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					                      HARD TRAINING
   FLM PROGRAMME FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO TRAIN 7 TO 14 TIMES
                        PER WEEK
This Training programme is aimed at runners, male or female, who have reached, or want to reach, 7-day
per week training. It has been developed out of my training programme leading up to winning the London
Marathon in 1983.

The bulk of the programme was used on the Hard Training Forum Thread on www.runnersworld.co.uk
(London Marathon Forum) and questions can be asked about the training by posting on the website. The
forum has the unique quality of being able to give mutual support from others following the training and
suffering the same levels of tiredness in the early stages – and then, magically, improvement in the final
phase.

The principle is simple: After a period of base training that builds the endurance background required to
run a marathon there follows a period of consolidating the mileage while at the same time faster running
and speed endurance work creep in. The final stage has a change in emphasis towards faster running at
speeds much quicker than marathon pace, which will bring you to a fitness peak in late April for the Flora
London Marathon (or other marathon if not doing FLM).

This turns on its head the accepted system of starting a marathon build up from a low mileage base and
building up the long runs and total miles between Christmas and the race – usually about 12 to 16 weeks.
This is fine for relative beginners and in the early years of running. But once you have run a few marathons
or have a number of years of background it is crazy to constantly go back to the beginning and try to build
up endurance in just 12/16 weeks again. The biggest improvements come when you build the endurance
and maintain it out of season then use progressive speed work to come to a peak.

The athletes I have coached have made their first big improvement when they have moved on to 7-days-a-
week training; the second big improvement comes when they move on to twice a day. Firstly you must be
ready to run 7-days-a-week, in other words don’t jump straight in from a base of 3 or 4-days-a-week.
Secondly, if you have established 7-days-a-week running, don’t move to 14-sessions per week overnight.
All new training loads have to be gradually introduced so that the body can adapt to the new level of effort.

The concerns expressed from most people who start on this system are usually a concern about loosing leg
speed. My own experience, and that of those who followed the training last year is that you do not loose leg
speed – it comes back quickly enough once 10km pace training is introduced – and most of the feeling of
loss of speed is in fact due to your body adapting to the increased training load (mileage).

The schedule is not rocket science – there are no ‘magic’ sessions that suddenly make you a faster runner -
its success is following a systematic build-up and straight forward hard work. The marathon is an
endurance event that requires a long steady build up starting as early as possible.

The early stages require a lot of mindless running of steady miles, it needs to be this way, but there is no
harm in running a few races to keep short term interest. However, it is important not to taper for every race
as you will never fully develop the base you need. In the early stages you need to get used to training
through your races. You have a ready made excuse – for yourself or anyone questioning your performances
– you’re training for London. Looking back through my 1983 diary, between getting the Commonwealth
Games bronze medal in October 1982 and winning London in April 1983 I had a number of relative
disasters – finishing 5th in The Kent XC Champs, a long way down on the winner was one – but every now
and again a good result in a XC relay or 10 mile road race would indicate all was OK. By March, results
will start to come – in jan 83 I ran 48min 32sec for 10 miles on a flat course, come March 83 I ran 47.11 on
a hilly course.

For interest, my training notes leading up to winning London in April 1983 are published on
www.209events.com.
TRAINING NOTES

For those running once-a-day the session that should be dropped is in brackets.

Most of the training is expressed as time rather than distance, despite a request to express it in time – this is
to accommodate slower runners who may not be able to run 20 miles in under 2hrs 30mins. Time on feet
has been shown to be the best way of judging the level of training that prevents runners from over training
– which would be the case for slower runners if the schedule suggested running 20 to 22 miles every
Sunday and 15 miles midweek.

There is no reason at all why slower runners can’t follow the 7-day-a-week schedules, by running for time
rather than distance it keeps the duration of sessions at a level that enables recovery. But for quicker
runners, in general if the time allocated is 2 hrs this means a long run of 18 to 20 miles. If the ease runs say
30 to 40 mins this indicates a run of around 5 miles.

Don’t get paranoid about the distance run – endurance is not an exact science and everyone will handle
mileage differently. The most important thing is the cumulative effect of all of your training and not
whether you manage to run 20 to 22 miles every Sunday.

I have expressed effort in 2 ways; a) Percentage of Maximum Heart Rate, and b) actual running speed.
Steady runs will be at around 70-75% effort and you will find that your steady pace will improve over the
weeks. When running speeds are indicated, i.e. marathon pace, half marathon pace, 10km pace, etc., you
should use your projected pace – if you currently PB for the marathon is 3hrs and you are aiming at 2.50
you should train at 2.50pace.

