles (avg pace 7:04) and 23rd position overall.
Really happy with that and hope that I can start not being such a girl and recognise cross country is meant to be challenging.
(Left picture, photo credit to Barry Cornelius (oxonraces.com). Right picture, photo credit to James Down)
Weekly Mileage Total – 29.6 miles
Day 14 – Sunday 14th January
Sundays = Long Run
A 7am start and anything 90+ mins was on the plan. I met up with Ben, Stu and ET and we completed a 10 mile route that Stuart took us on. The route was slightly undulating but it was really chatty and the miles did tick through nicely.
My legs felt sooooo heavy in the first few miles after yesterdays Cross Country but the pace felt comfortable. Running to the meeting point and back home again meant I clocked up 12.4 miles and took my weekly mileage up to 42, another record week for me.
A good stretching session is due later as I definitely feel achey now! But YAY to another week of marathon training complete.
Weekly Mileage Total – 42 miles
Training Total Mileage – 83.8 miles
YouTube recap of Week 2 here – https://youtu.be/TCI3qf0WH8A
Thanks for reading and catch you all next week. xx
So here we are, the day we’ve been waiting for… London Marathon training has officially begun.
My plan is set, I am ready to go, and so we begin.
I’ve recently filmed a video on what my plans are for my running in 2018, so if you’ve yet to watch it and are curious about what races I have lined up and how I plan to train for this marathon, then you can watch it here… https://youtu.be/MSL2fe0bJbo
Each week I plan on putting together a video of my training to document the process and also write a weekly summary on what I’ve been up to…
Monday – 1st January – New Years Day
In previous years, I’ve spent the 1st of January in bed, with a hangover. However, this year was different. My training plan started off with 13.1 miles – yes that’s correct, a half marathon.
As it was New Years Day, I was eager to do the double park run and my coach therefore suggested a half marathon distance.
The plan was to meet a group of people from the club at Willen Lake, run to Linford Wood, do that park run, run back to Willen and do the Willen Parkrun. Once I had got back to Willen I was up to 9 miles. I had taken the previous 9 quite steady and the idea was to go ‘all out’ for the second park run. I managed a time of 21 minutes which isn’t too bad on heavy legs. I think the thought of running effort after running for 1 hour 15 already played with my head.
A mile cool down helped to round up to the 13.1 needed for the day. Average pace of 8 minutes per miles – happy days!
Weekly Mileage Total – 13.1 miles
Tuesday – 2nd January
Today’s run was a speed session. My legs were quite heavy last night so foam rolled, stretched and was very glad to wake up feeling a lot less tighter.
Although, I did wake up with a blocked nose and sore throat. I’d been pretty chuffed I had not caught anything over the festive period, but was not going to let this stop me. I like to head out early and get these types of workouts done, so I did an hour or so of work first thing, and headed out the door.
During my 1 mile warm up, I quickly remembered I had not done a session like this in quite a while. I wasn’t sure if I should feel excited or nervous.
This session was, 6 x 800m reps. The idea was to find a pace I could keep up for all 6 repetitions. I had around 1 minute recovery in between and was able to average at 6.07 min/per mile pace which I was over the moon with. Because I paused my watch in between, my watch bleeped a new 5K PB after the session – oops! Will need to make sure I can run that time in the not so distance future for a continuous 5K.
A mile cool down saw me up to 5 miles for the day.
Later in the afternoon I took myself to the gym for a strength session. The focus was on hamstrings and glutes, squats, deadlifts etc. You get the idea!
I then headed off to the PT studio for the first lot of 121 clients sessions for 2018 woooo.
Weekly Mileage Total – 18.1 miles
Wednesday – 3rd January
Today was an easy run – 5.6 miles banked. At first I was reluctant to head out due to Storm Eleanor, but once I was out there I actually really enjoyed it. Just me, myself and my playlist booming through my Aftershockz.
After a busy morning in the PT studio this was just what I needed for a bit of me time.
A 30 minute Sports Massage with Rudi at The Treatment Lab followed by an epic Core Class – great first class of 2018.
