In search of the impossible: the perfect training plan for the London Marathon

I’ve just completed my last long term prior to the special day (a brilliant steady-speed run in sunlight with the rest of Runsketeer crew), and also as I became looking through all my stats on Strava I nosed through my training log the very first time.

Looking at the weekly mileage, I happened to be very happy to start to see the familiar curve facing my eyes: weekly mileage ramping up to top of around 55 kilometers per week then finding its way back down once again while the taper towards the race starts.

Feeling ‘ready’ for the marathon…

I felt a pang of disappointment that I’dn’t crossed 60 kilometers though – I’m part of a marathon team on Facebook for runners looking to get below three hours for the race (I’m such as for instance a guy outside the celebration together with nose pressed contrary to the window, wishing he had been part of the crowd…) and all sorts of of these are extolling the virtues of accomplishing at the very least 60-odd kilometers if you want a strong marathon time.

We struggled a lot with my training plan this season though – also it started off with me following technology down a course i did son’t really like.

Riding the (Omega)wave 

I’d been messing around using the Omegawave system since August this past year, before dealing with the Pike’s Peak Ascent hill competition. This will be a system for people who’s created from ‘proper’ recreations technology.

Simply speaking, you fundamentally wire up electrodes to your mind and hands, strap on a heartbeat monitor and lie nevertheless each morning until the iOS application has registered your real weakness amounts.

It will this by checking your heart’s rhythm, in which the ‘shape’ of your pulse holds the facts about how precisely tired you’re. 

The electrodes are only here for my very own pleasu… nah, not really. They browse your central nervous system to sort out how adaptable the body is and able to accept brand new training.

Omegawave takes that information and utilizes it to adapt an exercise policy for you each day: I happened to be utilising the sub-three hour marathon plan (man’s gotta dream…) of course I was too exhausted for rate session, the app would reduce the work correctly. There’s no point in pressing on a fatigued system.

This is perfect, a phenomenal blend of tech and training. Imagine me personally, the Running guy of Tech, beating my friends for I have harnessed the effectiveness of gadgetry while they scratch away with flint and slate!

(OK, they’re perhaps not that bad. I just desired to offer some context).

2-3 weeks in, and I ended up being struggling. The sessions weren’t that hard (many sluggish running and minimal speedwork) and I didn’t like running having phone strapped to my supply.

The application worked making use of heartrate areas it established each and every morning, then when the monitor I was wearing lost my rhythm it might screw up whole sessions.

Easily didn’t desire to utilize the phone it intended expending hours coding into the runs manually into my Garmin – which ended up being an excessive amount of like perseverance once I had tough times before me regarding the track.

However, I happened to ben’t gonna criticise an idea manufactured by an Olympic mentor – it absolutely was my fault basically had beenn’t enjoying it, and I was yes the rate sessions would come later.

But there is a bigger problem: each morning the app was telling me personally that I became in brilliant shape, telling me personally I was rested very well and good to go again.
This occurred whether I’d slept defectively or trained hard – therefore I chained together six hard sessions consecutively to see easily could force the app to acknowledge I became destroyed.


In desperation I spoke to Omegawave straight, plus they kindly invested one hour beside me over Facetime running right through my data. It revealed that the harder sessions were having an effect, but a minimal one.

In a nutshell, they couldn’t find virtually any explanation than I became recovering extremely well. I’ve constantly had a good resting heart rate, but this didn’t sit appropriate beside me – either I wasn’t pushing hard sufficient or there was one thing lacking.

That’s in which I had to acknowledge something terrible: I became too reliant on data. There’s no doubt that Omegawave’s information had been accurate, given it originates from the professional realm of recreations technology, nonetheless it ended up beingn’t painting my whole picture.

So I made a decision to switch straight back onto my old plan from 2016, that has been more conventional (although i am still planning to use the Omegawave training plan – I still wish to determine why it did not work with me personally. 

Me personally and tech, back together again

My old plan contained long runs on Sunday, data recovery runs Monday and Wednesday, speed and tempo sessions for Tuesday and Thursday and a Parkrun on Saturday.

We instantly felt sharper, felt like i possibly could tailor my sessions to the way I felt and trusted in future sessions and paces I became being asked doing.

I’m a big fan of heart rate training – it creates some feeling. Training at effort as opposed to speed means you don’t should bother about hills or fatigue amounts or terrain – if today is a tempo session, get into a higher heartrate and remain there. It cann’t matter if you’re doing six or 12 moment kilometers provided that you are pushing within right intensity.

However for some reason, it cann’t match me personally. For some reason, it cann’t train my visit run faster during the right times – instead, it just forces me personally to react to lots on my wrist instead of feeling the entire cacophony of senses rolling through my body on any run, permitting the adrenaline surge through, feeling how hard my feet work.

It willn’t account for whether my entire body is aching and making me personally feel wretched, or like I’m instantly flying and feel just like I’ve got total control of each and every muscle tissue and fibre.

Therefore I train within pace the plan informs me to train at – plus it generally seems to work. It does keep me to wonder whether I’m making any pace or work up for grabs though… I just desire I felt confident sufficient to sort out my personal training plan.

Therefore now I’m approaching battle time, and I’m still uncertain of my target. I had the same this past year – I’d trained at sub-three level with my pals who have been targeting that point, and I’d matched them, and so I thought I’d run the marathon using them and discover what happened.

The thing is, we knew that it was ambitious, and that ambition saw me personally to inflatable within the battle – although I became running to heartrate.
So now I’m in the dreaded situation of looking at my training and wondering exactly what it means in terms of a potential marathon time.

VO2 Max monitoring is ideal for tracking fitness, terrible for predicting competition times

I really could glance at the VO2 Max level that my Garmin watch spits at me (a way of measuring the bloodstream oxygen levels when exercise, indicating how fit you are) but I’ve got an atmosphere that the 2:36 marathon time it predicts I can manage could be only a little positive.

Therefore I’m planning to strive for 3:05 and hope that’s perhaps not too optimistic. It’ll get me ‘good for age’ status so I can prevent the ballot next year, but I’m wondering basically can strike seven minute kilometers for the entire competition.

Some days I think I am able to, other people i believe it’s insane. I recently don’t need to get to 20 kilometers and start to watch my marathon fall away – i do want to run in front of a period, not chase it.

Ah well – there’s nothing I can do about this now, i assume. But I’m already considering my next training plan, righting the wrongs of this one (‘I’ll do three training marathons!’ Yeah, great idea…) therefore it shows I don’t have the self-confidence I need.

But don’t let my tale place you off by any means – many runners this near to a race are starting to become certain that they’ve screwed one thing up, mainly because there’s nothing that can be done now.

I’ll spend time tomorrow dealing with tips on how to make use of technology to obtain the perfect plan for you – there are plenty great products on the market to get you race fit in no time (including the one which got me started).

I’m to gorge on more pasta and sweet potato and avoid any Easter chocolate… it has been a tough week.

If you any tech questions ahead of the wedding day – or perhaps about operating in general – please feel free to obtain in contact utilizing the links below, or the current email address in my own writer bio! It’d be great to respond to some direct concerns from runners within the next day or two.