This week we 'back off' in mileage just a little, recovering from a few big weeks, and preparing for a few more. 'Energy' supplements can be a blessing or a curse. Do you know what will be served at the aid stations during the marathon? Find out from the organisers what 'brand' sports drink and energy bars or gels will be available during the race. Be sure to source some in the coming weeks and use them during training, especially your longer runs, so you know how your body reacts to these substances when under stress. Quite a few times athletes have gratefully reached for an untested bar or supplement during a race, only to discover that particular food doesn't 'work' for them. If your constitution doesn't agree with what's on offer at the race, make arrangements to have your own favourite, tried and proven food and drinks available for you.
Monday July 11 - 3 km (2 miles) recovery run.
Tuesday July 12 - strength endurance session, 12 km (7 miles), incorporating 2 km (1.5 miles) at 2-mile race pace, then immediately into 5 x 2-minute hill repeats. The hills come earlier this week. If you were hoping for a drop-off in intensity, I'm sorry, this is the
wrong program for you! The taper phase doesn't start for a few weeks yet...
Wednesday July 13 - easy recovery run, 5 km (3 miles). Include a swimming session as the best form of active recovery.
Thursday July 14 - 'focus' run, 10 km (6 miles) including 2 x 10 minute 'tempo' efforts at about your 5 km race pace with a 3-minute slow-jog recovery in between. This is a new session, an extension of the speed-endurance workout of previous weeks. It's designed to build up our anaerobic threshold while adding focus and intensity to the workout. The last thing we would want would be for our training to become boring!
Friday July 15 - medium intensity run, 10 km (6 miles) including 5 x 100 m downhill 'strides.' Downhill strides effectively lengthen our stride length and get us used to travelling with greater momentum. Try to remain as far above the ground as possible.
Saturday July 16 - easy recovery run, 5 km (3 miles), with swimming session.
Sunday July 17 - Sunday longish run, 23 km (14 miles). This week's long run is not SO long, as we are in between 2 weeks of our longest training runs. Just find a nice course, relax and appreciate your own inner beauty reflected in Nature around you.