The road to Canada

Steve Way

By Steve Way, Bournemouth Athletic Club

So here we are again at the start of a marathon training plan. It's ten weeks until my autumn marathon and this one is a little bit more special as I will be representing England in the Team Challenge at the Toronto Waterfront event.

My recovery has gone well, if not spectacularly, since the Virgin London Marathon (VLM), with some good consistent mileage, but I had a few disappointing 10k races which showed I wasn't quite back to my pre-VLM fitness level.

I did, however, manage a confidence-boosting 5000m track performance just before my return to marathon training with a win for the club in the British Athletics League and a PB of 14:53 feeling strong and leading from start to finish.

So after a very brief track season I am now heading back into a six-week "base" training phase as part of my marathon schedule. What exciting runs do I have to look forward to in this phase you may ask!

Three long runs a week including two midweek 18-20 milers, which will normally include segments at marathon pace. My long run on a Sunday will be 20+ miles normally over the hilly Purbecks.

Very little racing, in fact just one half marathon planned for the whole phase, which will form part of a Sunday 20-mile run. No interval sessions and just one half marathon pace tempo run every other week. Weekly mileage between 120-140.

I have been quite relaxed since London not wearing my Garmin Forerunner 310XT HR monitor much, but I will be relying on its data quite heavily during this base phase. Monitoring my heart rate on my midweek long runs as I attempt marathon pace mileage will help me determine my aerobic fitness level and see my progression through this period.

The results so far are quite good, and when you look at the 18 miler I did this week the six miles in the middle at marathon pace produced pleasing results.

I know that I'm capable of a HR average of around 165-167 bpm in a marathon and the early marathon pace miles were well within that zone. The HR drift was quite considerable, but I'm hoping another five weeks of base training will help to address that!

Better get on with it then! I've been loving the hot weather of the past few weeks, but remember to stay hydrated everyone, and that doesn't mean remembering to have a drink two mins before your run………..keep that water bottle with you at all times!

Steve Way is a member of Bournemouth Athletic Club and a Garmin Run Club Ambassador. Steve will represent England in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on September 26, 2010.