Early morning Christmas weights

So the dog is ready to be roasted by an open fire… and this morning, I got up early and went to the gym.  As usual.  Christmas Schmistmas!

This morning’s session marked the end of my pre-training strength training.  Starting tomorrow, I am officially marathon training.  I’m taking a very different approach this time, though.  Becky, my trainer, is a national level 800m runner and I went to her with the express ambition to cut my marathon time from 5:58:34 to as close to 4:30:00 as we can get it.  That’s a heck of a chunk of time off and pre-supposes that I run the whole way, rather than adopt a run/walk strategy.  And that’s just for starters.

Strength training is going to feature large in this training plan.  Very large.  It’s a completely different philosophy and I confess that I’m a little out of my comfort zone (but out of your comfort zone is where the magic happens, right?!).  So we will continue with an hour of weight training twice per week.  At the moment, the routine starts with dumbbell shoulder presses.  I’m currently pressing 7kg x 12 reps in three sets.  These are cut with Romanian Deadlifts – 37kg x 12 reps also in three sets.  Then we move to a kneeling row – about 4kg of resistance, 12 each side, intercut with Russian Step Ups – today we did these onto a weights bench.  Also 12 each side.  Three reps of those two sets.  The step- ups, in particular, are absolute killers.  But I’m really feeling the difference in my glutes! Then we move to circuits; single leg kettlebell deadlifts – 12kg and 15 each side; dead bugs, 24 reps; VMO lock-outs against a resistance band, 15 each side and finally shoulder rotations – 3kg x 12 each side.  Three sets of each of those.  The weights and specific sets will change, as we get closer to the marathon.  Meantime, there will be one set of intervals, one tempo run and one long run per week.

This week, over Christmas, we’re going to keep the running times stable and aim for increase in speed (distance).  So my programme is:

Xmas Eve – 70 minute long run

Xmas Day – rest

Boxing day – 8 x 1min intervals with 90 secs rest

My birthday – long walk

28th – rest (I plan to have a hangover this day!!)

29th – 5k within 30mins

30th – 70 minutes steady

31st – 50 minutes faster

Sunday 1st – rest!

Monday 2nd – intervals

So that’s quite an intense holiday week, to see how my body copes with it.  Then the new programme starts on Tuesday 3rd.  The first 6 weeks will look much as I described above, and we’ll hold the long run at 70 mins for the first 4 of those weeks, increasing to 90 mins by the end of the 6 week block.  Intervals will increase in number, decrease in rest time, with an increase in recovery running after them.

Tempo run on Thursday will probably stay short – 5km-ish – but look to increase time.

To get to a 4 1/2 hour marathon, I need to be running comfortably at 10:30 per mile.  I’m currently clocking about 8:30 – 9:00 minute miles in intervals, and a little over 11:00 per mile on long steady runs.  So there’s work to be done in making 10:30 a sustainable pace for me.  This programme focuses massively on building strength, rather than the endurance building I’m used to.  And we’re doing the speed work first.  So in a way, it’s a total switch of philosophy.  We’ll see how it goes – but I’m super excited to get started!

If you’d like to sponsor me, my fundraising page is here, and you can read about why I chose Dash here.

Thank you for your support, and for reading! Have a very happy Christmas – and don’t train too hard! 🙂