My marathon has moved!
I've had lots of emails recently about what to do when your target race has moved. So this blog post explains some key tips and concepts, using the London Marathon as an example.
Training for the 4th October 2020 London Marathon;
- The easiest approach is to work backwards from the new race date and re-use the training plan you were using for the April race date. So a 4 month (16 week) plan would need to re-start around the start of June and a 5 month (20 week) plan around the start of May.
- I prefer 20 week plans as they build you up more gradually, lowering injury risk, and have more contingency in them, incase of injury or illness etc
- Between now and the start of your plan have a bit of a break where mileage and intensity/speed of your runs drops off. Use this as recovery from the mileage build you did to prepare for the April race. Perhaps drop one run a week, reduce the speed or hill work by 30-40% and drop distances down; if you can keep long runs to around the 8-10 mile mark that will be a great base to then pick up with your marathon plan again when the time comes
Training for the April 2021 London Marathon;
- If possible here I'd look at picking a 5 month (20 week) plan to use for the 2021 event as they build you up more gradually, lowering injury risk, and have more contingency in them, incase of injury or illness etc. So you'll be looking to re-start marathon training at the start of December this year.
- In the mean time keep running, running is a high impact sport so going from doing none to building up mileage quickly in a marathon plan again increases injury risk.
- Sticking to 2-3 runs a week and running up to 10k on a longer run once a month should be fine over the summer. As you get to Autumn gradually build up so you can run around 8-10 miles on a long run if you can.
- It might be useful to pick an Autumn goal to help keep you motivated, a 10k race. Or maybe distance goals for the long runs as I've suggested above.
For both October 2020 and April 2021 Races;
- Look back over your training for this years April race and pick two things you felt worked well that you want to do again, make a note of them. Also pick two things that perhaps didn't work as well and you might want to change, again make a note of those and what you think you could do to change or improve them
- If you felt your training plan didn't quite suit you, now's the time to look for one that might work better. For example - you picked a plan that said to run 5 days a week and you never really managed to stick to it? Find a plan that does 4 runs a week! I've trained people to run a marathon on a 3 run week, finding what's going to work for you, life, commitments and other sports is a key to being able to stick to the training.
- Use this "extra time" you now have to work on other areas to compliment and improve your running; strength training and stretching are often at the top of that list!
- If you picked up an injury training for the Spring 2020 race now is the time to "pre-habilitate" - working on exercises from the physio or strength work to stop it happening again.
- Find the silver linings; training for an Autumn race means less bad weather and storms and longer daylight hours for training! Training for the 2021 race means you have loads of time to really work on your overall health and fitness to provide a really strong foundation to make marathon training feel easier and more fun :)