May 26, 2010

New training program

I strongly believe in the value of having a personal coach. For the past five years one of Australia's all-time best distance runners has been writing my programs. Pat Carroll, who ran a 2:09:39 marathon in 1995 and a 61:11 half marathon in 1994, has coached me through eight marathons including my PB of 3:07:10, one ultra trail run (Six Foot Track in 2006) and numerous 10kms and half marathons in the past five years.

Since June 2005 until April 2010 I opened a spreadsheet created by Pat nearly every day and did the training he asked me to do. The improvement in my running and my lack of injuries are a testament to his skills as a coach. His upbeat personality has always found a positive note in each of my performances, no matter how I felt about them. As I have done to many people over the past five years already, I highly recommend Pat as a coach to any runner, from beginner to advanced.

Having said that, sometimes it is simply time for a change. So I have decided to experiment a little with my training, keeping in mind the lessons I have learnt from my 14 years of running; Pat Carroll; my triathlon coach of 4 1/2 years John Hill; the coaches and athletes I have interviewed for magazine features (and included in my book Powered From Within) and the articles I edit for ironguides, and-last but certainly not least-inspired by some good friends and great athletes.

The program I will follow over the next four months I chose for the following reasons:

* I simply need a change, mentally, from the training routine I've followed for five years (as varied and superb as it has been);
* I want more speedwork (three sessions instead of two) but with less intensity (longer repeats and workouts at marathon race pace);
* I want more running days (six versus four in my most recent program) but with a similar, and conservative, weekly volume.

After considering various options, I came across a Hal Higdon advanced marathon training program online here. I have adjusted it, at my own risk, for my races and needs.

To see my training program, as of yesterday, click here 

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