The Melbourne Marathon Festival is now ten weeks away! The PMPP team is in the midst of its training and looking strong! The next ten weeks of running will be challenging, so we have enlisted the help of Recreational Running Coach, Chris White from GoRun (www.gorun.com.au). For this blog, we asked him for five tips to surviving and flourishing over the next ten weeks before crossing the finish line at the MCG. Here are his thoughts…
- Firstly, don’t panic! Whilst it may seem that ten weeks isn’t much time to train, there is no need to panic. Remember that race day is not tomorrow, nor is it this weekend or next month. There is plenty of time to train and for your body to adapt to that training. Don’t rush into long runs or over extend yourself as you will increase your risk of injury.
- Planning and structure helps. Now that you aren’t panicking, it is time to plan. Take time to plan and structure this next ten weeks. This plan should tell you what you are going to be doing each day to help you cross the line at the MCG. Be realistic in how much time you can commit to this goal and base it around your existing work, family and social commitments. You may want a qualified running coach to work through this planning with you, but if not, start by anchoring your plan around long runs, tempo runs and adequate recovery. Most running plans are eight to twelve weeks long and will slowly build the length of your long runs and tempo runs, as well as include strategically placed recovery days or sessions, as well as a taper in the weeks leading up to the race.
- Consistency is key. In my opinion this really is the key. Throughout your plan, you will miss the occasional training session. Don’t worry. It is consistent training over time that will serve you best. Consistency doesn’t necessarily mean training every day, it means training regularly and recovering properly as your program builds in distance and difficulty. This isn’t the most glamorous or exciting thing to say, but it is what gets results.
- Long runs build endurance. The events at the Melbourne Marathon Festival are endurance events, therefore building your own endurance is key. This means spending time on your running legs. Runners across the globe use their weekends to get their long runs done. These runs give you belief that you can make the distance so do your best to not miss these sessions. As a general rule, run your longer runs slower than your race pace and try not to increase your distances by more than 10% each week.
- Find and test your race day nutrition. You will struggle to get through a marathon or half marathon without taking any nutrition on board. Getting this wrong on race day can make not only minutes, but hours (yes, really!) difference to your time. It is worth experimenting to find the food/gel/drink that works for you and your stomach, then practice using it on your longer runs. Also check with the race organisers what nutrition will be available at aid stations on race day.
I am really pleased to be supporting the PMPP team in their efforts at Melbourne Marathon Festival this year. At this stage, the training is going well, so come race day keep an eye out for a few personal bests!