Saturday, 6 November 2010

Training schedule

There are so many training schedules on the Internet that tell you how to prepare for a marathon. They can vary a little bit but they all have some building blocks in common:
  • The number of kilometres run every week increases gradually up to some weeks before the race, then it cuts back drastically to allow the body to rest and charge. Most of them don't even require you to run the race distance in training.
  • There are days every week assigned to different aspects of training, that is: speed work, long run, easy runs, hills and so on.
  • They all have suggestions on speed for the various training sessions, depending on what kind of result you wish to achieve in the race.
My plan is not so nuanced. I get a headache just thinking about these schedules. No, my plan is more...eclectic.

I work shifts, and between that and having a life outside work, following a training schedule is impossible. Besides, I don't always feel like whatever is on schedule. Some days (well, ok. Most days) I don't feel like speed work. Some days I feel like running shorter distances, some days longer. If I'm forced to do something, then it feels unnatural and not fun at all.

Some die-hard runners would react to this and talk about how you can't develop as a runner if you don't sweat. It's probably true. However, I run because I think it's fun, not to win at the Olympics. Besides, the 26-minute improvement between my first half-marathon last year and my latest begs to differ. It just takes longer.

So my training plan looks like this:
  • 1 long run per week. My usual run is 22-23 km, and I'm hoping to gradually build the distance up until I can comfortably run 30. Then increase some more. Unlike what the training schedules recommend, I'd like to have run the marathon distance at least once before the race. It's not so much for stamina, as it is for psychological reasons.
  • Run commuting to / from work at least twice a week. These would be my easy runs, but I've used them for speed work once or twice in the past.
  • Run in the woods at least once a week. Built-in hill work.
All in all I'm starting at about 50 km per week. I'm planning on having fun training for this marathon. Through the cold winter rain, through icy pavements, through darkness, I am going to have fun.


  1. Mitt tips är lätt styrketräning då och då (ett par gånger i veckan kanske): tåhävningar i trappa och utfallssteg.

    Med lite starkare muskler undviker man skador och får inga avbrott i träningen. Sedan jag började med detta för ett år sedan har jag varit skadefri. Det var jag INTE innan.

  2. Tåhävningar kör jag ett par gånger per dag redan, men utfallssteg har jag aldrig provat. Jag ska börja med det också. Tack för tipset!