This blog is an update on what’s been happening in January, training-wise.
Just a brief bit on the training plan itself. My previous route to a plan was to ‘go the distance’; that is, pick a training plan from the many online resources commensurate with the time barrier I wanted to beat. You know the sort of thing – “Your Best Training Plan for under 4 hours!”; “Training Plan for a 3:30 P.B.”. So, I would do the plan based on the idea that, as long as you run at least twice a week, and you always do the long run, you should be okay. All of these were distance based plans; you build up your long slow run until you hit about 20-21 miles, however you have managed it – and however long it took. The brief being that another 5-6 miles is doable. It’s one way of doing it.
With the help of Jan Lavis**, a local legend in both running and coaching, I’ve put together a coaching plan based on the following:
- Long Runs built up by time, not distance.
- Long runs at specifically Heart Rates and paces.
- Long runs built up to no more 3 hours.
- Targeted runs aimed to build strength and endurance
- Not a weekly program, but a bi-weekly, tri-weekly, or a monthly cycle, based on the phase of the plan.
- Pace reviewed periodically in accordance with results and VDOT calculators *
- Cross-training using strengthening exercises and additional pilates-type stretching.
I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow training plan here, as it only applies to me. And that’s the thing – it’s a personal plan, not an identikit thing made for the mass ranks of amateur runners. Plus, it’s a plan that’s a work in progress, as I learn and understand more. So, what you see now won’t be what you see in a month’s time.
A lot of the information comes from the Burgess Hill Runners training area (of which I am a member) : https://sites.google.com/site/bhrunners/training-area, most of which was researched and written by Jan. It also links to other sites to “back up the science”.
Having read through the info and speaking with Jan it made me realise just how little I know, and how much there is to learn.
As a coach for the might blue army of the Burgess Hill Runners, I acknowledge that it’s one thing to be able to put together a coaching session for an hour or so for 30 runners who may or may not be training for something specific, but it’s a wholly different task to be able to put together a training plan for a specific race for a specific individual. The years of previously pounding the streets and paths of Sussex, although in some respects enjoyable, are probably responsible for a number of niggles and injuries I suffered.
Hopefully, I can report back in a few weeks time on an improvement in all respects.
In the meantime, I can say that in January, all four of my ‘long runs’ were time-based, and with an eye on my Heart Rate. I’m slowly getting round to building in the non-weekly cycle. I had a base fitness test, which I took on the first Saturday of the month, running 5K on as flat a course as could be found within my village; the result of which suggests that a 3:30 running goal is definitely plausible. A couple of coaching sessions at club were a little bit egocentric; let’s just say they fitted in with my training plan as well as giving the runners who did the session with me a coherent coached run.
In all, I can say training has been a success, although I still have a lot to learn, a lot to encompass, and hopefully some improvements to make in both training and fitness.
I plan to review my February in a month’s time, so until then, happy and purposeful running to you all…
* VDOT Website – http://www.runbayou.com/jackd.htm
** Jan has her own website for her coaching services – https://jelfitness.com