Training Plan and Execution
“Advanced Marathoning” by Pfizinger & Douglas is the text I have used to prepare for both my marathon efforts and favouring the shorter 12 week version of the plans has helped me maintain focus – albeit with modifications to individual sessions tailored to my needs. The training cycles follow a familiar pattern of tempo/moderate/long phasing but there are some really useful pointers about how best to adapt for age, in particular building in suitable recovery for older competitors – the ones they laughingly refer to as “masters runners”. To build the sustained speed endurance required for Edinburgh, the key adaptation I needed to make was to complete my ten long runs at a higher intensity rate than before. These were calculated at a minus 10-20% effort range from a base target marathon mile pace, initially set at 7:45 before falling to 7:15 as my goals became more stretching. Apart from a short period of illness during week nine and some disturbance from heavy snowfall late in March, the execution of this plan proceeded without interruption. I managed to introduce a lot more variety than before to help deal with the often repetitious nature of road running. Trails were frequently used for the early shorter runs. Club-mates joined me for long runs; I used mid-week medium length runs to get to work, or completed them when working away from home and even managed to build in a weekend trip to Edinburgh in order to run a part marathon paced effort on a 20 mile section of the race route. I ran 700km in the three months prior to race day.