Friday, 6 March 2009

You can add 30kms to your average weekly distance this winter, with ease!

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, March 06, 2009 with 5 comments
Wednesday night at the track - speedygeese results
Spiral 6
1 Gary Bowen M50 9:56
8 Ruth Baussmann W55 12:35
14 Miranda Rawlinson W55 36 12:10
15 Geoff Barker M60 12:50
16 Rod Lynch M45 9:30
17 Margaret McSpadden W60 13:56
19 Bronwyn Calver W35 11:01
22 Roger Pilkington M50 11:16

M55 Ken White 2:33.09 79.2%
M45 Rod Lynch 2:33.10 75.3
W40 Amanda Walker 2:44.34 71.5
W40 Katie Forestier 2:44.84 72.6
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 2:51.55 66.0
M70 Tony Booth 2:53.09 80.0
M50 Roger Pilkington 2:58.93 65.0

M45 Rod Lynch 11:09.28 74.6%
W40 Katie Forestier 12:04.37 74.6
M60 Geoff Moore 12:28.95 73.0
W35 Bronwyn Calver 12:58.10 66.9
W45 Kelley Flood 13:01.12 73.4
M45 Mick Horan 13:01.16 63.9
M70 Tony Booth 13:41.19 73.2
M60 Geoff Barker 14:45.49 64.0

Sixteen weeks build-up
Q: Dear coach, I have been running 60 kms a week and want to build up to 90 kms a week. How should I go about it?
A: There are many principles to follow:
>>easy weeks should follow the hardest weeks,
>>days should be sequenced short & fast then long then short & easy,
>>one day's rest a week is advisable,
>>when building distance don't build in more speed
>>never increase distance by more than 10% from one week to the next
and so on.
A way of building up which fulfils all the principles and established a new base which can then be maintained is to plan a sixteen week program which looks like this:
week 1 65k
week 2 70k
week 3 65k
week 4 70k
week 5 75k
week 6 70k
week 7 75k
week 8 80k
week 9 75k
week 10 80k
week 11 85k
week 12 80k
week 13 85k
week 14 90k
week 15 85k
week 16 90k

Then the 90k week can be held, and a new focus on improving speed can be introduced at that point.

Question 2: how to structure the week?
A2: Here is a pattern for a 90k week:
Monday 10k including the interval training you have been doing
Tuesday am 8k steady, pm 12k steady
Wednesday 8k jog
Thursday am 8k steady, pm 14k including a tempo run or race
Friday rest
Saturday 22k good tempo
Sunday 8k easy

Q3: what to do in the weeks between 60k to 90k?
A3: Each intermediate week is just a subset of the 90k week. When increasing your weekly distance by 5k, it is a good idea when possible to add the 5k to just one of the days to bring it up towards the 90k week target for that day, and leave the other six days unchanged.

Q4: What about other training?
A4: well, I like to add gym work, and other cross training, to my shortest days, and leave the longest days to focus just on the run. But that's up to you. Don't wear yourself out though!

Q5: Why 90k?
A5: Because 90k is my rule of thumb bare minimum weekly distance for running a marathon. But guess what, times for all distances from 1500m and up will improve dramatically when you can run 90km per week!

This build-up is so conservative, anyone who now averages a 60km week currently can do it this winter, and voila! by next track season a 90km week is second nature. Good luck, you can do it! And whatever your current weekly distance is, you can be running 30km per week more in four months time than you do now!

[singing] "you take the slow road and I'll take the low road..." 


  1. That photo must have been approved by the unofficial censor.

  2. Amanda looks to have the wood on Katie in the 800.

  3. (a) no it wasn't approved and there's more photos to come for better or for worse. I have become used to the tears and screams.
    (b) yes Amanda is brilliant but you should see Katie back up an hour later!

  4. Hey, at least I'm smiling Ewen - maybe I plan to catch him!!

  5. yep, "coming through"! and still 5.9k of the 6k race left.