The 2020 Brighton Marathon, my first marathon, is my Spring A-race. This might be the pinnacle of achievement for most runners distance-wise, but it is merely a milestone on the way to my Autumn A-race, the 100k Thames Path Challenge. I actually booked the 100k first then got a bit intimidated by the distance and decided to build up to it in the first half of the year. I’ve run 7 or 8 half marathons now, all using a variation of a plan that I stumbled upon on coolrunnning.com. Judging by the formatting I think this is a fairly old site and thus fairly old plans. I’ve found they work for me, for my most recent half (1:39 pb) I closely following the 12 week Intermediate plan, good for between 1:30 and 1:45. The basic pattern is one quality run a week (a mix of hill repeats, fartleks and intervals of either 800m or 1600m), 2 shortish runs, 2 medium runs and a long run. Their equivalent Marathon plan follows a similar structure but the long runs are longer, and the plan lasts for more weeks. Apart from the quality session all the runs are done at an easy chit-chat pace, 85-90% of the running. This is good for building stamina and also for reduced risk of injury.

This is my first marathon so I don’t really know what to expect in terms of lasting the distance, or what sort of pace I can expect to maintain. The longer training runs will give me some clues. In theory the plan is good for a sub 3:30 marathon. I’m aiming to sneak in just under that time. That would require me to average 5:00 km pace throughout, or just under.  This seems extremely doable from my half-marathon experience, but can I run double that distance at this pace?  Dunno yet. I will review this goal and adjust if it seems necessary as I get further into the training plan.

brighton plan

The original plan is in miles. I tend to think in kilometres so I’ve converted. This is why some of the distances look odd, fractions of km are just a result of the 1:1.6 conversion.

The black boxes represent races I have booked in, the last being the marathon itself.  The first one on 9th Feb is a 10k in London, the second on 8th March is the Surrey Half. I have others booked later in the year, but these are the ones which I am incorporating into the Brighton training.

Week 1 was a bit of a washout, I half-heartedly covered some of the runs with low-impact alternatives. I have resolved to stick more closely to the plan, despite not being allowed to run a great deal while I do the strength work on my achilles injury. If there’s a run in the plan, I will either run it or do an equivalent amount of time either on the bike or the cross-trainer. As my achilles rehab progresses I will be able to add more and more runs back in. Hopefully by mid-January I will be back up to 6 days a week on my feet.

Do you have a spring Marathon booked?  What training plan are you following?

I’ll be back soon with a training update.