In conjunction with England Athletics, we want to help you prepare for your race with a few extra training tips. Whilst there are hundreds of training plans and tips out there, we want to bring you the best, and, as such have enlisted the advice of England Athletics and their experienced coaching team.
Over the next few weeks we will be publishing four articles as part of our new “Training advice from England Athletics” series, which will provide you with invaluable advice, and training tips from Spencer Duval, who is the National Endurance Lead Coach for England Athletics.
Issue 2: 12 weeks until race day. Take it away Spencer.
So you’ve booked your race and it’s all starting to get a bit real as race day nears. Preparation for a race is crucial and most runners choose to kick on with their training with about 12 weeks to go until race day. The good news is there’s still plenty of time. Of course, everybody is different, but our distance running team, here at England Athletics, has devised a couple of training templates to help you get the most from your race.
The key is to use them with all your own running and individual goals in mind.
“A huge majority of your running will be just that – running. Do it at a relaxed pace – but not too slow, chatting with a running partner. We like the 80-20 rule, which states that 80 percent of your running should be steady and easy, with perhaps around 20 percent at a faster more uncomfortable pace. The best runners are those who aren’t afraid to take it easy, and just get out and run … (although they do also make sure they do the faster bits as well).”
You might like to add a bit of strength training to your programme. We’ve chatted to our expert team and they suggest core strength is a key aspect of successful running performance. That involves body weight exercises, or perhaps a gym class that puts your body through some easy range of motion movements to strengthen and keep vital bits mobile! It’s all about common sense; yes you want to be stronger but don’t neglect the actual running part in preference to some strength work, if you only have time for one or the other.
Keep in mind hip, hamstring and calf mobility and a strong core and you won’t go far wrong.
We also like a bit of hill running. That’s a great way to improve your form and work on that strength we’ve just chatted about. If nothing else, try to incorporate some into your week for example 10 efforts up a hill at a faster pace then jog or walk back down again to recover.
But also, keep in mind everybody is different. You might need 10 days to fit all your training in; a week may not allow for enough rest in between harder days. Don’t be frightened to alter plans accordingly.
When you’re planning your week take time to include:
1 long run and 1 medium length run. That might mean 90 min run at the weekend when there is more light available and an hour run midweek.
The rest of the week try to include a couple of easy runs, perhaps 1min per mile slower than your marathon speed and one quicker run of at least three miles and up to around 10 miles by about week seven or eight.
Once a fortnight, try and run a marathon session (see template 2).
Here are a selection of sessions to choose from but of course modify for your individual needs and local surroundings.
Hour acceleration- run the first 20 min very easy, pick it up to your usual cruising speed for middle 20 min then accelerate hard for final 20 mins (about 10km race pace).
90min – first 45 min easy, final 45 mins harder.
5x5min with 2 min rest between each effort – Build up to 10.
20min fast, straight into 4x5min with 1 min jog or walk rest, 20 min hard to finish.
Short hill sprints – 20 min quite fast to the hill to warm up. 8x60m fast uphill, walk recovery. Jog home
You can find out more about training tips and running in England by visiting England Athletics
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