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Training Plan

I get asked a lot about my training plan by runners and non runners alike. I try to keep it as simple as possible, high weekly mileage to include speed and hill workouts and a long run, all my other runs are recovery runs done at a slow pace.

A typical weekly training plan for me would be:

Monday:
Am – 10 Mile recovery
pm – 10 Mile recovery

Tuesday:
Am – Hill Repeats
pm – 10 Mile recovery

Wednesday:
Am – 8 Mile recovery
Pm – Track Intervals or Fartlek

Thursday:
Am – Long Intervals – 1-2 mile repeats
pm – 10 Mile recovery

Friday:
Am – 10 Mile recovery
pm – 6 Mile recovery

Saturday
Am – Short race or Tempo run
Pm – Rest

Sunday
Am – Race or Long run (22 – 32 Miles)
pm – Rest

Total Approx – 115 Miles

Sometimes I go under this, sometimes I go ever, I will also drop a workout session if I’m not feeling up to it and if my legs feel really tired I will back off and take a morning or even sometimes a full day off, it’s really important to listen to your body when you’re training.

I stick to this as a rough training plan all year round, I may add more specific sessions if I’m getting closer to a race, for example if I have a marathon coming up such as London next month, I’ll replace a track session with a more marathon specific sessions such as 15 mins easy/ 20 mins tempo/4 x 5k @10k pace/40 minutes @MP (Marathon Pace)/15 mins easy or if I’m getting close to a big target ultra such as the Anglo Celtic Plate I’ll increase my pace during the recovery runs to be closer to my target 100k pace to really try and dial into the pace I’ll be aiming for.
So what pace do you do your recovery runs? you ask.. Well again it depends on what I’ve got coming up and what I’m recovering from, I’m not too proud to go out and run 10 minute mile recoveries if I feel that’s what I need after a hard session or race, in general though my recovery runs can range from anything from 7:15 to 8:45 pace, it’s really important to remember that when doing such high mileage not to push it during the recoveries.

Running twice a day (doing doubles) is something that I am a great believer in for improvement, I not only find that they help with recovery (in time the body adapts and gets used to recovering quicker as it knows it’s going for another run in 8 hours) but when training in a glycogen depleted state it puts more stress on the body, stress creates adaptations and in this case increased mitochondria. There are a whole load of other benefits to training twice a day but I’ll save those for another blog.

Fartleks:

You can do whatever you like when it comes to fartlek, I really enjoy short bursts and recoveries such as 1 minute on, 1 minute off, 30 times or 2 minutes on, 2 minutes off, you can also have fun, the term comes from the Swedish translation for Speed “Play” – Sometimes I’ll fartlek with passing cars, speed up when a car passes and keep that all out pace until another car passes and then recover and repeat the process for however many miles you plan doing. Not a good idea to do this at 5am as I once did because the lack of cars mean your all out effort can go on for well over 15 minutes, not so much fun!

Intervals:

Again, these can range from 200-400 Meter repeats with equal or 100 meter recoveries to 1 mile repeats with 2 minute recoveries, you can also use a pyramid system going up in 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1600 Meter repeats with equal recoveries and back down again, there’s so much you can do with speed intervals. My intervals tend to be based around goals I have coming up, for a 5k race you may want to concentrate on the shorter intervals with shorter recovery times, a marathon may require longer intervals such as mile repeats with 1 or 2 minutes off. My coaching packages come with plans that are all tailored to specific goals so I can help you if you’re unsure what you should be doing.

The Long Run:

I was advised by one of the greatest Ultra runners ever Don Ritchie to make sure that when training for ultras that the long run is a minimum of 3 hours long so I try to stick to this. The pace of my long run will change depending on what races I have coming up and sometimes I’ll use a race such as a marathon as a training long run for an upcoming ultra. I’m also a big believer in back to back long runs for ultra training but that’s another blog post too.

So there you have it, a basic overview of a typical week of my training plan. I don’t do much in terms of cross training, perhaps I should do more but I go against the grain slightly in that my belief is that if you want to be a good runner, you should RUN!

For help and advise on running training plans check out my coaching page

2017-03-25T13:07:59+00:00