And so it begins….

It’s here, finally, after some time waiting for it to be here. It being of course Marathon Training!

It is about a month and a half now since I knew I was going to be doing the TCS New York Marathon in November, and there have been a series of weeks whereby I’ve effectively been biding time for it to start. ‘Biding time’ of course, still has to involve doing around 20 miles a week, on the simple basis that you can’t (or really really shouldn’t!) go from nothing to 27 miles in your first week of a training programme. I know that from very bitter experience having overtrained for the Great North Run a few years ago with very unfortunate consequences…..

My Great North Run injury….

But now, as of this very day (15th July 2019) begins Day One of a 16 Week Training Programme which culminates on the 3rd November in the New York Marathon. Week One, of ‘just’ 27 miles, is the shortest week of the whole programme, and it goes up to around 50 miles by Week 11. It will also be up to 40 miles by Week 4, so there is a steep ramp in fact. The programme was recommended to me by a five time marathon runner, and is from Runner’s World, so it is a tried and tested routine.

I am intending on sticking to it to the absolute letter if I can, injuries and unforeseen circumstances notwithstanding. There is for me otherwise no excuse, as I simply wouldn’t forgive myself if I got to the starting line or half way round in New York and couldn’t run the race because I hadn’t completed the programme. This remember is unchartered territory for me, and I didn’t (and in fact still don’t) know if my body will carry me around 26.2 miles. It is getting therefore my full attention.

My Training Programme (downloaded from Runner’s World):

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Week 1 Rest or 4M easy 4M steady with a few strides 4M easy 5M – run to a hill, then 8 x 30 secs uphill, jog down Rest 5M steady, cross-country or parkrun 9M slow
(27-31M)
Week 2 (31-35M) Rest or 4M easy 5M – warm up, then 3M at a brisk pace, timed. Warm down. 5M steady 5M – warm up, then 8 x 90 secs fast, 90 secs slow Rest 5M steady, cross-country or parkrun 11M slow
Week 3 (34-38M) Rest or 4M easy 5M – run to a hill, then 8 x 30 secs uphill, jogging back down 6M easy 5M – warm up, then 5 x 3 mins fast, 2 mins slow (or 5 x 800m on track, with 400m jog recoveries) Rest 5M steady, cross-country or parkrun 13M slow
Week 4 (39-43M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – warm up, then 3M at a brisk pace, timed. Warm down. 7M steady. 6M – warm up, then 3 x 6 mins (or mile on track) with 2 min recoveries. Rest 5M easy 15M slow with 5M in middle at marathon pace
Week 5 (38-42M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – run to a hill, then 10 x 30 secs uphill, jogging back down 8M easy 6M – warm up, then 9 x 90 secs fast (or 400m) with 90 secs (or 200m) slow Rest 4M jog with strides Half-marathon or 10k race or timetrial
Week 6 (43-47M) Rest or 4M easy 6M easy 9M steady 6M – warm up, then 6 x 3 mins fast, 2 mins slow (or 6 x 800m on track, with 400m jog recoveries) Rest 5M easy 17M slow with 5M in middle at marathon pace
Week 7 (43-47M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – hill running: 11 x 30 secs, or fartlek with 12-15 30-sec bursts 6M easy 7M – warm up, then 4 x 6 mins (or mile) with 2 mins rest between each. Time them. Rest 4M slow 20M slow
Week 8 (37-41M) Rest or 4M easy 6M easy 7M steady 6M fartlek, inc bursts of 200-400m Rest 4M jog with strides Half-marathon race or timetrial
Week 9 (44-48M) Rest or 4M easy 6M fartlek, inc sustained bursts of up to 400m 8M steady – start slowly, finish fast 6M – warm up, then 10 x 90 secs fast (or 400m) with 90 secs (or 200m) slow Rest 4M easy with strides or parkrun 20M slow
Week 10 (42-46M) Rest or 4M easy 7M steady, starting slowly 9M steady 7M – warm up, then 7 x 3 mins fast, 2 mins slow (or 7 x 800m on track, with 400m jog recoveries) Rest 4M easy 15M steady, including 5M at marathon pace
Week 11 (47-51M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – hill running, 12 x 30 secs 10M steady – start slowly, finish fast 7M – warm up, then 5 x 6 mins (or mile) with 2 mins rest between each. Rest 4M easy, with a few strides or parkrun 20M slow
Week 12 (43-47M) Rest or 4M easy 6M fartlek, inc sustained bursts of up to 400m 9M steady 7M – warm up, then 18 x 45 secs fast (or 200m), with 60 secs (or 200m) slow Rest 4M easy, with a few strides or parkrun 17M easy with 5M at marathon pace
Week 13 (46-50M) Rest or 4M easy 6M – hill running, 12 x 30 secs 8M steady 6M – warm up, then 12 x 90 secs fast (or 400m), with 90 secs (or 200m) slow) Rest 4M easy 21M slow
Week 14 (38-42M) Rest or 4M easy 6M fartlek, inc sustained bursts of up to 400m 7M easy 6M – warm up, then 5 x 3 mins fast, 2 mins slow (or 5 x 800m on track, with 400m jog recoveries) Rest 4M easy, with a few strides or parkrun 15M steady, or half-marathon race
Week 15 (30-34M) Rest or 4M easy 5M – hill running, 10 x 30 secs 6M steady 5M with middle 3M at marathon pace Rest 4M easy, with a few strides or parkrun 10M steady
Week 16 (39M) Rest 4M – warm up, then 1M at race pace plus 5 x 200m. Warm down 4M easy, with a few strides 3M easy Rest 2M easy, with easy strides RACE DAY

The full programme is around 625 miles over the period, so around 40 miles a week on average. The schedule is up on the wall of my kitchen as a daily reminder of what is in front of me. And today being Day One it is actually a Rest Day (as although there is an option above of Rest or 4 miles, I’m taking the former every time!).

My partner in crime (or partner in running!), Melanie, who I’m doing the run with, is doing the exact same programme as me too. More on her, and my, progress as we go along, and a weekly update will appear right here – watch this space……..