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September 20, 2013

So the challenge has been laid down by myself for myself by entering the Melbourne Marathon in a month’s time. Some may say it’s a good thing for me, others think I’m more insane than an American gunman who thinks going on a shooting rampage is actually a part of living in civilisation. All I know is that unlike some of the events that I have done the preparation work needs to be done, and done in reasonably large quantities.


Even though the entry wasn’t officially lodged until Sunday morning prior to the City-Bay in Adelaide, training for this event realistically commenced with training for the 12km journey in the South Australian capital. It was an easing in process for the week leading into the most recent event, starting with a split run of a pair of 5km runs. Certainly the temptation would be to start with a substantial session as has happened a number of times when returning after Christmas for an abbreviated footy pre-season, but all I feel this does is destroy the legs and actually set back my own program.

Note that every training session I do is my own session, even though the routes that I take are well trodden. I’m sure everyone is different, where most beginners will religiously follow a set program from a personal trainer. Others will depend on gym work (which I shun because I personally don’t see great benefits, particularly when I lift parcels as often as I do), fad dieting (nothing wrong with eating normally or eating not so healthily so long as the consequences are understood and work is done to control weight) and the odd slow burning run. I certainly don’t expect anyone to follow what I do, because what I feel works adequately for me will be as useful as a public servant with a tenuous hold on a job in the Liberal government era. If there is no mention of a day in the schedule, this means there is no specific run training or a so called rest day which is just as important as running reasonable distances. After all I’m always of the opinion that there’s no point in wasting time and energy in training daily for the sake of training daily.

WEEK 1 (5 weeks before Marathon)TUESDAY: 2 x 5km runs, 1km walking recovery between sets. No set pace
WEDNESDAY: Long Run, maximum 90 minutes (eventually 14km in approximately 80 minutes)
SUNDAY: 12km RACE (12km Race pace, full report at

WEEK 2 (4 weeks to go)
WEDNESDAY: 10km HILLS course (55 minutes)
FRIDAY: Long Run, maximum 100 minutes (eventually 16km in approximately 85 mintues)


For some just training for a marathon and treating it as a Grand Final of sorts is hard enough. A quick look at the schedule (which you can find will see me take on a Half Marathon before tackling the full distance. There are also other events that I am planning to compete in (half marathon in Sydney 2 weeks after the full marathon, then a 14km event to finish the year a further 3 weeks down the road) AND the probable commencement of football training where it’s likely that this will be the last year. You could say footy training is my form of cross-training when others prefer gym work, swimming or something else that you won’t find me doing.

This planned schedule is by no means set in concrete apart from the events that I am competing in. Considerations in fixing the schedule include personal fitness (physical AND mental), climactic conditions (the days up here in Central Queensland are in the mid 30’s, and September is not yet behind us so the summer will probably see multiple days of over 40 degrees with 80% humidity) and work commitments. Unless stated, all of these runs will be early in the morning as conditions are cooler (somewhat) and the magpies generally won’t attack until after the sun rises.

SATURDAY (Morning or Afternoon): 10km flat (2 laps of a 5km route)

SUNDAY (Afternoon): 12km minimum easy pace after work (pending physical condition)
MONDAY: 12km minimum easy pace (will only take place if run on Sunday doesn’t take place)
WEDNESDAY: LONG RUN, maximum 120 minutes
THURSDAY (Afternoon)/FRIDAY: Either 2 or 3 x 5km split run or 10km hills course

WEEK 4 (week before Half-Marathon)
SUNDAY (Afternoon)/MONDAY: 15km flat course
WEDNESDAY: LONG RUN, maximum 140 minutes
THURSDAY: 10-12km flat course

WEEK 5 (week prior to marathon)
SUNDAY: Spring Classic Half Marathon, Yeppoon (recovery wade at beach after run)
WEDNESDAY: LONG RUN, maximum 160 minutesTHURSDAY: 12-14km flat course

Given that this is the first time I’m training for a marathon it’s not a precise science on my part regarding how much training I need to do. Often I try to run close to the distance for shorter distances to give myself peace of mind that I can run the distance with some certainty, and based on long runs that I’ve done so far I feel very confident that the half-marathon distance is certainly attainable and within a decent time. Whether I need to alter the training to give myself the confidence in completing the marathon journey without stopping remains to be seen, but with future marathons to enter in 2014 I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out some formula for success in plenty of time.

Until then, let the training continue!



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