Saturday, 8 June 2013

Training for Run Melbourne - From 10K to 22K in 7 weeks

Now that the King and Queen of the North is out of the way it's time to start training towards my next event, Run Melbourne on the 21st July. This will be my first event at the half marathon distance so my primary aim is to complete the distance without having to walk at any point. My secondary aim will be finishing in a time of less than 1:41:00, giving me an average pace of 4.45min/km. This is how I plan to do it!

Program

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
Week 1
9th June
Long Run
10km
RestInterval
45 mins
Strength
Training
Hill
5km
SwimStrength
Training
Week 2
16th June
Long run
12km
RestInterval
45 mins
Strength
Training
Hill
5km
SwimStrength
Training
Week 3
23rd June
Long Run
16km
RestInterval
45 mins
Strength
Training
Hill
6km
SwimStrength
Training
Week 4
30th June
Long Run
20km
RestInterval
45 mins
Strength
Training
Hill
8km
SwimStrength
Training
Week 5
7th July
Long Run
22km
RestInterval
45 mins
Strength
Training
Hill
10km
SwimStrength
Training
Week 6
14th July
Long Run
20km
RestSlow Run
6km
Strength
Training
Slow Run
6km
SwimRest

Distance Run

Right now I'm treating ITB (Iliotibial band) syndrome in my right leg so I'm limited to running up to 10km per session for the next 2 weeks. Once that's sorted I'll go from 10km to a maximum of 22km before I taper for the last 2 weeks before Run Melbourne. I'll be doing these runs at a pace range of 5.15 to 5.25 minutes per kilometre. The main aim here is to get my legs used to the distance and to build my aerobic fitness.

Interval Training

During the week I run one interval session and one hill session. For the interval session I warm up for 10 minutes at a steady pace of 5.30 min/km. I then run at my maximum heart rate for 1 minute followed by running at race pace for 1 minute before dropping back to 5.30 min/km for the next 3 minutes to allow my heart rate to recover. I'll repeat that 5 minute sequence four times for a total of 25 minutes before doing a 5 minute cool down. If I find that my heart rate is not recovering in the 3 minute rest period then I just increase the rest period. The aim is to increase my speed by increasing my anaerobic fitness. This is handy for the last couple of kilometres of a race when you want to really push it home and need to put your heart rate into the red to do so.

Hill Training

Hill training serves two purposes. It gets your legs used to running up and down hills, which you'll encounter in various degrees on any serious run, and the hill climbs push you into the anaerobic zone which will again help increase your race speed. I run a particular undulating course which contains hills of various lengths and degrees of difficulty. I start off with a 1 km warm up and run at a comfortable pace. For the first few weeks I'll run about 5km but I'll steadily increase this to 8km before tapering.

Cycling

Being a fair weather cyclist, I cycle to work and back (around 18km each way) every day as long as it's not raining. For this time of year in Melbourne, that's usually 2-3 days a week, which gives me about 70-110km a week. I ride up the famous Anderson St hill on my way to work which gets my heart rate pretty much maxed out on my single speed bike. It's a good workout and a great way to start the day. Plus it's free training time because I have to get to work somehow and it turns out that cycling is at least 10 minutes faster than the alternatives so I save time too!

Whether or not I cycle to work does not affect my running schedule. Quite often, I'll cycle home and change into my running gear and do my speed or hill training. That should put me in good stead for my next triathlon season!

Swimming

I'll continue to do one swim session a week. It's triathlon off season but swimming is a great exercise for toning the entire body and increasing aerobic fitness. It's zero impact so my knees and feet appreciate the break from hitting the pavement and it does wonders for the shoulders and back. I swim about 1km in a single session.

Strength Training

As a runner, cyclist or triathlete strength work is still important. In particular, having a strong core improves your posture and is important for general fitness and well being. Exercises like sit ups, pull ups, push ups and dips are the key here. I'm lucky enough to have a local park which has free outdoor gym equipment and do a quick 20min core strength workout focusing on my back, abdominals and upper body. You could do the same with some playground equipment like monkey bars.

I also perform some basic strength exercises and stretches for my legs. This will help avoid some of the common running injuries such as ITB syndrome which I'm suffering now because I haven't been stretching my glutes!

Taper

The last 2 weeks before Run Melbourne I will be tapering my training. Tapering is reducing the training workload prior to an event in order to ensure that muscle glycogen levels are allowed to build up for race day. If you train too hard in the week leading to an event, you won't give your muscles a chance to build up the key glycogen stores which provide an important source of energy for endurance events.

So that's my training schedule in the lead up to Run Melbourne. I'm confident it will get to my goal of completing my first half marathon and get me a great time of under 1:41:00. We'll see come July 21st!


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