|Soweto Marathon route profile (image courtesy of RunnersGuide.co.za)|
Is it too much too soon?
Will I hit the wall?
Am I strong enough?
Anyway I do digress.
This is the summary of what my program entails. It's a five phase program and in a classical sense only 19 of the 25 weeks are proper marathon training with the first six weeks being base building. So it's just 1-3 weeks longer than regular 16-18 week programs.
- Phase 1 Base Building (6 weeks). This will entail mostly easy runs and strides to lay down the endurance base necessary for the subsequent phases.
- Phase II: Repetitions (6 weeks). This comprise fast track repetitions (200m to 400m) on Tuesdays.
- Phase III: Intervals (6 weeks). This phase focuses on endurance speed sessions of 800m, 1000m, and 1200m on Tuesdays. These are high intensity sessions of no less than 3 minutes whose aim is to condition your leg muscles to run hard for longer periods.
- Phase IV: Threshold training (4 weeks). This is the final sharpening phase in which you’ll run 800m or 1000m at an intense 5km pace for peak performance.
- Phase V: Taper (3 weeks). This phase involves structured cutting back of both mileage and intensity to enable the body to recover and rebuild glycogen stores.
All of that of course involves tempo workouts, long runs and adequate recovery runs. I'll be doing assessment races at the end of each phase, 10km for Phase I-III and a half marathon in Phase IV (probably the City2City) to ensure I'm on the right track. Sometime in phase IV I will have an idea of what a realistic aim should be. I've played with the time predictors, noted the values but ultimately my body and mind (and the coach) will be the final judge of what I'll set out to do when, injuries and health permitting, I'm at the start line.