Training Overhauled

In one of his posts, the BaldRunner proposed the 100km challenge. The point of the challenge is to run 100 km in a span of four days. It is a gruelling challenge that serves to test whether a runner has developed enough endurance to tackle marathon and speed trainings.

Upon reading it, I wanted to try it out, but I was quite apprehensive since I wasn’t sure I could do it. Why the doubt? Well, what I realized was that I didn’t have enough base training for me to accomplish the challenge. This just means that I probably shouldn’t be doing any tempo/interval/marathon trainings at the moment.

Like many newbie-runners, after joining a few organized runs, I was bitten by the competition bug. Hence the goal of my training became how to get faster, often at the expense of endurance. Yes I did get faster, but the bad part was I could not maintain my speed over long distances.

Of course a lot of people have already trained and ran a full marathon without going through much of base training. I salute those guys for being able to do what they’ve done… however, in my case… I just don’t want to be able to run a full marathon, I want to be able to run it competitively! And I believe that base training is the key.

So for the rest of the year, I’ll be focusing on building my endurance by going back to base training. The plan now is to run against time, instead of distance. I don’t expect my speed to improve much during this period, but I know that with improved endurance, the speed factor will eventually develop too.

I’ve decided on running 2 hour blocks, 3x a week, with a weekly increase every 3rd block. It doesn’t matter how many kilometres I can cover in 2 hours (though of course more is better), what matters is that I run 2 hours. The plan is to increase my endurance to a point where I can maintain my speed for long distances. At the end of my 16 week program, I hope to be able to run aerobically for 4 hours straight!

Here’s a sample of the program I’ll be following (I just made this up for myself):

Week 1

day 1 –> 2 hours

day 2 –> 2 hours

day 3 –> 2 hours

Week 2

day 1 –> 2 hours

day 2 –> 2 hours

day 3 –> 2:10 hours

Week 3

day 1 –> 2 hours

day 2 –> 2 hours

day 3 –> 2:20 hours

Week 4

day 1 –> 2 hours

day 2 –> 2 hours

day 3 –> 2:30 hours

Why 2 hours? Uhmmm… I checked my training log and I determined that this is the longest time I can maintain running at a certain pace. The 4 hour target… well, it’s probably the length of time I’ll be running continuously if I run a full marathon, hence this target.

Will this program work? I sure don’t know… but I’m sure going to have a lot of fun running trying to find out 😀


7 thoughts on “Training Overhauled

  1. Wow! 2 hours at least??? I cannot even imagine myself doing this training program in the future! But you know, when I registered for the Manila Half Marathon Challenge, may nakasabay akong running coach based in Cavite. He told me to develop endurance by running at least 2 hours a day–exactly what you’re about to do now. Hmmm… so I guess you’re in the right track. As for me, maybe in 5-10 years hah hah …

  2. Hi Joe. This coming Saturday after shaking off the injury and doctor’s orders, I’m going back to square one and that is getting base. This is good what you are doing. Actually, this month is a good time to do it since there are a number of holidays that come up near the end of the year.

    In most areas of the world, the peak season is usually March – July or August. Generally, September and October are my high mileage months though the daylight becomes less and less here.

    Anyway, continued success. You’ve had a very good year. See ya soon!

  3. loony, i am impressed with your new training sked as you are going to the right direction and truly understand the principles of training & running. all the books on running and coaches of elite runners are of the same in recommending endurance/aerobic-based mileage first before going to specific training like speed & hill workouts, most especially to new runners. patience is the key to a better appreciation on running. i am sorry for those who would like to take the “easy pill” or “shortcuts” as i am sure they are now “nursing” some injuries and praying/looking for their cure. as they say, “running is an experiment of one” where one’s training is not adaptable to another runner’s workout. experimenting oneself is limitless. good luck on your “100K Challenge”

  4. hello!

    nora… just like what BR said, the programs are an experiment of one 😀 It doesn’t have to be two hours, it depends on your present fitness level. For example, if you can only run “comfortably tired” in 30 minutes, then just run 30 minutes and progress from there 😀 thanks! good luck on your running too! see you in future 10 k runs 😀

    wayne… thanks! It’s good your injury’s getting better. Yup, even for runners who’ve been doing it for years can still benefit from base training… have a nice weekend, see you soon!

    BR… yup, it is an experiment of one! The past 2 years (wow! has it been that long already?) of running has allowed me to experiment with different training styles… and though it took me this long to realize it, I now know that base training should have been on the top of my priority training programs. I too tried taking shortcuts, but as it turns out… for my level of fitness, it was the wrong thing to do. thanks to books, the internet and blogs such as yours, I think I am now indeed on the right track 😀 thanks BR, will be doing the challenge in 4 months!

  5. hi joe,

    great post, very insightful 🙂 i guess that’s why they call it ‘base’ training, because it’s the foundation 🙂

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