Friday, August 8

For Cliff

Keep in mind that what I’m about to share is my opinion and based solely on experience, AND that everyone you ask will give you a slightly different answer.

At first glance, structuring your week to run a tempo on Monday, hills on Wednesday and a long run on Saturday leaves enough time for recovery (check). Make sure you also play around with your weekly periodization to aid with recovery. Don’t get tricked into thinking that you don’t need recuperation, everyone does sooner or later.

I believe that one aspect of racing a marathon that people tend to overlook is specificity. It’s important to keep in mind both the route and that it is an endurance event. After looking at the course, the first 17k is gradually downhill with the remainder flat (apart from the last mile). With this in mind, how long are you planning on running hills, i.e. how many weeks/months? How are the w/o’s structured, 30” vs. 3” or perhaps just running a rolling route?

Although hills build strength keep in mind that you will plateau and that Toronto is not a hilly course. I’d advise a) doing hills at the beginning with a few sprinkled in at the latter stages or alternating right from the outset, i.e hills one week, with shorter tempo (1k-3k repeats) efforts the next. You might want to have the third week hill & tempo free… an easy week? As for the duration, I think it’s a good idea to do at least one midweek run that is moderately long (building to 1h30).

As for the long run, I’d really try to hit 3h recognizing that the longer you run in training the easier race day will be.

As for Monday, what type of tempo sessions are you planning? If you’re going to mix up the hill sessions with some shorter tempos, I’d try and make the Monday intervals longer. As you get closer to race day (6 weeks out) you might want to consider dropping the Monday session and working some longer tempo pieces into your long run.

Examples you could use are below:

M (long tempo): 2x10’-15’ tempo (2’); 3x2M tempo (2’); 6xM tempo (1’); 8-10x1k tempo (1’); progressive (15’/10’/5’) descending from MP, HMP & 5kP

W (hills/tempo): 5-8x30” hills; 4-6x2’ hill; 5x1k (2’); 3xM (2’); 8-12x1’ (1’) on recovery week; or 2x90” (90”) + 4x1’ (1’) + 4x30” (30”) + 4x15” (15”) again on an easy week.

S (long run): build to at least 2h30; 3xM tempo + 1h easy + 3xM tempo; 2h with 6M MP building to 12M MP

Hope this helps?!

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