I’ve had a very pleasing start to my training cycle for Nepal in November and London before. 5 weeks ago I was just desperate to get healthy, stay injury free and manage to get some consistent training in. Key to this would be managing my load, getting rest in, strengthening my body and taking things gradually and slowly. I’m so pleased that the planning I’ve put into place has worked and everything to date is on target for what I want.
The challenge of planning running the London marathon and then the 10 day trail race in Nepal 6 weeks later has puzzled me a little. Initially I had a long internal debate about whether to target the Hackney half in May, then ramp up for the London Marathon. The stop / start nature of Jan / Feb put paid to all of that and I thought purely target Nepal, using London as focus for some faster flat work, with the intention of running Seville faster next Feb. With that in mind I begun to look at how to structure my training, and decided that up until the end of June I should be considering the whole period as 5 months of base building. Some key principles I then built in:
- Strength twice a week for 8 weeks (as per Jay Dicharry’s excellent book) then back to once a week
- Every 4th week a down week, no lifting and less milage
- For the first 8 weeks 2 rest days, then moving back to one on a Monday
- Use the weekends to have a longer steady run, then run the same distance on the Sunday, slower and every other week over hills. This then building in the pattern for later in the cycle of marathon specific on Saturday, hill specific on Sunday. Back to back days building in distance and endurance. I also was looking with a nod to Canova with in this first phase of pushing the weekly time run @ 80% of marathon pace.
- When introducing any speed, do it carefully and thoughtfully. This has worked well – here I’ve been using something Jonathan Marcus recommends (well adjusting slightly) in terms of surges, so going through different gears on a track as you reduce the distance and I get used to running a little faster in a managed and controlled fashion.
All in all this has served me well – I’m feeling fitter and stronger, no niggles as yet and the speed work I did yesterday felt manageable. The strides were really encouraging. Having never really sprinted or done proper lifting before I’m hoping that both of these areas protect & strengthen me for the weeks to come.
Hampton Court Half was a good test point this Sunday – running it in 1:27’31 was really pleasing, I settled into something a little too fast by 13k, so pulled back, relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the run.
Looking at my 4 weeks below:
I’ve been really pleased with the consistency and ability to run the sessions and lift the weights. I’ve started recording all of my cycling to and from schools to understand how this is having an impact on my total volume, so I’m careful as not to over cook things on down weeks or when I’ve got a heavier session planned.
Alongside this I’m using my Whoop data – for both HRV / recovery and strain. The idea being to watch the trends and ensure that again, I’m not overdoing things and if I look like I need a rest then that will have to happen. Looking at the trends below:
It’s all pretty good at the moment – this goes back as far as last October, covering the period when I had my appendicitis. The last 4 weeks are pretty good, with my HRV holding up, recovery fine and this as I increase weekly strain and distance. I’m hoping that this is a useful overview as I continue training.
I also got my blood results back from Forth Edge. All bar creatine kinase normal (which would seem to be a result of strength / more running post injury) – which I’ll keep an eye on when I do the next test in May. Iron was just above where it needed to be, so another to keep an eye on.
I’m looking forward to the clocks going forwards, more warmth, running in vests and shorts and another few weeks of consistent training. Next yardstick is Run Through 10k at Victoria Park middle of Easter.
Training for the last 4 weeks and next 4 below:
I shall be back to report more in 4 weeks.