Sun. May 19th, 2024

The next race

3 min read

In a blog post recently I outlined my three top runs of the week being the long run, hill repeats and intervals. In this post I said that these would be the runs that during a race preparation phase I would make sure I ran each and every week. Since writing this post i read Eric Orton’s book “The cool impossible” which I found a good read and a great reference point for transitioning to minimal running,  drills and training to increase performance.


During this book Eric outlines his “foundation mix” as the key elements that a runner should build to be able to improve running over long distances. The three elements in the mix are endurance, strength and speed. This mix mirrors my thinking in terms of my three top runs. Long runs to build endurance, hill repeats to build strength and intervals to build speed.

My next marathon I am planning is still a while off, however I will either commit to the Sydney Marathon or the Beach to Brother trail marathon both of which are in September and only a week apart (so i won’t do both). During this marathon preparation I plan to test whether I can be marathon ready on 3-4 runs per week. Reason being I am in my final year of my university studies and with this full time work and a family to spend time with it is an ideal time to treat my theory on three quality runs per week.

Once I decide in which marathon to commit to I will use a 14 week preparation. 12 x 3 runs per week and a two week taper leading up to the marathon. Over those 12 weeks I will build my long run up from two hours to about 3:30-4 hours depending o the race selected. Only variation to this will be that I will run a 3 x 14km effort 3-4 weeks from the race, 3 x 14km with a 20-30 min rest in between. I ran this run at a similar time to my last marathon and really found this session gave my confidence that I was ready to race a good marathon.

Hill repeats will also vary in terrain and length. Each hill repeat will be run strong though and recovery on the downhill sections. Hills are great for building foot, ankle and leg strength and also for teaching running economy. Intervals will also vary in distance and frequency of repeats but focus on longer intervals mainly 800m, 1km or mile repeats. If I have time for a fourth run each week it will be a slow recovery run.

Interested to understand how well I can run with limited running during a goal race preparation. I certainly believe that it’s possible to run my best with this preparation. Still 5-6 weeks before this phase starts so in the meantime I will run for enjoyment and to keep my fitness in tact.

On a side note last Sunday May 7th was International Barefoot Running Day, if you knew this was on I hope you got out and ran a few miles barefoot or in minimal running shoes. I was out for 9km barefoot over the road and beach to start the day. Happy IBRD 2017.

7 thoughts on “The next race

  1. Enjoyed the post and have seen that book in the library so will check it out. Now starting training for half marathon in September, the first one I’ve done in a few years so it feels like starting from scratch! First proper run tomorrow. Never tried running bare foot, so will have to give it a go.

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