Training Plan for 2011

I went out for a run at lunch time today. Some the pavements we still quite slippy and I suspected the paths in Pollok Park would be bad so I stayed on the road and ran a big loop round the outside of the Park.

After about 4.5miles I looked at my watch and saw I was running at 7.15pace so decided to keep going at that pace so I could put it down as a tempo run!

My Yaktrak’s arrived today so I might try them out tomorrow on Bellahouston Park as there is still quite a bit of snow and ice on the grass. I’d be quite happy to put them away after that for another year but I have a feeling I might need them before then.

So on to the title of this post … My Training Plan for 2011.

After I’d decided which races I’m doing next year the next thing I like to do is to spent some time setting out my training plan. I like to have a plan to follow.

I love the saying ‘Fail to prepare – prepare to fail.’ According to Google, Benjamin Franklin said it but I’m not sure in what context but I think it fits in well for ultra running.

So here is my training plan from January through to the end of September. It covers the four races I’ve entered for next year.

A few comments …

# the key runs are my long monthly runs on the whw
They form the basis of the plan. A long run once a month which get longer each month, starting with 28miles in January, 30miles in February and 42miles in March. Then it’s the 53mile Fling race in April. May will be my two day (42miles & 35miles) run on the whw. June is the whw race.

I’ll fit in a 25mile run a couple of weeks before the Devils race and then a 20mile run on the RAW route before the race in September.

# four week pattern
During January, February and March I’ll be working on a four week pattern of three progressively harder weeks cumulating with my long run followed by an easy week to recover.

# between races
I have 7 weeks between each race. So I’ve planned two easy weeks, then three harder training weeks before two easier weeks before the race.

# weekly pattern
In a typical training week I work on a hard/easy principal. So Monday is a hard Fartlek session, Tuesday an easy recovery run. Wednesday a hard tempo run followed by Thursday’s easy run. Friday a hills session if I can. Saturday a rest day before Sunday’s long run.

I like having a variety to what I do and each session having a purpose. The key thing is making sure the easy runs are easy. I read somewhere that most runners do their tempo runs too slow and their easy runs too hard.

I also like to do some speed training. I know there is a debate about the value of speed training in preparing for an ultra but I enjoy being part of our club’s Monday night Fartlek session. It’s the one session a week where I can push the pace.

Once I get into my races from April onwards I’ll do a lot less but January to March I’ll be there pushing as hard as I can.

# flexible
I was asked by a friend whether I’ll keep to this schedule come what may. I answered that I will except for injury. But I also would like to think that I’m flexible enough to change things if I need to. For example if I need another day of rest rather than pushing things then I will.

Or if it makes more sense to have an easy run rather than a tempo run. But the one thing I will try and make sure I don’t miss out on is the long monthly run. I see those as building blocks and I need each one to build on the previous one.

So there is my training plan for 2011. I’m really looking forward to my training and races next year. I’m going back to the basics that did me well and I’ll be interested to see whether I can produce some similar results.

Watch out for my goals for 2011 which is coming soon. As always bronze, silver and gold goals to aim for in each of the four ultra races I’ll be doing.

Wed 15th Dec Run Details
6.54miles in 47mins 23secs (7.15pace)

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2 Responses to Training Plan for 2011

  1. Very impressive – that 2011 training plan of yours – but must admit I've never worked out a proper structured Plan in all my racing life!
    My training is much more random although, when I set off from the house, I usually know what I'm going to do, i.e. long run, tempo, interval session, fast miles, fartlek, hills or whatever, but never in any particular sequence. I just do what I feel like doing on the day, and if the weather's bad I stay in!

  2. Dave Morrow says:

    Looks like a sensible plan to me John. Hope you don't mind but I nicked some of it for my own!

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