Running in Tokyo/Japan - Marathon/Clubs/Track Races


Well the first 4 weeks of my buildup have passed by, and now I am coming to the end of a recovery week. Very important to have these down weeks because they allow the body to recover and get stronger from the hard work that has already been done. Contrary to what many people think, people tend to profit from their training when they are resting, and not when they are actually training hard. Also a conventional buildup is a long journey; in my case 24 weeks for this marathon. Therefore it is vital that marathoners take these recovery periods so as to refresh the mind. Alas, this is something most athletes don't consider ;or are scared of taking such easier weeks for fear of losing any fitness.
I've decided to enter The Daegu International Marathon on April 13, 2014. A long buildup, I know, but one of my strengths is that I'm more than happy to do the real tedious work. And not to look too far ahead, just concentrate on getting each planned run ticked off after finishing. Very important to keep in the present! So I'm not thinking about the race too much and I haven't even thought about the time I want to achieve. Just get the work done and everything will be fine.
Like most marathoners, I like to periodize my buildup. The first twelve weeks are about developing a good base and then ten to twelve weeks of quality work, which become more specific as the race approaches. The plan being to be right on my A Game on the day of the marathon-and not before; as legendary Australian Rugby league coach Jack Gibson said, "You don't win the Melbourne Cup in May!" (The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most famous horse race that takes place on the first Tuesday in November) So for now, no hard vormit inducing workouts or mega long runs; just a gradual increase of good consistent mileage.
So a typical week in the early part of my buildup would look like this:
Monday: 40-50 minutes
Tuesday: 60 minutes
Wednesday: 40-50 minutes
Thursday: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 60 minutes
Sunday: 1 Hour 40 minutes
Except for the easy day on Monday, most of my runs are quite brisk without straining; but solid enough to yield good aerobic benefits, and are monitored with a Heart Rate Monitor, and I aim to work at 140-148 BPM.
I also finish each run with core, ab, and back work and do 4 strength sessions a week. However I'll discuss this in another blog sometime.
So thank you for reading and I look forward to any comments.

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Comment by Owain Vaughan Lewes on December 3, 2013 at 5:37pm

Also Juergen, I may add that the majority of my runs are quite brisk without straining myself. By doing so I get stronger so when I incoroprate the paced work, the body will be strong enough to handle the hard work. If you increase mileage and speed together there is a higher chance of the body breaking down. However if you spend 12 weeks working towards 80-90% of your highest mileage during the buildup, with some tempo work and low intensity fartlek type strides with plenty of recovery to keep ticking over, there'll be minimum risk of breaking down. Having said that, there are umpteen different ways to train for a marathon. However this approach seems to work best for me. One more point: There are athletes who swear by having regular 400 metre workouts in their marathon prep Australian marathon great Rob de Castella was one. He had a regular 8x400 metres workout with 200 mertres float recovery (not a jog!). The session totalled 5K and if he ran it in under 14 minutes then he knew he was in shape to run a fast marathon . Yet When I ran my fastest marathon I never touched 400s. But one sesion my coach had me doing when I ran my pr was 2 hrs long run in the morning and a 5 mile marathon paced run in the afternoon. By doing that workout a couple of times in the final 6-8 weeks you're training your body to run efectively when the legs are low on fuel . Very effective combination, but you have to be strong to handle that and that strength comes through a strong foundation. What a lot of people forget to consider is the final 6 miles (10k)! You want to be able to get through 20 miles in relatively comfortable shape. If you have paced yourself well, adhered to a sensible nutritional and fueling plan, are well hydrated, and most of important of all, have prepared throughly and sensibly you will not encounter The Wall.

Comment by juergen wittstock on December 3, 2013 at 10:50am

Ah, I see... Giving yourself something to look forward to!

Comment by Owain Vaughan Lewes on December 2, 2013 at 2:48pm

Don't need them yet Juergen. Just get 6-8 weeks of steady running (not jogging!) at an effort just enough to develop the aerobic system then gradually add intervals!

Comment by juergen wittstock on November 30, 2013 at 9:53pm

No intervals at all? Well, I guess you are focusing on the distance and don't need the speed. Personally, I like the occasional stimulus... though getting slower recently.

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