More information on classes here – Fitness Classes
Weekly Mileage Total – 23.7 miles
Thursday – 4th January
After an early start in the studio and clients up until lunch time, not one part of me wanted to do today’s run.
On the plan was a Tempo run, for any of those unsure on what this is, all I can say is that these runs HURT. You have to put yourself in a state of running comfortably uncomfortable which is quite a difficult thing to get your ahead around.
My tempo runs should just under 7 minute mile pace. Ask me to run at 6.30s or 8’s, fine, but 7s, hell no, I struggle!
Before I left the house, I tried to come up with every excuse possible:
It’s windy outside (it really was!)
My shin hurts
I’ve not had lunch yet
I’ve got work to do
Excuses don’t run marathons, so off I went. I picked a route I knew was 4 miles and then remembered the elevation is not too kind in parts, and paired with the wind, made this run challenging. It was a mental battle towards the end and I felt a little deflated that I was still a few seconds off of Half Marathon target pace. If I could barely hold this pace for 4 miles, how could I do it for another 9.1??
But, then I have to remember, this is training and this is why I’m doing it.
Run put behind me, I continued with my day.
Rudi from the Treatment Lab and I put on two workshops this evening on Foam Rolling and Stretching. It was great to go through the correct techniques of rolling and talk through the various stretches we all should be doing as runners. A lovely evening and what makes what I do so enjoyable 🙂
Weekly Mileage Total – 27.7 miles
Friday – 5th January
REST – wooo!
Friday is usually my busiest day with 121 PT clients so I usually keep this as my rest day.
I was tired and therefore hungry for most of the day! But some awesome PT sessions kept my mood uplifted 🙂
Weekly Mileage Total – 27.7 miles
Saturday – 6th January
Originally I was down to race the County Champs Cross Country in Biggleswade. But it was my nephew’s first birthday yesterday and his party was today (which meant there was a clash!). Family over XC and it also meant CAKE!! Plus I’d bought him some super cool vans which I wanted to give to him. After all the toys he got over Christmas, my sister was relieved, I’d opted for a sensible present.
In the morning I went out to parkrun instead. Milton Keynes has two so we are spoilt for choice. I opted for Linford Wood today, which a course I have only done three times before. My Course PB was 24 minutes as I’ve never run it at full effort. I fancied a change of scenery over Willen for some reason. I find you can get too familiar with one course and I wanted to challenge myself.
I did a short warm up. Which wasn’t as long as I wanted, only due to the fact that when I arrived and parked my car, I had pulled up next to a lady who was doing her first ever park run. So I walked down to the start with her as she had no clue where she was going. I’d love to how she got on but didn’t get to catch her name. I hope she enjoyed it and returns again soon. It was lovely to meet someone doing their first one! We all were that person at one point.
I was super chuffed with my time today – 20:43, a new course PB, 1st Lady and 9th place overall. I’ve never come in the top 10 – WOW.
It felt tough in parts and the cold/cough I caught earlier in the week was making my breathing harder. But pleased with that pace once I had finished. Another session boxed off, and a day off for me ahead.
Weekly Mileage Total – 32.3 miles
Sunday 7th January
Long Sunday runs begin.
I went out with the club for some easy enjoyable miles and the only option was 80 minutes today from the MK Dons Stadium.
Today was a really chatty run, talking to various people on the way round. It was a frosty but clear morning and the sunshine made an appearance.
I finished on 9.5 miles and felt great. It was lovely to see so many other people doing so well and I walked away full of endorphins and with a huge smile on my face.
Thank you to Redway Runners for creating such a brilliant community and support network.
I stopped for coffee with the Boothbys, Steph and many others before running a few errands and to refuel.
Finishing the week on 41.8 miles and possibly my highest mileage week ever.
Week 1 – DONE AND DUSTED, BOOM!
Weekly Mileage Total – 41.8 miles
(Coach informed me after that 40 miles will be my staple week of training – eeeeekk!)
I’ve also put together a short video of my week in training for those interested. You can watch it here.
YouTube Link – https://youtu.be/oP09kivg_SE
Thanks for reading and will catch up with you all next week.
Clean Coach Katie xx