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56 km Training Programme

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Generic Old Mutual Two Oceans 56km Marathon Training Programme

In my Old Mutual Two Oceans 56km marathon programme the long run is the key ingredient. These runs are essential because they allow your body to adapt to the stresses of running the race distance. The actual covering of the distance is not the problem - most runners who can run 10 km in under 60 minutes should be able to walk/run a distance of 50 km - but it is a question of how much stress your body can take and for how long.

If you start off with a long run that is only moderately challenging and you gradually increase the time (length) of the run, your body will adapt to running for longer and longer periods, while still being able to recover sufficiently for the next hard workout. The majority of marathon and ultra-marathon programmes measure long runs in distance covered. I prefer to specify the amount of time spent running. The body doesn't know how far it's running, but it understands effort for a given time.

The reason I don't like running a known distance is because it encourages you to race a workout, either against your own standard or someone else. Nothing is more destructive than racing a long run. The pace to run is plus minus two minutes slower than your time trail race. You may check that occasionally but never measure your long runs. You may also think that the suggested time range for the long run is too slow. Resist the temptation to go faster. The main value of the long run in the Two Oceans training programme is to train your body to be more efficient at burning fat and sparing glycogen stores.

If you can teach your body to burn fat, rather than deplete glycogen stores to produce energy, you're less likely to run out of fuel. But the faster you go on your long runs, the less likely it is that your body will learn to burn fat efficiently and the more likely it is that you will hit "the wall" come Race Day.

While it seems logical that your fast training should translate into fast races, it's not true. Trust me on this one. Finally, by staying within the suggested pace for your long run, it will allow you adequate recovery for the strength and speed sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. One other important consideration is to make sure water is available every 15-30 minutes. Also now is the time to experiment with your energy drinks so your body gets used to the product you will use on Race Day. You'll need to drink at every aid station on Race Day to maximize performance.

Commence program 15 weeks before the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon

Key: F - Fartlek, H - Include Hills, R - Time Trial or Race, E - Easy run, M - Medium run, T.T - Time Trial, RP or RC - Race pace

Week MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN

1

Rest

H x 6

M10-12

T.T

10K E

RP or RC

2 Hours

2

Rest

H x 8

M12-15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

2 1/2 Hours

3

Rest

H x 10

M12 - 15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

3 Hours

4

Rest

10 E

M12 - 15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

60 min

5

Rest

H x 12

M12 - 15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

3 - 3h30 min

6

Rest

H x 14

M12 - 15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

4 Hours

7

Rest

H x 15

M12 - 15

T.T

5 E

RP or RC

4 - 5 Hours

8

Rest

10 E

M12 - 15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

60 min

9

Rest

F x 8

M12 - 15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

4 - 5 Hours

10

Rest

F x 10

M12 - 15

T.T

R

RP or RC

2 Hours

11

Rest

10 E

M12 - 15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

4 Hours

12

Rest

F x 12

M12 - 15

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

3 Hours

13

Rest

F x 15

M12

T.T

10 E

RP or RC

2 1/2 Hours

14

Rest

F x 15

M10

T.T

10 E

RC

1 1/12 Hours

15

Rest

Jog 20 mins

Run 20 - 40 mins

Jog 20 mins

Jog 20 mins

Race

 

TRAINING LEGEND

1.

 

Anticipated race pace for:

5 hours Two Oceans 5 min. 21 sec.

5½ hours Town Oceans 5 min. 53 sec.

6 hours Two Oceans 6 min. 25 sec.

6½ hours Two Oceans 6 min. 57 sec.
6 hours 55 min Two Oceans 7 min 24 sec

2.

 

To increase mileage you may add 20 min. recovery jogs in the morning from Monday to Friday.

3.

 

Blue medal - Run for 9 min and walk for 60 sec for the time suggested: This is called a "9/1" method and it can be used on long runs.

 

R

=

REST on Monday - you may walk and stretch. Friday can also be a Rest Day if you so wish

H

=

HILLS - do a 4 km. warm up then stretch. Try and find a hill ± 250m long with 1:10 gradient. To establish your pace run the hill as hard as you can and then add 14 secs. to the time taken. This will give you your hill repeat time. Jog down recovery and 4 km. warm down, eg. H x 10 hill repeats.

M

=

MEDIUM RUN - run at anticipated race pace + (10 sec.) per km.

T.T.

=

TIME TRIAL - always run 5 - 8 km. time trial on a Thursday. You go hard but never flat out. Use this to see your improvement from training. Always 2 km warm up and 2 km warm down.

E

=

EASY - very easy jog pace.

RP or RC

=

Saturdays always 10 km at anticipated Race Pace or do Improvement Races. Races should never be too much faster than anticipated Race Pace. Every 3 weeks you can have an all-out race (no further than 21.1km)

LONG RUN

=

Sundays you always run to time, your pace should be ± 2 min per km slower than time trial pace. Check this occasionally. Try to do these runs over undulating courses to simulate Two Oceans Race.

F

=

FARTLEK - 2 km warm up, stretch then 2 min hard at a pace faster than T.T. pace then 2 min jog. Do the number suggested.

A new medal called the Sainsbury was introduced from 2006 for runners who complete the Old Mutual Two Oceans 56km race between 4hours and 4hours 59min 59sec. The Sainsbury Medal (target finishing time of 4 hours 55 min) is aimed at runners who can run a standard marathon in 3 hours 27 min (at the very outside under 3 hours 31 min). You should have been running competitively for some time preferably 2 years, run between 70 - 95 km per week and run six to seven days a week. Your 10-km personal best time should be around 44 min 30 sec and you should be able to do to speed and hill work.

 

Compiled by Dave Spence (1947 - 2010), original Virtual Coach

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