RAC “Easy” One Program

Gill has put together this fantastic program to meet a year end goal of running a fast RAC “Easy” One 32km (or a fast marathon).

Enjoy the program.

Goal:

RAC “Easy” One / Marathon in November or good half marathon if not running the long runs on the week-ends

This programme is very flexible and you can adjust it according to your needs and when you prefer your rest days. We will stick to the following venues for the runs. It is advisable to check with Robyn if you want to run on a Monday, as this can change intermittently. Friday runs are also fairly flexible.

Monday/Wednesday: Hamilton Park

Tuesdays/Thursdays/Fridays: Bryanston Methodist Church

Weekends: RAC/Races/Fournos/Other

Week 1: 2-8th August:

Week 1 Races in Gauteng this week Training Outline
Monday   Rest
Tuesday   60 min run – Warm up 15 minutes, easy run 35 minutes, last 10 mins at a marathon pace
Wednesday   60 Min Run
Thursday   Circuits alternating 1 min at faster than normal pace / 1 min at slower than normal pace x 10 each
Friday   Rest
Saturday   Morning – 30 mins easy
Sunday   60 mins Run
Training Objective:   Getting time on the feet and the start of a gradual build up of training. Beginnings of generating the pace necessary to run at sub-4 hr marathon training speed.

  Week 2: 9-15th August:

Week 2 Races in Gauteng this week Training Outline
Monday   Rest
Tuesday   60 min run – Warm up 20 minutes, hill repeats 200m x 6, cool down
Wednesday   60 Min Run
Thursday   Warm up 15 minutes, 4 x 6min moderate pace with 2 minute recovery between each, Cool down
Friday   Rest
Saturday Roan & Elaine BD Run 15km Morning – 30 mins easy (or race)
Sunday Old Eds 21km Race 90 mins Run (or easy run)
Training Objective:   Getting time on the feet and the start of a gradual build up of training. Beginnings of generating the pace necessary to run at sub-4 hr marathon training speed.

Week 3: 16-22nd August:

Week 3 Gauteng Races Training Outline
Monday   45 mins Run
Tuesday   8 x 2 mins at marathon pace with 2 mins jog recovery between efforts
Wednesday   60 min Run
Thursday   60 min run – last 10 mins at marathon pace
Friday   Rest
Saturday   Circuits of a park alternating 1 min at faster than normal pace / 1 min at slower than normal pace x 10 each
Sunday Vodacom 90 mins steady
Training objective:   As for previous weeks

 Important: Warm-up jog and stretch before all sessions + stretch gently after (before you get cold).  

Week 4: 23-29th August: 

 Week 4 Gauteng Races: Training Outline
     
Monday   Morning – 30 mins easy/gym
Tuesday   10 min warm up, 5 x 6 minutes, with 2 min recovery between each, cool down 5 min (10 secs per km faster than marathon pace).
Wednesday   60 min Run
Thursday   Run 60 mins easy
Friday   60 mins easy
Saturday   30 min Jog
Sunday Wanderer 10/21 10 km Race
Training Objectives:   Slightly tapering week before the first race of the new season to enable you to ‘see where you are’ in your fitness level. The long runs are still more important than the result of the race.

 Week 5: 30th Aug-5th Sept:

 Week 5 Gauteng races: Training Outline
Monday   30 mins easy
Tuesday   10 Minute warm up, 6 x 1,000 m at Half Marathon Pace – 2 mins recovery between each
Wednesday   Run: 60 mins steady
Thursday   Run: Warm up 15 min, Steady Run of  30 mins consisting of as many 200m repeats (aim for 10) followed by 200m recovery between each, cool down
Friday   Rest
Saturday   12 x 1 min running up shallow hill – walk back down recovery
Sunday   2 hrs steady
Training Objective:   Building the speed necessary to run a sub-4 hr marathon is important at this stage.