 There is often confusion over the words Threshold and Tempo running. Here Threashold running is equal
to the speed you can maintain for 1hr of exercise. For some that will be around their half marathon pace,
for others it may be closer to 10 mile pace or even 10km pace. Tempo I use more loosely and may have a
target speed attached to it or it may be simply faster run typical of most club runs through the winter.
There’s a lot to be said for being non-specific and just going hell for leather around town with the pack – it
is the way a lot of our best known athletes developed through clubs like Gateshead, Tipton, Coventry and
my own club Invicta. Be careful though that every night isn’t a club night!

(Sessions to drop on once-a-day training level)

THE PROGRAMME

Sunday 6 Nov: am 2 hrs steady (70% max HR)
Monday 7 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Tuesday 8 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Wednesday 9 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Thursday 10 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm < 40 mins fartlek – completely free/go as you feel
Friday 11 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm <1hr steady
Saturday 12 Nov: am XC Race or 40 mins Tempo run (<marathon pace)

Sunday 13 Nov: am 2 hrs steady (70% max HR)
Monday 14 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Tuesday 15 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Wednesday 16 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Thursday 17 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm < 40 mins fartlek – completely free/go as you feel
Friday 18 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm <1hr steady
Saturday 19 Nov: am XC Race or 40 mins Tempo run (<marathon pace)

Sunday 20 Nov: am 2 hrs steady (70% max HR), pm (30 mins easy)
Monday 21 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Tuesday 22 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm <1 hr fartlek – go as you please
Wednesday 23 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Thursday 24 Nov: am (30-40 mins), pm 1 hr steady
Friday 25 Nov: am (30 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Saturday 26 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 40 mins Tempo Run (< marathon pace)

Sunday 27 Nov: 2 hrs steady (70% may HR), pm (30-40 mins easy)
Monday 28 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Tuesday 29 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm < 1 hr fartlek – 10-12 efforts between 1 min and 5 mins.
Wednesday 30 Nov: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Thursday 1 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Friday 2 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Saturday 3 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm XC Race or 40 mins Temp run (marathon<half marathon pace).

Sunday 4 Dec: am 2 hrs steady (70% max HR), pm (30 to 40 mins easy)
Monday 5 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), 1 hr steady
Tuesday 6 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr fartlek – 12 to 15 efforts varying between 1 min and 5 mins
Wednesday 7 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Thursday 8 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Friday 9 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Saturday 10 Dec: am 1 hr steady, pm 30 mins hill circuit (continuous run on 1km circuit with approx 500m
shallow uphill, 500m downhill)

Sunday 11 Dec: am 2 hrs steady (70% max HR), pm (30 to 40 mins easy)
Monday 12 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), 1 hr steady
Tuesday 13 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr fartlek – 12 to 15 efforts varying between 1 min and 5
mins
Wednesday 14 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Thursday 15 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Friday 16 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm rest or 30 mins easy
Saturday 17 Dec: am (1 hr steady), pm 30 mins hill circuit (continuous run on 1km circuit with approx
500m shallow uphill, 500m downhill)

Sunday 18 Dec: am 2 hrs steady (70% max HR), pm (30 to 40 mins easy).
Monday 19 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), 1 hr steady
Tuesday 20 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr fartlek – 12 to 15 efforts varying between 1 min and 5
mins
Wednesday 21 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Thursday 22 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Friday 23 Dec: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 1 hr steady
Saturday 24 Dec: am 2 hr steady (70% MAX hr), pm 30 mins hill circuit (continuous run on 1km circuit
with approx 500m shallow uphill, 500m downhill)

Sun 25 Dec: am 1 hr steady – Xmas Day – try out new trainers, t-shirt, GPS system! Lots of pud &
Champaign.
Mon 26 Dec: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady
Tues 27 Dec: am (30-50 mins), pm Tempo Run – 40 mins @ half marathon pace, 10 mins warm up/10
mins cool off jogs.
Wed 28 Dec: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady.
Thu 29 Dec: am (30-40 mins), pm 30 mins hill circuits – 10 mins warm up/cool down jog
Fri 30 Dec: am (30-40 min) pm 1 hr steady
Sat 31 Dec: am 45 mins fartlek (aim at approx 12 efforts between 45 sec and 4 mins) pm (30-40 mins
easy)

Sun 1 Jan: am 2hrs 30mins steady, pm (30-40 mins easy)
Mon 2 Jan: (am 30-40 mins steady), pm 40 mins Tempo Run (85% MaxHR – 15 min warm-up & cool-
down)
Tue 3 Jan: (am 30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady
Wed 4 Jan: (am 30-40 mins steady), pm 1hr 30 mins steady.
Thu 5 Jan: (am 30-40 mins steady), pm 40 mins hill circuits – 10 mins warm-up/cool down.
Fri 6 Jan: (am 30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady.
Sat 7 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 40 min at projected marathon pace (10 mins warm-up/cool down),
or County Cross Country.

