Why do I need a personalised program?

Running programs are readily available on the internet and many are free. Getting a generic training program is not the problem, however whether that program is best suited to you is the first potential problem. At Run Well we believe that a personalised running training program is better and will help you to achieve your goals more safely and effectively. Your personalised training program will take into account many factors that relate to you and you only, such as; your age, your running ability & history, previous performances; how many runs you can realistically manage per week; how you will fit your training into your busy lifestyle; allow for other activities in your life; allow you to modify your program to fit in events or time away; will account for any injuries concerns you might have, and most importantly a personalised program is geared around your goals and objectives.

A personalised training program will;

a) get you to the start line well prepared & in one piece, i.e not injured!

b) ensure you get to the finish line and finish well,

c) enjoy your event ( it shouldn't be hell)  and finally,  

d) maximise your performance to reach your race goal! 

The hardest marathon you will ever do is the one you are least prepared for. You will invest alot of time, effort and money in choosing to run the marathon, so you deserve to get the best result & experience out of it, by being well prepared.


What is meant by Train Smart?

Train Smart is a term I use that includes the key factors that apply to your training program to ensure that you get the maximum training effect from each run session and hence benefit from your program whilst avoiding overtraining and risk injury. This includes your all important personalised 'pace guide' ( how fast do I run in training?) that applies to each and every run session. An understanding that each training session has a specific training ( physiologic) objective, hence pace, intensity and duration to achieve the maximum training benefit and is specific to you and your goals.

Train Smart also refers to a number of additional services that I believe will assist you in ensuring you reach your goal. This includes Personalised Running CoachingInjury Assessment and Rehab guide, Pre-hab Program for Injury prevention, Recovery guide, Personal Running Partner to guide you through specific training sessions ( speed, tempo, long runs, easy & recovery), Running Technique Training sessions, Marathon Race Planning, Coaching Support, and even a Personal Race Pacer & Partner. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about these services.


What does it mean to 'hit the wall' in a marathon?

Also known as 'bonking', hitting the wall occurs when you exhaust the glycogen reserves in your muscles and essentially run out of fuel or energy. This results in a dramatic loss of energy and running pace, and cannot be restored quickly as it takes up to 72 hours to replenish. Sadly though hitting the wall is all too common amongst marathoners, and reflects a much bigger training issue, and that is poor programming & preparation and poor race day planning. Primarily it means that a runner has not developed their aerobic capacity enough in training (that utilises fat & oxygen as a primary energy source, not valuable glycogen stores) which is a result of incorrect pacing during 'easy' and 'long runs', which are often run too quickly. Hitting the wall also  occurs as a consequence of a poor Race Plan ( or no Race Plan) , and is seen typically when a runner starts the race too fast, hence using too much glycogen too early and depletes these finite reserves commonly at around the 30-35km mark.


How long do I need to train for a marathon?

The answer to this largely depends on your running ability and history, so is variable. However, I like to recommend 6 months as a minimum to prepare to give you the best chance to be well prepared and stay injury free. I prefer to write a 20 week plan for runners but again in reality this can be anywhere between 12-20 weeks depending on a particular runner's running history and condition.

Your program would follow a minimum period of at least 6 weeks of regular running training before the 'program' begins and follows a slow steady progression of mileage and intensity. Basically, the longer you have been running regularly, the better prepared your body will be to cope with the increase in training demands. The 20 week marathon program allows a gradual and steady increase in mileage giving the body sufficient time to adapt and strengthen. This allows enough time to add some speed and strength work if required, whilst also allowing enough time to compensate for any interruptions to your program if they arise. If you're unsure if you're ready to run the marathon, click for more information to help you decide.


How many times do I need to run each week to train for the marathon?

Most marathon training programs will have between 4-6 runs per week. Realistically you want to be running at least 4 runs per week, and then any extra runs will contribute to total mileage importantly as well as assist in (active) recovery, further developing your conditioning & endurance capabilities. The key is to get the balance right between the number of runs and types of runs and run intensity in each week to maximise your training benefit and minimise overload and injury risk.


i'm not a first timer, but do i need a PB marathon program?

Basically, your personalised marathon program will be designed based on your goals and objectives as well as the important information we gather from your Runners Questionnaire. This will allow me to create the ideal program with the right amount of running load and intensity to allow you to reach your marathon goal. If you're aiming to finish in a certain time, this will require specific training sessions and prescribed paces to maximise your training effects to achieve your personal best time. However, if your aim is to just cover the distance then specific pacing is not so important except for your Long Run pace which will be prescribed in your personalised program.


What are the most common mistakes marathoners make?

Whether it's a first time marathon or a seasoned campaigner, in my experience I have found that many marathoners alike, make the same mistakes. Sadly, sometimes these mistakes are often made over & over, with devastating consequences.

Many run their long runs too fast, and their shorter runs too slow, and even more start the race without a specific race plan. However, they are all avoidable, with the right guidance & advice. Click here to find out all about it.