Week 6: 6-12th Sept: 

 Week 6 Gauteng Races: Training Outline
Monday   Morning – 30 mins easy/rest or gym
Tuesday   On fairly straight uninterrupted route 10 mins at Half Marathon pace – 5 mins recovery – run 10 min back trying to get to pass your start point
Wednesday   60 mins steady
Thursday   Steady 20 mins followed by 10 x 200m
Friday   Rest
Saturday   12 x 1 min running up shallow hill – walk back down recovery
Sunday Gerald Fox 21 2 hrs steady
Training Objectives   Consolidation week – getting used to the balance between the long run and speed work.

 Week 7: 13-19th Sept:

 Week 7 Gauteng races Training Outline
Monday   Morning – 30 mins easy
Tuesday   Up and down the clock – run 1 min fast/1 min slow, 2 mins fast/ 2mins slow, 3 mins fast/3 mins slow/4 mins fast/4 mins slow, 5 mins fast/5 mins slow, the 4, 3, 2, 1 min back down.
Wednesday    30-60 mins easy
Thursday   15 min warm-up – 20 min Tempo run (10km race pace) – 15 mins cool-down
Friday   60 min easy
Saturday CSIR Road Race Rest
Sunday Daxina 21/10 10 km Race
Training Objectives   Up and down the clock develops strength and speed. The Tempo run enables you to hold a fast pace for a long time. At same time long run is increased

 Week 8: 20-26th Sept:

 Week 8 Gauteng races Training Outline
Monday   30 mins easy
Tuesday   15 mins warm up – 20 mins at marathon pace – 15 min cool down.
Wednesday   75 mins steady
Thursday   Morning – 30 mins easyAfternoon – 30 mins easy (if possible, run twice today)
Friday   Rest
Saturday McCarthy 21 15 x 1 min running up shallow hill – walk back down recovery
Sunday City 2 City 2 ½ hrs steady
Training Objectives   Marathon pace running is important so that your body gets the ‘feel’ of the speed you want to race at. Twice a day training on some days gives a boost to your endurance, and the afternoon run can sometimes be better because you have ‘warmed-up’ in the morning.

Week 9: 27th Sept-3rd Oct:

 Week 9 Gauteng Races Training Outline
Monday   Morning – 30 mins easy
Tuesday   Pyramid Session 200m/400m/600m/800m/1000m/800m/600m/400m/200m – 2 mins recovery between each
Wednesday   75 mins steady
Thursday   Morning – 30 mins easyAfternoon – 45 mins Run (or 60 min morning run)
Friday   60 mins easy
Saturday   Rest
Sunday ? 15km race
Training Objectives   Consolidation week. Tapering towards the end to prepare for your first race test – the race result is important to gauge your fitness and then to reassess your aims in the marathon.. Increased long run from last Sunday and then taper down towards the end of the week towards the fitness test race.

 Important: Warm-up jog and stretch before all sessions + stretch gently after (before you get cold).

Week 10: 4-10th Oct: 

  Week 10 Gauteng Races Training Outline
Monday   30 mins easy
Tuesday   Up the clock – run 1 min fast/1 min slow, 2 mins fast/ 2mins slow, 3 mins fast/3 mins slow/4 mins fast/4 mins slow, 5 mins fast.
Wednesday   75 mins easy
Thursday   On fairly straight uninterrupted route 10 mins at Half Marathon pace – 5 mins recovery – run 10 min back trying to get to pass your start point
Friday   Rest
Saturday Mac Chamberlain 21km 30 min Tempo Run (perhaps switch Sat and Sun runs this week)
Sunday Spar ladies 10km 2 hrs + 30 mins at Marathon Race Pace towards the end
Training Objectives   With the 15km race, two interval type sessions and the tempo run this is a very intense week that represents a shift from steady kilometres to faster pace running. The rest days and easy runs are going to be vital. The tempo run is vital as it teaches you to hold your pace over a long period of time.

