This is the highest-mileage week of our entire program, with some testing strengthening sessions and a long run on Sunday. It concludes the second phase of the program, and marks our half-way point.
Monday July 4 - day off running, head to the pool. Swimming is great recovery for the load-bearing muscles employed so dynamically in running; excellent for upper-body conditioning; perfect aerobic and cardio-vascular work-out; and an invigorating, refreshing exercise. The nature and distances of your swim session will depend on your standard as a swimmer. At this level of running training, try to swim twice each week for optimum benefits. It really is of tremendous help.
Tuesday July 5 - 3rd endurance-speedwork session. 8 km (5 miles) incorporating 4 x 1-kilometre (1000 m) repeats, with a 4-minute recovery. It gets tougher! This week we're up from 3 to 4 repeats of the kilometre, still aiming to maintain the same pace throughout. Aim
to run each kilometre in at least as good a time as the corresponding session last Tuesday. Find a way to enjoy the experience, as these are some of the most valuable training sessions for the marathon.
Wednesday July 6 - good distance run, 10 km (6 miles) at medium intensity on flat road surface, including 4 x 100 m 'floating strides.' During the strides, visualise feeling as light as possible, floating above the ground.
Thursday July 7 - easy recovery run, 3km (2 miles). Swim session.
Friday July 8 - 3rd strength endurance session. 7 km (4 miles), including 1.6 km (1 mile) at your 2-mile race pace, completely focused, leading immediately into 4 x 1-minute hill repeats at grunting pace, with no more than 4 minutes between the completion of one hill and the start of the next.
Saturday July 9 - alternate exercise day, enjoy the break from running in a relatively intense training week.
Sunday July 10 - Sunday long run, 26 km (16 miles) at moderate pace. This is our longest run to date, so enjoy: if possible, run with friends in a scenic region, over varied terrain. The long runs are the most important session each week because the marathon is, well, a long run! Concentrate on finishing strongly and in good style (that is to say, keep the head, shoulders and feet up, and the arms swinging - easier said than done).