The Journey Ahead…

So it seems my last blog caused a mixed reaction, most have been great, wishing me luck and a few questioning my sanity. I’d thought I would expand a little on the goal / target and discuss my rationale and driver behind such lofty ambitions.

Firstly let me say this…the target in my opinion is attainable. As I’ve said many times over the years, I am a huge believer in never putting limits on performance however, there needs to be a degree of realism to your targets. There’s little point in me saying that I want to run 2h:10m marathon as no matter how hard I trained, this would never ever happen and I would be setting myself up for failure. However a stretch target of 2h:45m for the marathon is, in my opinion achievable; especially when you give yourself until October 2018 to attain the target. Will it be easy? Of course not. Could I fall short? Yes. Is it worth the risk? Yes.

You see, as I’ve said before, this project is less so about hitting the target and more about learning what it takes to hit the target. As Miley Cyrus once sang “Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb!”…you can tell I live in a house full of daughters. I’m expecting to learn lots about myself, physiology, phycology and sports performance during this project.

The one advantage that I have in this project is that I have some quick gains to make…namely, I’m currently a chubby northern monkey and weigh in around 13 stone 7 pounds. Given that I am 5ft 10 inches tall my BMI is less than ideal and my racing weight for someone of my height is around 11 stone. Simple maths states that every excess pound costs adds around 1 minute to my marathon time so, hitting my ideal weight would be a drop of around 35 pounds which, as a result would drop a whopping 35 minutes off my marathon time. Before you all jump on and say “It’s not as simple as that!” let me say “Yes, I know it isn’t that simple” I understand that you need to manage strength and performance closely when you’re attempting to drop weight.

Apart from the weight management there is another easy change to make that will aid performance and also reduce the likelihood of injury to boot….strength and conditioning, or as I call it ‘physical preparation’. By introducing twice weekly, progressive and targeted strength and conditioning training I should be able to gain the requisite muscular stiffness to apply and withstand the forces produced when training for a hard marathon effort. This in itself will probably shave between 5 and 10 minutes during the course of a marathon.

So with targeted weight management and strength training we’re already talking about a possible improvement of between 40 to 45 minutes. That would still leave me short of the target / goal…so where would the rest come from? Training…the training for such an endeavour would require me to increase my weekly training volume. Luckily for me, I have a long window in which to increase the volume. The rest of 2016 will be about laying the basic foundations to ensure that I am able to start a gradual increase in volume during 2017. This phase is what I call my “Train to Train Phase”. Over the next 6 to 8 weeks I will just focus on getting my body prepared to start a gradual increase in training volume starting mid to late January 2017. The 2017 will see me take my weekly mileage up slowly as the weeks and months pass. All the time balancing the volume with the need to recover. I may need to shift my training week from the traditional 7 day training cycle to a 10 day cycle as the volume increases. This is to ensure that I get plenty of recovery between hard sessions as the volume and intensity increase. This is something I will watch closely during the coming months and throughout the project..!

So that’s pretty much it…my plan is a threefold attack; weight management, physical preparation and more training. Simple eh?

I have no doubt that this will be a rollercoaster ride of discovery and will give me plenty of success and undoubtedly a reasonable dose of failure too. Keep watching out, I will blog as I progress along the journey if you want to see my training just buddy me up.So it seems my last blog caused a mixed reaction, most have been great, wishing me luck and a few questioning my sanity. I’d thought I would expand a little on the goal / target and discuss my rationale and driver behind such lofty ambitions.

Firstly let me say this…the target in my opinion is attainable. As I’ve said many times over the years, I am a huge believer in never putting limits on performance however, there needs to be a degree of realism to your targets. There’s little point in me saying that I want to run 2h:10m marathon as no matter how hard I trained, this would never ever happen and I would be setting myself up for failure. However a stretch target of 2h:45m for the marathon is, in my opinion achievable; especially when you give yourself until October 2018 to attain the target. Will it be easy? Of course not. Could I fall short? Yes. Is it worth the risk? Yes.

You see, as I’ve said before, this project is less so about hitting the target and more about learning what it takes to hit the target. As Miley Cyrus once sang “Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb!”…you can tell I live in a house full of daughters. I’m expecting to learn lots about myself, physiology, phycology and sports performance during this project.

The one advantage that I have in this project is that I have some quick gains to make…namely, I’m currently a chubby northern monkey and weigh in around 13 stone 7 pounds. Given that I am 5ft 10 inches tall my BMI is less than ideal and my racing weight for someone of my height is around 11 stone. Simple maths states that every excess pound costs adds around 1 minute to my marathon time so, hitting my ideal weight would be a drop of around 35 pounds which, as a result would drop a whopping 35 minutes off my marathon time. Before you all jump on and say “It’s not as simple as that!” let me say “Yes, I know it isn’t that simple” I understand that you need to manage strength and performance closely when you’re attempting to drop weight.

Apart from the weight management there is another easy change to make that will aid performance and also reduce the likelihood of injury to boot….strength and conditioning, or as I call it ‘physical preparation’. By introducing twice weekly, progressive and targeted strength and conditioning training I should be able to gain the requisite muscular stiffness to apply and withstand the forces produced when training for a hard marathon effort. This in itself will probably shave between 5 and 10 minutes during the course of a marathon.

So with targeted weight management and strength training we’re already talking about a possible improvement of between 40 to 45 minutes. That would still leave me short of the target / goal…so where would the rest come from? Training…the training for such an endeavour would require me to increase my weekly training volume. Luckily for me, I have a long window in which to increase the volume. The rest of 2016 will be about laying the basic foundations to ensure that I am able to start a gradual increase in volume during 2017. This phase is what I call my “Train to Train Phase”. Over the next 6 to 8 weeks I will just focus on getting my body prepared to start a gradual increase in training volume starting mid to late January 2017. The 2017 will see me take my weekly mileage up slowly as the weeks and months pass. All the time balancing the volume with the need to recover. I may need to shift my training week from the traditional 7 day training cycle to a 10 day cycle as the volume increases. This is to ensure that I get plenty of recovery between hard sessions as the volume and intensity increase. This is something I will watch closely during the coming months and throughout the project..!

So that’s pretty much it…my plan is a threefold attack; weight management, physical preparation and more training. Simple eh?

I have no doubt that this will be a rollercoaster ride of discovery and will give me plenty of success and undoubtedly a reasonable dose of failure too. Keep watching out, I will blog as I progress along the journey if you want to see my training just buddy me up.

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