 Week 11: 11-17th Oct:

 Week 11 Gauteng races Training Outline
Monday   30 mins easy
Tuesday   50 min run
Wednesday   45 mins run
Thursday   Rest
Friday   60 mins easy
Saturday Woodlands 21km Rest (switch Sat and Sun runs this weekend and race in Pta)
Sunday   Half Marathon
Training Objectives   Your first relatively easy week. Make sure you rest up for the half marathon on Sunday as a good performance will be a boost to your marathon confidence. A tapering week as the half marathon is the key indicator to the time you will possibly run in the marathon.

 Important: Warm-up jog and stretch before all sessions + stretch gently after (before you get cold).  

 Week 12: 18-24th Oct:

 Week 12 Gauteng races Training Outline
Monday   Rest
Tuesday   60 mins easy run
Wednesday   60 mins easy
Thursday   Morning – 30 mins easyAfternoon – 20 mins easy – 20 mins at marathon pace (if possible, twice a day run)
Friday   Rest
Saturday Tuks 21km 30 mins steady
Sunday   3 hrs steady
Training Objectives   You’ll need plenty of time to recover from the half marathon. Take time to reflect on how it went and make a checklist of the things you forgot to take and did wrong so you don’t do it at your big race.

 Week 13: 25-31st Oct:

 Week 13 Gauteng races Training Outline
Monday   30 mins easy
Tuesday   10 x 400m at 10 km pace – 2 mins recovery between each
Wednesday   Morning – 30 mins easyAfternoon – 40 mins easy
Thursday   30 mins easy – 20 mins at marathon pace, cool down
Friday   60 mins steady
Saturday Hunters challenge 10/21km Rest
Sunday Sportsman’s Warehouse 15km 10 km Race
Training Objectives   A combination of a very long run and some much quicker interval work. The first will give you confidence – the second bring you to a peak.

 Important: Warm-up jog and stretch before all sessions + stretch gently after (before you get cold).

 Week 14: 1-7th Nov:

 Week 14 Gauteng races Training Outline
Monday   60 mins steady
Tuesday   Track:2 x 800 at 5km pace  2 x 600 at 3km pace 

4 x 400 at 1km  pace

4 x 200 at 800m pace

3 mins recovery between each

Wednesday    Morning – 70 mins easy  (or split into morning and afternoon runs)
Thursday   10 x 2 minute hill, jog down to recover
Friday   Rest
Saturday Agape 30 min Run
Sunday Soweto 42km 75 min Run
Training Objectives   By working at track speed you will give your whole system a boost. The bodies’ chemical pathways, muscle efficiency and co-ordination will all be enhanced. Cut right back on mileage.Make sure that the kit you intend wearing for the race is all clean and in good condition – don’t be tempted into buying new kit for the race – use your tried and tested kit.

 Week 15: 8-14th Nov:

 Week 15 Gauteng Races Training Outline
Monday   60 mins steady
Tuesday   Track:8 x 400m at 5km race pace with 3 min recovery between
Wednesday    Morning – 70 mins easy  (or split into morning and afternoon runs)
Thursday   10 x 200m fast (in road racing shoes) 3 mins recovery between each
Friday   Rest
Saturday   30 min Run
Sunday   75 min Run
Training objectives   By working at track speed you will give your whole system a boost. The bodies’ chemical pathways, muscle efficiency and co-ordination will all be enhanced. Cut right back on mileage.Make sure that the kit you intend wearing for the race is all clean and in good condition – don’t be tempted into buying new kit for the race – use your tried and tested kit.

 Important: Warm-up jog and stretch before all sessions + stretch gently after (before you get cold).

 Week 16: 15-21st Nov: THIS IS IF YOU ARE RUNNING “THE EASY ONE”

 Week 15 Gauteng Races Training Outline
Monday   60 mins steady
Tuesday   Track:8 x 400m at 5km race pace with 3 min recovery between
Wednesday    Morning – 70 mins easy  (or split into morning and afternoon runs)
Thursday   10 x 200m fast (in road racing shoes) 3 mins recovery between each
Friday   Rest
Saturday   30 min Run
Sunday   75 min Run
Training objectives   By working at track speed you will give your whole system a boost. The bodies’ chemical pathways, muscle efficiency and co-ordination will all be enhanced. Cut right back on mileage.Make sure that the kit you intend wearing for the race is all clean and in good condition – don’t be tempted into buying new kit for the race – use your tried and tested kit.

