Wednesday, 12 March 2008

5 weeks to London - what to do now ?

Last week I had coffee with one of my team mates who is aiming to break 2.40 for the first time and we talked about his plan for the last hard block of training. While we made a complete plan at the start of his build up we were able to review his progress after 7 weeks and make a couple of small adjustments for the next couple of weeks which should benefit him come race day.

So what do you need to do before now and the taper which starts after the easter weekend ? Clearly it depends on how your training has gone and your race plans so here are some things to think about.

If you are doing a half marathon this weekend then make sure you have a strategy for the race. Are you going into the race tired and running it at target marathon pace ? Or are you having a couple of easy days before hand and really going for it ? There is no ‘right’ answer to these questions. Just keep in mind that you are tired from the marathon training and running a big PB is probably unrealistic. So just be honest with yourself about your goal for the half marathon and stick to the plan. Remember that 13th April is what really matters !

After the half you need to make sure that you have a couple of very easy afterwards to recover. Your glycogen levels will be low and your immune system vulnerable so eat well, drink plenty of fluids and grab some extra sleep. You will then be in great shape to put in your last long run over the easter weekend.

If you are not racing and feeling that you would benefit from some extra stamina in this last period of hard training then you can sensibly do a long run this weekend and next paying special attention to refuel in that vital first hour after the end of your long run.

On the other hand if you are confident in your stamina because you have done the long runs and a good overall volume of training then you can use these last two weeks to stretch the length of runs you are doing at marathon pace. The key here is extending the distance at MP. The temptation to run faster than marathon pace is powerful and you need to resist. If you are feeling good then just go further at marathon speed. Remember that the marathon is a game of fuel efficiency rather than speed !

Good luck with these two weeks and at easter I will post some thoughts on the taper and a race week checklist.

No comments: