Dr. J on Running

Dropping the M-Word

21 January 2010

At the eve of the most important meeting of my professional career, I called my wife for strength and support. She shared with me her day in the country, and concluded with a stunning surprise. Our friend Stacey put a bug in her ear training for the Wineglass Marathon on 3 October 2010.

In our running community, dropping the M-word brings a range of emotions from the memories of Marathons run to the tribulations of aborted training and unfinished Marathons. Yet this particular M-bomb triggered a surge of excitement and ebullience, and dissipated the stress and apprehension of the meeting ahead. I accepted immediately the challenge, and declared my intention to join Stacey and Marla in training for, and finishing the Wineglass Marathon.

Training safely for a Marathon requires 26 weeks of preparation on top of a sound base. The long run constitutes the basis for every training program. A gradual increase of the distance of the long run onto the vicinity of 26.2 miles increases the likelihood of a successful race. So, I set to develop a training program for the Wineglass.

The raining program requires three runs each week two short runs and one long run. The short runs represent the base fitness at the start of the 26-week program, and range between 3 and 5 miles. The weekly long run increases by one mile each week initially until it reaches 10 miles, then increases by two miles every other week, allowing for a race or a tempo run in the off week. The following table illustrates a basic training program for a runner who seeks to complete safely the Marathon without a time target.

Week

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

Total

Comment

1

3

0

3

0

0

4

0

10

 

2

3

0

3

0

0

5

0

11

 

3

3

0

3

0

0

6

0

12

 

4

3

0

3

0

0

7

0

13

 

5

3

0

3

0

0

8

0

14

 

6

3

0

3

0

0

9

0

15

 

7

3

0

3

0

0

10

0

16

Race

8

3

0

3

0

0

5

0

11

 

9

3

0

3

0

0

12

0

18

 

10

3

0

3

0

0

6

0

12

Race

11

3

0

3

0

0

14

0

20

 

12

3

0

3

0

0

7

0

13

 

13

3

0

3

0

0

16

0

22

 

14

3

0

3

0

0

8

0

14

Race

15

3

0

3

0

0

18

0

24

 

16

3

0

3

0

0

9

0

15

 

17

3

0

3

0

0

20

0

26

 

18

3

0

3

0

0

10

0

16

Race

19

3

0

3

0

0

10

0

16

 

20

3

0

3

0

0

20+

0

26+

 

21

3

0

3

0

0

11

0

17

 

22

3

0

3

0

0

12

0

18

 

23

3

0

3

0

0

20+

0

26+

 

24

3

0

3

0

0

13

0

19

HalfMarathon

25

3

0

3

0

0

10

0

16

 

26

3

0

3

0

0

0

26.2

 

MARATHON

So, Wineglass here we come ready or not.

Dr Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey. His RUNNING Column appears in Cyberspace whenever endorphines call.

© 2010 Dr Kamal Jabbour

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