It’s Time to Smash some Goals.
As we enter Phase 2, we have six weeks left, and the name of the game is progression. Every aspect of the challenge to your fitness and running ability is building up, gradually, to allow you to conquer the race. So we have:
- An increase in the length of the long run, which was up to 80 min last week, and now builds towards 1h45 in Week 10. We keep these sessions as a mix of walking and running, because it makes the dual physical and mental challenge easier to digest. For example, Week 10 is 15 min of running, 3 min of walking, repeated seven times. If you feel totally in control by then, drop the walking time to 2 min, but don’t push yourself into a mental state of having to run the whole time. This is also true on race day – learn to walk before you are forced to!
- The introduction of hills in the long run, to change the challenge slightly and to prepare you for harder, longer efforts on race day
- Hill sessions in week 9 and a slightly longer hill session in week 10, for the same reason
- A longer easier day on Mondays, where we increase from 30 min to 45 min in our group run
Keep prioritising rest – we keep the 3 rest days per week to ensure maximum and effective recovery, and also include the cross-training day in Week 9 and Week 10.
Pay close attention to your pace and the sensations during your harder runs in particular. You have to really “dial in” and “listen to your body” – how is your breathing, the way you carry your arms, the feeling of your feet landing on the ground, the position of your head and hips – so that you become more aware of pace and exertion.
These are lessons you learn sub-consciously, and they’ll help you learn your limits and how you should manage your pace, but they can only be learned if you’re paying attention! So be “present” in every run, and let these learnings make an impact.