Sun 8 Jan: am 2hrs 30 mins steady, pm (30-40 mins easy), or 15 miles steady, rising to fast.
Mon 9 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady
Tue 10 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 30 mins Tempo run (85% MaxHR – 15 mins warm-up/cool
down).
Wed 11 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr 30 mins steady, or 1 hr steady.
Thu 12 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), Hill session – 10 x 2 mins up moderately steep hill (not too steep as it
alters your leg action) jog back recovery, or 45 mins fartlek.
Fri 13 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady, or rest.
Sat 14 Jan am (30-40 mins steady), pm < 1 hr steady.

Sun 15 Jan: am: 2 to 2 .30 steady, pm (30 mins easy)
Mon 16 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady
Tue 17 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 30 mins Tempo run (85% MaxHR – 15 mins warm up/cool down)
Wed 18 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady) pm 1 hr 30 mins steady.
Thu 19 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 12 x 2 mins up moderately steep hill, jog back recovery - long
warm up/down.
Fri 20 Jan: am (30-40 min steady), pm <1 hr easy.
Sat 21 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm < 1 hr steady.

Sun 22 Jan: am: 2 to 2 .30 steady, pm (30 mins easy)
Mon 23 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady
Tue 24 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 30 mins Tempo run (85% MaxHR – 15 mins warm up/cool down)
Wed 25 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady) pm 1 hr 30 mins steady.
Thu 26 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 14 x 2 mins up moderately steep hill, jog back recovery - long
warm up/down.
Fri 27 Jan: am (30-40 min steady), pm <1 hr easy.
Sat 28 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm < 1 hr steady. (Area XC Champs)

Sun 29 Jan: am: 2 to 2 .30 steady, pm (30 mins easy)
Mon 30 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr including 30 mins Tempo Run (Marathon speed).
Tue 31 Jan: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr fartlek – 15 efforts of around 400mts.
Wed 1 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady) pm 1 hr 30 mins steady.
Thu 2 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 15 x 2 mins up moderately steep hill, jog back recovery - long
warm up/down.
Fri 3 Feb: am (30-40 min steady), pm <1 hr easy.
Sat 4 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm < 1 hr steady.

Sun 5 Feb: am 2 hrs steady.
Mon 6 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady.
Tue 7 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady.
Wed 8 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr seady.
Thu 9 Feb: am (30-40 mins), pm 45min<1 hr fartlek – 10-15 efforts between 1 & 2 mins.
Fri 10 Feb: am (30-40 mins), pm (30-40 mins steady)
Sat 11 Feb: <1hr steady.

Sun 12 Feb: am <2hrs 30 mins (if not racing), pm (30-40 min easy)
Mon 13 Feb: am (30-40 mins easy), pm <1 hr steady.
Tue 14 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm <1hr Tempo run (marathon pace<half marathon pace).
Wed 15 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm <1hr 30 mins steady.
Thu 16 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm <1hr Fartlek (15 to 20 efforts between 1 min & 2 mins duration).
Fri 17 Feb: am (30-40 mins steady), pm 1 hr steady.
Sat 18 Feb: am Hill circuits 6 to 8 x 1km, hill length approx 4 mins duration & hold rhythm on the down
hill section, pm 45 mins easy.

Sun 19 Feb: am 2hrs 30mn<3hrs, pm (30 mins easy).
Mon 20 Feb: am (30-40 mins easy), pm <75 mins steady.
Tue 21 Feb: am (30-40 mins), pm < Tempo
Wed 22 Feb: am (30-40 mins), pm <90 mins steady
Thu 23 Feb: am (30-40 mins, pm <75 mins steady.
Fri 24 Feb: am (30-40 mins), pm <1 hr steady
Sat 25 Feb: am (30-40 mins), pm <1hr steady (Possible half marathon race week)

Sun 26 Feb: am <2 hrs 30 min, pm (30 mins easy)
Mon 27 Feb: am (30-40 mins easy), <1 hr Tempo run
Tue 28 Feb: am (30-40 Mins steady), pm warm up – 15 to 20 x 400m @ 10km pace, 100m jog recovery.
Wed 1 Mar: am (30-40 mins steady), pm <90 mins steady.
Thu 2 Mar: am (30-40 mins steady), pm <1 hr steady
Fri 3 Mar: am (30-40 mins steady), pm <1 hr steady
Sat 4 Mar : am warm up, 6 x 1000m at 10km pace, 2 mins recovery, warm down, pm (30-40 min easy).

