individual training programme

Help, I need a coach to enable me to devise an individual training programme but cannot join a running club. I am a veteran runner running 2:52 marathon, 36 mins 10K. I would like to get down to 2:45 for the marathon this year or next(if possible). I currently run 3 outdoor sessions per week (with 1 long run) plus 3 x 40 minute fairly intensive sessions on a treadmill. I have no more time or chances to run further so must optimise the sessions I have. Does anyone know where I could get help with such a programme - web based ??


  • Have you done a half-marathon recently? If so what was your time?
    Oh yes, and: did you follow a similar training pattern when you ran 2:52 (3 sessions outdoors; 3 on the treadmill)

    Also, do you have you sight on any particular marathon?
  • Nick, Thanks for the reply. I am afraid I am stuck with this training pattern and have been using it since last spring. I ran 2:52 in November. My last half was in December where I ran just under 1:20. My target marathon for a faster time would be an Autumn marathon, perhaps Abingdon which I know is pretty flat.
  • Trentsider,

    You are in a fairly similar position to where I was this time last year: I ran 2:52 in Berlin at the end of September 2001, and was aiming for a 2:45 in London 2002. I didn't have the same constraint of only three outdoor runs, but given that you say you are able to run 6 days per week, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    A few suggestions I have are:

    - your three outdoor sessions should be: your long run (not too slowly - maximum 30-45 seconds slower than target MP); a semi-long MP run; a tempo run/speed session (eg, 1000m - 1 mile reps or similar);
    - two of the treadmill sessions could be fairly easy/recovery runs; one could possibly be a harder session.
    - try to get your base mileage up to 60 miles per week, and then increase to around 80mpw for the most intensive part of your marathon build up (that may be tough given your time constraints).

    Not sure where best you could get more specific web-based advice. If you're interested I could e-mail you my London 2002 training schedule (if I can find it), but obviously you would need to adapt it.

    Good luck!
  • Trentsider, Funny because you're not doing an awful lot of mileage (50 miles a week presumably) and you marathon time is pretty much in line with what you'd expect from someone who's run just under 1H20 for the half... This suggest you must have pretty good stamina, especially since your 10K time is not that terribly fast (my performance prediction tables would have you run 35'50" for 10K... How old are you, if I may ask?
    Oh, and which marathon was it you did in November?
  • Nick, You sound very sceptical. To answer your questions I am 41 next month, I ran the Leicester marathon in November and my 10K time is relatively poor. I am not so good at running fast, but I can run quite fast for a long time (and I would like to run just a little bit faster for a little bit less time).
    Donutto, thanks for the advice. I would be interested in your schedules. I am not sure I could cram in 80 miles a week, certainly not by increasing my treadmill runs.
  • Trentsider,

    No, I didn't mean to sound sceptical... I just meant to say you seem to have good stamina, so a 2:45 marathon still seems achievable despite your low weekly mileage... You'll have to bring your half-marathon time down to 76/77 first though; and your 10K time to around 35' (or maybe just under). There you go: 2 targets for this spring.

    suggested sessions (in order to achieve those 2 goals):
    - 6x1k in 3'20" with 3mins jog recovery in between
    - 10x500m in 1'35 with 1min jog recovery in between
    - 3x3K in 10'48" with 5mins jog in between followed by one last K in 3'30 (that's a session in preparation of your half marathon)
    - 40 mins tempo run at 6'18" miling
  • Yes, I agree with NickJ's prescription: a 10k in 35' mins, and a half-marathon in 77' should set you up nicely for a 2-45 marathon.

    When doing interval sessions be strict about recovery - and don't give yourself too much recovery time. I think NickJ has been a little generous in that respect - I used to do my 1k reps (in about 3'12" to 3'20" on a 5 min. cycle, which gives a recovery of about 1'45"). This, I believe, really helps with (a) lactate threshold (b) coping with pain!
  • ooops... That should have read '2 mins'recovery on the 6x1K intervals (usually 400m, if you do that session on a track).
  • Donutto and Nick - thanks for the advice guys. I will try the specific sessions suggested by Nick on the treadmill (where the speed is not too great) perhaps increasing the incline when the machine will not go fast enough and aim to increase the length of one of my mid-week runs. I will also try to get my longest run each week as close to marathon target pace as possible. If I can keep clear on injury I may get there. Donutto - did this training schedule work for you, how did you do in London?
  • Trentsider,

    I forgot to mention, but for optimal use of your time on those 40 mins treadmill sessions, you could possibly do one weekly tempo session: 10 mins warm up, followed by 20/25 mins at your current half-marathon pace, building up progressively to your target half-marathon pace (1h16/1h17), followed by a 5/10 mins warm down.
    Add to that, weekly, one of the intervals session I suggested above (I like to do the Ks rep. on a fortnightly basis, as it gives me a good indication of my current form); one hills reps. session or fartlek; one long run (1H30 mins in preparation for the half), and the remaining 2 sessions easy jogs.
    This is essentially very similar to what Donutto suggested, and should be fairly optimal preparation for a 10K/half-m racing schedule given the time constraints that you have... Let us know how you get on..
  • Trentsider,

    Yes, the schedule worked for me (or very nearly) - I ran 2:45:13 in London 2002, missing my target time by those 13 infuriating seconds! But I also ran Amsterdam last year, finishing in 2:42:47, so I have championship place for this year's FLM.

    If you post or enable your e-mail address I will send you my schedule as an Excel file.

    Good luck!
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