Year round training plan & frequent racing

by Paul
(The Netherlands)

How to plan year around training :

"Hi Marius,

I want to use your marathon plan for year round training purposes. I like frequent racing (I race once in 3 to 4 weeks a 5k - 10k). These races are often not key races for me, I consider them as (a nice) part of the long-term (15k, half marathon and marathon) training.

1. what could be a reasonable structure for such a year round plan. My idea is to use a two week rotation structure with one week emphasis on 5k/10k training (this implies week 1 or week 2 from your marathon plan). The other week would have an emphasis on half marathon training (this implies week 3-5 of the plan, note that I have excluded week 6 since this includes a 5k race).
2. Is it correct to not take into consideration any of the weeks in the marathon phase for purposes of constructing the year round plan.
3. What to with the long run? Follow the plan or size it down. Whould there be a difference in the duration of the long run in the speed week when compared with the long run in the half marathon week.
4. What to do in a race week? Pick one week from the half marathon phase or one week from the 5k/10k phase or build in a mini taper. If yes, how would such a mine taper look like?
5. Suppose that I would have followed such a year round plan for quite a few weeks and want to peak for a marathon. Is it ok to start with week 7 in your plan (given that I would have increased the long run as presented in your plan).
6. Similar to the question above but now related to the half marathon.

Any feedback is much appreciated!!!

thanks very much in advance and best regards, Paul

Answer: Hi Paul and thanks for your question.

You are pretty much spot on when it comes to year around training. I suggest picking sessions from the 5k/10k part combined with the half marathon part for variation. In addition to that, you want some periods where you almost only do sessions from the half marathon period (4-6 weeks) to build a strong anaerobic threshold in those periods. This can be when you race less.

You are correct, you can ignore the marathon weeks in such a plan. As for the long run, this is all about what you prefer. Personally, I never did any longer runs than 1:15-30 but others like to have a run of 2+ hours weekly. This is highly individual.

Yes, you can start at week nr 7 leading up to a marathon IF you have used the prior weeks of the 100 day plan as your "base" in such a mix. That should be no problem at all. This goes with the half marathon as well.

As for race week tapering, the "best" way is usually something in the line of a hard session (Effort 4+) 4-5 days before, threshold two days before and easy runs in between. Pay attention to the special strides after each of these hard sessions to help you elasticity. Reduce the volume of all runs, including the hard ones with about 20-30 % and you should be fine.

I wish you all the best,
kind regards,

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