Sun 5 Mar: am 2hrs steady, pm rest
Mon 6 Mar: am rest (or 30-40 mins easy), pm <1hr tempo.
Tue 7 Mar: am rest (or 30-40 mins steady), pm warm up, <20 x 200m at 5km pace, 100m jog rec., long
cool down .
Wed 8 Mar: am rest (or 30-40 mins steady), pm 90 mins steady.
Thu 9 Mar: am rest (or 30-40 mins steady), pm <1 hr steady.
Fri 10 Mar: am rest (or 30-40 mins steady), pm <1 hr steady.
Sat 11 Mar: am <30 mins, pm 6 x 1km at 10km pace, 2 mins jog recovery.

Sun 12 Mar: am <2hrs 30 mins, pm (30-40 mins easy)
Mon 13 Mar: am (30-40 mins), pm < 1 hr tempo run
Tue 14 Mar: am (30-40 mins), pm warm-up, <20 x 400m/100m jog recovery, cool down.
Wed 15 Mar: am (30-40 mins), pm < 1 hr steady to fast, but not as much as threshold level.
Thu 16 Mar: am (30-40 mins), pm warm-up, 8 x 1000m, 2 mins rec., cool down
Fri 17 Mar: am (30-40 mins), pm <1 hr steady
Sat 18 Mar: am 8 miles, alternating miles at marathon pace & steady pace – approx. 40 sec differential in
pace. (Possible Half Marathon race week).

Sun 19 Mar am 30km, first 10km easy, next 10km quicker, last 10km at marathon pace, pm rest.
Mon 20 Mar: (am 30 mins steady), pm 1 hr good pace(up to Mar pace but cooling off for the last 10 mins).
Tue 21 Mar: (am 30 mins steady), pm 12 x 400m, 3km pace, 2 mins recovery.
Wed 22 Mar: 90 mins steady.
Thu 23 Mar: (am 30 mins steady), pm 5 x 1km, 5km pace, 2 mins recovery.
Fri 24 Mar: 2 x 45 mins steady.
Sat 25 Mar: (am 30 mins steady), pm 8 miles alternating miles at half marathon and marathon pace.

Sun 26 Mar: 20 miles pushing last 5 miles at marathon pace. pm rest.
Mon 27 Mar: 10 miles steady.
Tue 28 Mar: am (30-40 mins easy), pm 12 x 400 at 5km pace, 2 min recovery.
Wed 29 Mar: am (30-40 min easy), 15 miles steady.
Thu 30 Mar: am (30-40 mins easy), 5 x 1km at 5km pace, 3 mins recovery.
Fri 31 Mar: am (30-40 min easy), pm <1 hr steady.
Sat 1 Apr: 8 miles alternating mileas a marathon pace & half marathon pace.
Sun 2 Apr: am 20/22 miles, pm rest
Mon 3 Apr: am (30 mins easy), pm 45 mins steady
Tue 4 Apr: am (30 mins easy), pm 12 x 400 @ 3km pace, 200 jog rec.
Wed 5 APr: am (30 mins easy), pm 10 miles – picking up pace.
Thu 6 Apr: am (30 mins easy), pm 8 x 1km @ 10km pace, 2 mins recovery.
Fri 7 Apr: am (30 mins easy), pm 10 miles steady.
Sat 8 Apr: am (30 mins easy), pm 10 miles steady.

Sun 9 Apr: am 20 miles, pm rest (or 10km race)
Mon 10 Apr: am (30 mins easy), pm 10 miles steady
Tue 11 Apr Mar: am (30 mins easy), pm 10 x 400 @ mile speed, 200 jog rec.
Wed 12 Apr: am (30 mins easy), 10 miles steady
Thu 13 Apr: am rest, pm Marathon pace fartlek run – hold efforts of up to 5 mins at marathon pace,
interspersed with recovery at steady pace (relaxed fartlek style <10 miles)
Fri 14 APR: am rest, pm 45 mins steady
Sat 15 Apr: Short race or threshold run <40 mins

Sun 16 Apr: <12 miles steady
Mon 17 Apr: <10 miles steady
Tue 18 Apr: 10 x 200m hard strides in racing flats, 200 jog rec.
Wed 19 Apr: <45 mins steady
Thu 20 Apr: <45 mins steady – start carbo loading with pm meal.
Fri 21 Apr: Rest or 20 mins easy – highest carbo intake on this day, high water intake
Sat 22Apr: 20 mins easy – reduce food intake after 6pm, high water intake

Sun 23 Apr: London Marathon – the big day.

				
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