I ran the London marathon which was quite an achievement particularly as I had only run four miles up to the day of the race! It sounds absurd however that’s precisely what I did. Just goes to show that you do not have to run mile after mile to be able to run a long way in a race!
I really enjoyed the 26 miles on the day, but usually, I get tired plodding along for too long so I attempted to prevent that. I was successful too as even a 6 miles maximum run is a whole lot less than the twenty odd required on the day. I was confident that I ‘d make it though as I was roughly following a program I ‘d seen in the Tim Ferris book ‘4 hour body’.
Crossfit for endurance training?
This training program is created to prevent overtraining! The bloke who designed it for Tim Ferris was trying to take him from 5k at the start to a 50k event in twelve weeks! Sounds extraordinary and if you like to know if he made it, you will have to learn that elsewhere! Anyhow, this was one thing that offered me self-confidence because the concept seemed sound.
The program was based on the following methodology – 3 runs a week; one longer run of 3k-10k optimum and two other sprint routines AND lots of crossfit exercise routines five days a week to build up leg strength. The training did get tougher as D-day approached but the miles and miles of plodding were simply excluded.
Like a good recipe a training program is there to be adapted and that’s what I did. I had four months training time and required only to finish a fraction of the distance. So I began running 2 to 3 mile distances for a few weeks building up to 3 runs a week. Then I changed 2 with sprinting methods; while the book varied these I stayed with 4 x 400m sprints with a light jog before and after to deal with running style. Likewise I adjusted the crossfit workout programs which were far too varied and complex to utilize straight out of the box.
Since I have the timer I did tabatas, lots of them. Some were exercises like press ups, squats and lunges while others were on the fixed bicycle but they were always flat out. I really went all out and made sure I did as much as I was able each time. Intensity! And that was it, long distance runs avoided!
There was one more string to my running training bow – sports massage! This was simply about recovery so the next session would be pleasurable instead of painful. I sought out my local sports massage centre online and booked my first sports massage at the end of the first week of training. I was immediately addicted; these sessions got me up and over hills even in the rain! And surprisingly, I didn’t get anything more than a niggle throughout my training! The massage really helped.
And that, dear reader, is my marathon training plan! Sorry there’s no detail however you could fill in the blanks, I’m certain. The main point is you needn’t run 40 or 50 miles a week to be able to make it on the day. This implies you must show up ready for action on race day, rather than knackered and dreading it!