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The nitty gritty of the marathon plan – Tom Starts Up – Medium

Training Types

The training plan will consist of 32 weeks of training that will de divided in 8 blocks of 4 weeks.

5 blocks of base training, 2 blocks of build training and 1 block of peak training.

Each block has 3 ascending weeks and 1 recovery week with less volume.

Ascending weeks grow by 10 to 15 percent, except for the first two blocks where growth can be 20% or more as you start from 3km runs and it goes quite quickly to 5km runs for example.

Training is not done in heart rate zones for the moment for the simple reason that I don’t have a heart rate monitor. I will be running on ‘feel’, taking the following rules of thumb. For all clarity, these are my rules of thumb that work for me.

The bulk of training is done in the so-called LSD zone. Nope, not by using psychedelic drugs but by running Long Slow Distance. Since the marathon is a long slug, it wouldn’t be wise to do training by running100m sprints.

If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, LSD runs are done at a pace in which you can still talk comfortably.

LSD runs are the reference pace for my marathon. During the first 3 blocks of the base training I don’t care what speed I will be getting out of it.

There are 3 more run types I will be using.

recovery runs (R): these are runs slower than LSD.

extensive runs (E): faster than LSD but you can hold it for 15 minutes or more

intensive runs or intervals (I): A lot faster than LSD and you probably can hold for 4 to 5 minutes

In the longrun

Each week I will do at least 1 long run at LSD pace. This is a constant throughout the 32 weeks. The longrun will be growing incrementally. The longrun will be flanked in the week by shorter runs of varying type to keep it interesting.

I start out with 3 runs per week, but at around week 16, there will be consistently 4 runs per week, growing to 5 and in the peak weeks 6 runs per week.

When 4 runs per week are planned, there will be one longrun , a run which is half of the longrun and 2 variation trainings. And so on.

Training up to week 20 will be expressed in time not in distance. Thereafter the training will be expressed in distance.

In blocks 2 and 5, a 60 minute test will be done. The first one will serve as a reference value.

In the table below I have put the number of weekly trainings — the total time in minutes of that weeks run training and the duration of the longest run in minutes.

My Base Training Plan for an Autumn Marathon in 2019

For example in the third week of block 4, I will do 4 run trainings in that week, totalling 260 minutes. The longrun will be 2 hours. Since there are 4 training sessions, one of them will be half of the longrun, so 1 hour.

So that week looks like this:

training 1: 40 minutes technique run, focusing on form

training 2: 60 min LSD , half of the longrun

training 3: 40 with variation LSD — extensive — recovery

training 4: longrun 120 minutes

An important note:

T training plan will almost surely fail. I will not be able to follow it 100%. It is a guideline that allows variations left or right of the meridian.


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