How it Works

GET READY TO CONQUER YOUR FIRST MARATHON

This plan is aimed at the beginner to intermediate runner, who is able to complete a 10km run in about 70 minutes or less. This goal of the programme is for you to have an enjoyable marathon and finish comfortably.

There is combination of running and strength training to help you achieve your running goals with less mileage. This, combined with the specific running-focused strength-training, will help reduce your chance of injury and improve running efficiency.

The strength programme contains home-based exercises that do not require much equipment. Ideally you will need some resistance and mini-bands to help maximise your training. Correct technique is incredibly important for strength-training, to ensure you don’t injure yourself as well as to target the correct muscle groups.

Strength-training should be performed in a slow, controlled manner. Please follow the instructions and videos as accurately as possible to avoid injury.

When doing strength work, try to breathe naturally and exhale on exertion. Prior to your strength training sessions, try to do a short cardiovascular workout of about 5-10 minutes such as jogging around your garden or on the spot, skipping, high knees or butt kicks to get your heart rate pumping. The programme starts with three days a week of running, and progresses to four runs a week to help increase mileage safely and comfortably.

You will strength-train twice a week, and it will take you about 30-45 minutes depending if you run through the sets twice or three times. There will also be recovery weeks, which are very important to allow the body to repair and regenerate so that you can start the next block feeling refreshed and strong.

The plan is time-based so your mileage will depend on the pace of your runs.

Stick to the prescribed intensities (you can use heart rate or rate of perceived exertion as per table) for each run. The easy runs need to be easy so that you can do the important high-intensity sessions really well and with good running form.

On the days that you do the high-intensity sessions such as speed work, hills and time-trials, it is ideal to do some strides and dynamic stretching to help your body perform better. This routine can also be performed on race days.

After your jogging warm-up, complete 2-3 dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretching involves taking your muscle through a full range of motion in a controlled manner. These can include about 5-6 leg swings forward and backwards, leg swings across the body, alternating stretching each calf. Then complete 2-3 strides which means gradually increasing your pace over about 100 metres.

Stretching is often neglected as we “just don’t have the time” but try to make time at the end of your runs and strength training sessions.

Focus on muscles that you have worked as well as those that feel tight. Generally for runners, these muscles will be the hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. Also, take note if one side is tighter than the other and spend a bit more time on that side.

Static stretching should be done after training, which means holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Remember not to hold your breath while stretching.

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