Category Archives: Marathon Training

Slight Sense of Panic

Somehow it’s managed to creep up on me, only 28 days till the Athens marathon. I do feel a lot better about it today than I did a week ago. Then my thinking was along the lines of “I’m now as fit as I should’ve been four weeks ago, not good”. Since then I’ve managed one set of 5*1000m intervals and a 29k long run. Both of which went as well as I could’ve hoped.

Still, there’s only so many days left and I need some drastic measures to make sure everything goes OK. 1) I need to make sure I wont fall ill again just before the run, which is what’s happened before last two marathons I’ve signed up for* and 2) that I’m fit enough to run uphill for 30k.

Here’s the plan. I’ll concentrate on three different types of runs: interval runs at 5-6*1000k and steep, slow up hill runs with about 6-8 repeats. Both are great for breathing and intervals are good for those fast twitch muscle cells. Then there’s time for just two long, up to 30k, runs. I’d like to do three but it gets too close the race day.

Last seven days will be crucial as I don’t want to fall ill but I can’t train too hard either. I think it’ll be ok. Just need to be careful.

Apart from not training enough over the summer, another cause of slight panic is my lower back and both knees. I had some back pains before Edinburgh but never had any problems with my knees which is quite worrying. One reason could be the couple of extra kilos I put on after the wedding and munching sashimi in Japan, where we went for our honeymoon. To combat this, I’m quitting beer, candy, croissants and cakes until the race. My aim is to loose 4 kilos in the next 4 weeks. Very doable and will make a massive difference in the race.

That’s about it, I’ll try and do another update in few weeks time to see where I am at.

*I had to pull out of running in Athens last year and this year before running in Edinburgh, I was still ill on Wednesday (race was n a Sunday). I think it has something to do with tapering down my training too early and too much. The body just gives up thinks now it’s ok to be ill. (Similar to why people are often ill on weekends and on holiday.)

63 Days to Athens

This week marked the first solid week of training, uninterrupted by holidaying and was greatly helped by the fact I’ve been working from home.

What a week. I created my casual training programme in the end of last month and this was the first week I could follow it to the letter.

The week started with a long run – 22km @ 2:06:46 – on Tuesday. (Normally I do long runs on the weekends to minimise its impact on regular life.) It went really well, as the time shows, it was a marathon speed exercise. Taking in count that I stopped at a Weatherspoons to go to a toilet and twice to buy water and a banana, it was very close to the 2 hour mark for a half marathon.

Next up after a day of rest was the intervals. 3 times 1000 meters with the fastest burst at 4:08(!) and slowest just under 4:30. I tried to kick it for a fourth one but my legs just wouldn’t carry. Whole run with warmup, in betweens and cool-down came to just over 10km.

Another rest day in between although I really should have done this recovery run right after the intervals. This was a very slow 10km (@ 1:11:34), with a bit of walking here and there. Nice, hardly broke sweat.

To finish the week off, I did a fast 10km with a warmup and a cool-down. First time this week when running I had some pain on the fronts of both shins. This did go away by the time it was time to run faster but I’m a little worried it’ll get worse. I haven’t suffered from really any long term injuries since I started running. Fingers crossed. The fast 10km came to 48:56 and total distance was 13.41km in 1 hour 15 minutes.

Total for the week is 55.56km, longest I’ve ever ran in a single week. Feeling pretty good!

Athens Marathon Training Programme

As I might have mentioned, I’m now officially signed up for the Athens Classic Marathon in November. This THE marathon that starts from the coastal town of Marathon and ends in Athens.

Today is also the last day of my holidays which means I can finally go back into a good running routine which has been rather too hard to achieve during the holidays. I still haven’t had a change to upload my actual training I did for the Edinburgh marathon and that’ll have to wait for now. Instead, I’ll briefly describe what I’m thinking for Athens training.

Because of my un-routined work life, I’m going to try to simplify the programme so it’s not so day specific – more like, this is what I need to achieve during each week.

  1. Fast paced 12-14k at about 5:00-5:10 min/km
  2. Intervals. 3-4 times 1-2k at 4:00-5:00 min/km. Plus some squat-and-cry’s in the end.
  3. Long run every 2/3 weekends. And with ‘long’ I mean 20+ km. These should be at 6:05 min/km or faster.
  4. Slow recovering run.

I won’t be able to do all of these every week, that I know already, but as long as I aim to run three times a week and do two long runs for every three weeks and interval training every week, I’ll be much better of than last time.