 Important: Warm-up jog and stretch before all sessions + stretch gently after (before you get cold).

Week 16:  15-21st Nov: THIS IS IF YOU ARE RUNNING THE WINELANDS MARATHON

 Week 16 Gauteng races Training Outline
Monday   30 min Run
Tuesday   30 min Run with 5 x 30 sec fast pace ‘strides’.
Wednesday   15 min Jog
Thursday   15 min Jog
Friday   REST
Saturday   42km RACE day- WINELANDS
Sunday   REST
Training objectives   Work out your km and halfway splits for the race and have a mental rehearsal about your tactics – find about any other runners of your standard that you may recognise on the day and use them as a benchmark for pacing. 

 Important: Warm-up jog and stretch before all sessions + stretch gently after (before you get cold).

 Week 16: 22-28th Nov:

(if you are racing the RAC Easy One)

 Week 16 Gauteng races Training Outline
Monday   30 min Run
Tuesday   30 min Run with 5 x 30 sec fast pace ‘strides’.
Wednesday   15 min Jog
Thursday   15 min Jog
Friday   REST
Saturday   REST
Sunday   RAC Tough One
Training objectives   Good-luck, you have trained hard

Important: Warm-up jog and stretch before all sessions + stretch gently after (before you get cold).

 Notes:

 Programme is designed for:

Aimed at fitter people & runners with some marathon experience and aimed at established club runners with half marathon times of around 100min, and experienced marathon runners. All people have different levels of ‘trainability’ and natural potential. It is possible for complete beginners to make very rapid progress and move up the targets, while others find initially that they can’t achieve the early training levels. There are two golden rules whichever level of improver you find yourself: a) Build-up very gradually, and b) You must rest and recover before training becomes beneficial.

Building-up: Even if you come from a good level of fitness, trying to build-up too quickly will certainly get you injured. Running is a repetitive activity that involves your foot hitting the floor repeatedly with considerable force being transmitted up through the legs and into the lower back. The reason that experienced runners can handle such high levels of training is because they have taken years to get there. Your body adapts slowly to new stresses and a product of regular running is that your bones will harden and become more resilient to the new forces. So fit people beware: your engine (heart & lungs) may find it easy – but after a while your legs won’t.

Rest & Recover: The natural thought is that you get better when you train hard. While that is not altogether untrue, the reality is that your body actually gets fitter while you are resting. Here’s how it works: during hard exercise your body gets tired, waste products build up and energy levels fall as you have used up fuel – you are technically less able than before you started training! If you continued the same level of activity over several days you would become progressively more tired and eventually you will breakdown – either with injury or illness. However, when you stop and rest your body starts to repair the damage, which it will do to a higher level than before as the body recognises a need to adapt to the new stresses that you’re subjecting it to.

Frequency: A regular training pattern is more important than any one session. There is a cumulative effect from training regularly which is not achieved by doing all your training on one or two days each week.

Going the Distance: Few outside of the elite will run the marathon distance before the big day. Most, in fact, won’t get anywhere near it. This is not something to worry about – although you will!

Your training is done to encourage physiological changes in your body – one of these is the ability to use different forms of energy. The most efficient energy source is glycogen – basically a sugar stored in the muscles. This will last for about 1 ½ hrs of fairly rigorous exercise – like running. After that has gone the body learns to use fat for energy – which we all have a big supply of. The problem is that the body does not convert fat to energy very efficiently, although it can be improved by doing runs over 1 ½ hrs. 2-hour runs have been found to be ideal (regardless of the distance covered in that time). It is sufficient time on your feet to help train the energy systems, it encourages local endurance in the leg muscles and joints and it teaches you how to run efficiently. The occasional run over 2 hours is good for confidence – but in general longer will not mean fitter as you will not recover adequately to do your other training.

