My 18-week training plan for Milton Keynes marathon 2012

My training for Milton Keynes 2012 marathon starts on Boxing Day.  I won’t actually be doing any running that day, because I have some cross-training (eating turkey) commitments, but I will be running the day after.

This does not count as cross-training

“What?  You are going to fit running in during the Christmas period? Are you crazy?”

No. I am not crazy.  Frank Zappa, who named his children Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.. is a bit crazy.  But I need to train with a blatant disregard for season, weather and external commitments.  There is not really any room in the next 18-weeks for opting out.  Opting out is fine when you are training to run for 40 minutes, or 90 minutes. But 3+ hours?  There is no room for retreat and no room for surrender.  That is why I have based my training plan on the movie “No Retreat, No Surrender 2.”, starring the “Muscles from Brussels”: Jean Claude Van Damme.

There are a number of things I will be doing differently to last year’s training plan.  In last year’s training plan, I got too focused on doing massive mileage, ended up doing no quality training and just ended up running 5×7 mile runs and one long run a week.  I got very good at running for an hour whilst being really tired, and made no proper improvements to any of my key attributes (lactate threshold, V02Max, endurance).  This time I will be:

  • Running more quality workouts
  • Doing fewer miles (although not much fewer)
  • Polarising my training (doing hard workouts harder and recoveries slower)
  • Running more preparation races (10 miler, 2 half marathons, one 20-miler)
  • Doing even more yoga and stretching

The No Retreat, No Surrender 2 Training Plan

“Hey, who peed in the pool?”

After basing last marathon’s training plan on “Porkys 4”, I thought that maybe “No Retreat, No Surrender 2” would be a better “motivational tool”.  I have split my training plan into 4 basic sections (as per Pete Ptizinger’s advanced marathoning):

  • Endurance (weeks 1-6) – builds up general endurance
  • Lactate Threshold (weeks 7-11) – really spanks up the lactate threshold
  • Race preparation (weeks 12-15) – Get ready to run at the right pace
  • Taper (weeks 15-18) – Rest and get ready to race!

Weeks 1-6 – Endurance (I will run 5 times a week)
No Retreat No Surrender Quote: “Hey, who peed in the pool?”

Week 1
Total miles : 35
Quality session: lactate threshold (8 miles, 4 miles at lactate pace)
Long run : 10 mile race
Cross Training : Pilates + cycling (1-2 hours)

Week 2
Total miles: 40
Quality session: Intervals : 6 x 1km (60 seconds recovery)
Long run : 14 miles (last 8 miles at race pace)
Cross Training: Pilates + yoga for runners

Week 3
Total miles: 40
Quality session: lactate threshold (8 miles, 4 miles at lactate pace)
Long run : 16 miles long run
Cross Training: Pilates + cycling (1-2 hours)

Week 4
Total miles: 45
Quality session: 400m x 12 (400m fast, 400m slow)
Long run : 20 miles long run
Cross Training: Pilates + yoga for runners

Week 5
Total miles: 45
Quality session: lactate threshold (9 miles, 5 miles at lactate pace)
Long run : 16 miles (last 10 at race pace)
Cross Training: Pilates + cycling (1-2 hours)

Week 6 – Last workout of block and easiest
Total miles: 35
Quality session: diagonals (30 minutes)
Long run : Watford Half Marathon
Cross Training: Pilates + yoga for runners

Weeks 7-11 – Lactate Threshold(I will run 5 times a week)
No Retreat No Surrender Quote: “You just made the endangered species list.”

Week 7
Total miles : 50
Quality session: lactate threshold (10 miles, 5 miles at lactate pace)
Long run : 18 miles, 11 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + watching sport on telly

Week 8
Total miles : 50
Quality session: lactate threshold (10 miles, 6 miles at lactate pace)
Long runs : 20 miles, 12 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + yoga for runners

Week 9
Total miles : 48
Quality session: none
Long runs : 16 miles (last 12 miles at race pace), 14 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + cycling (1-2 hours)

Week 10
Total miles : 40
Quality session: 8x800m intervals (with 45 seconds rest)
Long run : 14 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + yoga for runners

Week 11
Total miles : 55
Quality session: lactate threshold (10 miles, 6 miles at lactate pace)Long run : 14 miles
Long runs : 20 miles, 12 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + lying on the couch

Weeks 12-15 – Race preparation(I will run 5 times a week)
No Retreat No Surrender Quote:
“Good guy 1:We’re in a deep hole – we’re gonna need a packed hand to get out of it.
Good guy 2: How about… a royal flush!
[kicks a cauldron of boiling water into the bad guys] “

Week 12
Total miles : 50
Quality session: 10x600m intervals
Long runs : Marathon pace 20 miler, 12 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + lying on the couch

Week 13
Total miles : 50
Quality session: 5x1km intervals
Long runs : 17 miles, 12 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + yoga for runners

Week 14
Total miles : 50
Quality session: 10x600m intervals
Long runs : 18 miles, 11 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + lying on the couch

Week 15
Total miles : 50+
Quality session: 4 x 1 mile intervals
Long runs : 20 miles, 11 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + yoga for runners

Weeks 16-18 – Taper (I will run 3-5 times a week)
No Retreat No Surrender Quote: “gooooouuuuuaaaaahhhh.”

Week 16
Total miles : 40
Quality session: 10x600m intervals
Long run : 16 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + yoga for runners

Week 17
Total miles: 32
Quality session: 3×1 mile intervals
Long run : 12 miles
Cross Training : Pilates + yoga for runners

Week 18
Total miles (excluding race) : 20
Quality session: 7 miles (with 2 mile at marathon race pace)
Long run : None
Cross Training : Light Pilates

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2 Responses to My 18-week training plan for Milton Keynes marathon 2012

  1. AndrewENZ says:

    I’ve been really enjoying your blog and finding your posts both amusing and informative. I hope you smash the 3:10!

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