Training and Schedules – do you use one?

Hope your training is going well. There are a few races coming up that I have friends training for such as the Sydney City to Surf (I am hoping to do this next year), The Sunshine Coast running festival and if you are really crazy then Tough Mudder is next weekend. I have a few friends doing it and didn’t have the inclination to do myself and get electric shocked on the way round!
Anyway, today’s post is around racing and scheduling.
Image courtesy of digitalart http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Do you have a schedule you work to when you have a race scheduled? 

When I have had a race in the diary I usually work to a schedule 8-10 weeks before and try and stick to it to the letter depending on what I want to achieve i.e. a specific time, distance that I haven’t done for a while.

Schedules are great to give you motivation too. I don’t know about you but I am a list person and I like to tick things off – so the idea of ticking off a training session each day and counting down is very exciting for me (nerdy yes I know) as well as helping me meet my goals with specific training sessions i.e. hills, speed, distance etc to ensure I am strong enough for the race.

I received a training question last week from someone and I thought it might be useful to other people to share and it’s kind of around the idea of a schedule and planning hence it’s in this post.

Question

I’m putting a team together for the Lorne Adventure Race this December and I’m
going to do the Trail run part of the 50 km endurance race.
My question is; I run three 9 km runs a week and one 18 km every
fortnight or at least a 14 each fortnight, my runs are coastal, sand, hills ,logs , beach and road, how should I change my runs to get better
distance? Slower the first half? More interval training? Time of day?
My week consists of Pilates, yoga and PT sessions but nobody is a
distance runner so some advice would be great, the Lorne race needs to be
a fast 15 km. 
As I am not a qualified coach and didn’t want to give incorrect information I asked my UK friend and coach Roger Alsop who is is an accomplished International athlete with over 20 years experience of running  to  answer the question on my behalf.
My reply was: 
Sorry for taking a while to get back to you. I decided to ask my
friend/coach to help me with this question as I didn¹t want to give you
incorrect advice.
Roger knows his stuff and is top for his age for 5k in the UK. He helped
me with some of my races.
Anyway please see his response below (we are going on the fact that no exact distance was given and that a fast 15km was required):
The answer would be to mix up the training. 2 interval sessions a week, 1 short reps
with short recoveries e.g. 20 x 1 min and one long reps with longer
recoveries e.g. 5 x 5 mins with 3 min recoveries. The long run could be
time based, e.g. 2 hours at an enjoyable pace ( need to build up to it,
assuming that’s not how long he takes for 18k). That’s a very general
response to the question. When I do schedules for someone I find out as
much as possible to fit their needs, an indicator of their half marathon
time and 10k times would be useful as 15k is about 9 miles, but it is
trail. 
Schedules

 Here are some good generic schedules if you are looking for a starting point but I would always advise seeing a qualified coach who can create a tailored schedule for you and your training as the generic schedules may not be suitable for everyone:

The Girl That Runs previous post on training schedules (it’s a bit old – from 2011 but the information will still help)
Hope this helps. Have a great day running 🙂 It’s such a beautiful day out there 🙂
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