The amount of rest: Some leading athletes appear not to rest at all – to run at World class you have to achieve high quantities of training. These are the fittest and most economical movers in the World who can run for 30-40 mins without breathing, sweating or touching the ground. They are not like us, we expend enormous amounts of energy with each stride as the shock wave from each step knocks the wind out of your lungs.

Speed and ability are not necessarily good indicators of how efficient a runner you may be – slower runner’s may simply not have the cardio-vascular system (heart & lungs) to run fast, but can run forever without getting injured. Conversely, plenty of fast runners regularly get injured because the bodywork is not as strong as the engine. Unfortunately, it is a suck-it-and-see situation, and you’ll find out soon enough, however – it is still essential to build in rest days to allow for the training effect to take place.

Your Health: Everyone should be aware that there is a risk involved with active sport – heart defects leading to death being the most serious. That scare out of the way – for the vast majority of people active sport will improve your health and wellbeing.

Before setting out on an exercise regime you are well advised to visit your doctor for a check-up. A good doctor will be pleased to see you and should give you some advice on setting out – particularly if you have had a health problem like asthma or suffer from carrying excess weight.

The down side of training for a marathon is that the daunting nature of the event requires you to take on more exercise than is normally advised.  While sensible levels of exercise will improve your health, the levels needed to train for a marathon can lead to your immune system being suppressed. You will notice that sleep can become more difficult, your legs don’t recover from runs as quickly, your resting pulse rate may be slightly higher than normal (it should get slower as you get fitter) – all of which may result in sore throats, colds that won’t go away or flue. If you’ve gone this far – you must stop and recuperate. When you start up again start at a lower level and feel your way back gradually to where you were – but beware – where you were before is what got you ill in the first place!

Food & Drink: A healthy diet and high fluid intake are essential. Your body burns carbohydrate for the energy you need to make the muscles move, it also needs protein to help it recover from the damage done by hard exercise and it needs vitamins and minerals to maintain its health. So what you need is a good balanced diet. Make sure you are taking in plenty of carbohydrate but make sure you are not surviving just on carbohydrate – a plate of just pasta isn’t a balanced diet. If you are taking in a lot of fruit and veg, yet still get colds you may need to look at vitamin supplements – but they are not essential if your general health is good.

Liquid is essential. Even on a cold day you will lose a lot of liquid through sweating and breathing – if this does not get replaced your body cannot function properly. So make sure you drink regularly, before, during and after exercise – either water or an isotonic sport drink, the choice is down to taste although research does show that water is absorbed more quickly when taken in an isotonic drink (but don’t treat them like soft drinks – during & immediately after exercise only is advisable).

Race Practice: For the beginner, taking part in a couple of big ‘pre-Marathon’ events is an important part of the learning process. It is very different than running on your own: your perception of pace will alter and you will almost certainly run quicker in the first few miles than you thought you were, running uninhibited with several thousand people trying to step on your heels or stopping dead in front of you is frustrating, plus the whole thing about getting there, queuing for the loo (several times) and finding the start. It’s best to experience that before the big day.  A half marathon will give you some confidence about doing the distance and a 10km will teach you something about ‘racing’.

Tapering Down: Training takes about 2 weeks to become effective – so there is little point in doing too much training in the last two weeks before the event. It is far better to be letting the body recuperate and build up its energy reserves. There is a balance to be found: ease back too much and you will start to lose training effect and start to feel a little bit sluggish. Start to reduce the quantity of training 2 weeks before the marathon, but maintain some faster running to keep you feeling ‘sharp’. Keep some light training going even in the last week – it’s good for confidence – but don’t burn up valuable energy with unnecessary ‘nervous’ training at the last minute.

In the last 4 days concentrate on getting lots of carbohydrate inside you and keep fully hydrated by sipping water regularly. Make your last big meal at least 12 hrs before the race and have a light breakfast 3 hrs before the start on the big day. Drink small amounts right up to start time and take 500ml of water on to the start line and drink it just before the gun is going to go off – it’s the most valuable water you’ll take on board all day. Then try to get a small amount of liquid at each drink station on the race course.

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