For some people 100 days until the London Marthon means time to hit the panic button while for others it still feels light years away.
Whichever camp you are in there are a few simple principles that you can keep in mind to help you arrive at the start line as well prepared as possible.
1. Start where you are: Your fitness levels right now are what thay are. Accept it. Design your training plan based on what you can do right now, not what you hoped you could do or feel that you ought to be able to do. If your longest run right now is an hour then make the next one an hour and a quarter (not 2 hours because that’s what the plan says).
2. Increase progressively: give your body time to adapt. It is easy to increase training loads too quickly, especially if you are focused on reaching a certain mileage/long run distance in March. Too often people force it and then get sick or injured and then you miss training time and it makes the situation worse. The consequence of this is that you may not get as much training done as you would like before the tapers starts (No 4.). You need to accept that 80 days gradual progression and a good taper beats forcing it and getting hurt. Trust yourself that on race day the adrenalin and effects of a good taper will see you through.
3. Recover well: to make sure that your body does absorb the training commit yourself to sleeping more and better while eating good quality food. Until 15th Jan you can access my Recovery course on Teachable for FREE.
4. Taper like a champion: with three weeks to go ‘the hay is in the barn’ as the American’s like to say. What this means is that by the beginning of April your focus shifts from hard training to being fully recovered for race day. The temptation to squeeze in an extra long run can be overwhelming. Fight it. It takes 20 days for the microscopic muscle damage to repair after a long run. Go long 2 weeks before race day and you will start the race with damaged legs.
So there you have it:
1. Start where you are
2. Increase progressively
3. Recover well
4. Taper like a champion
Even Elites need to respect these principles although with some modifications if you have years of experience running 100 miles per week.