Endurance training

New for 2019

Back in the spring, Lordshill Road Runners introduced a new training plan for runners building towards spring marathons. Led by Lordshiller Graham Rafferty, the sessions were well-received and popular with members.

Graham has now put together new sessions and a training plan for members aiming towards autumn marathons. It’s particularly well-suited to those aiming for Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Abington (UK) marathons on Sunday 20th October and Ljubljana (Slovenia) marathon on Sunday 27th October.

About the training plan

This endurance training starts in June with two led sessions a week. The plan has been put together by Graham, who has used it for a number of years to train himself and others to meet and exceed their marathon expectations.

Graham introduced the endurance training plan at the beginning of January to runners who went on to complete the spring sessions. The slides and notes from the session provide a good overview of the plan and principles behind it.

“The plan was introduced at my previous club and geared towards the Dubai Marathon January 2012. The success was overwhelming. 80% of those who followed the plan (a small group at the time) got a PB. Two runners who had never done a marathon before, one in his 50s, followed the plan for a 3:15 marathon. Both came in under 3:20. The plan has been followed every year since and the majority have finished within +/- 5 minutes of the planned race time. The first time I followed the plan was on my 8th marathon. I took my PB down from 3:53 to 3:25 in one hit. 8 of my 11 marathons since then have been under 3:25.”

View Graham’s presentation from the session here.

Read the notes from Graham’s presentation here (pdf).

Who will benefit

Anyone who currently finds themselves struggling (slowing considerably) over the last quarter of a marathon. The race time for a marathon should be twice your half marathon time plus 10 to 15 minutes. For example, a person running a half marathon in 1:30 should be running a marathon in 3:10 to 3:15. Anyone whose marathon time is slower than predicted should try this plan.

However, all runners, even those not intending to run beyond 10k would benefit from elements of the training plan.

Components of the plan

The training plan has two group sessions a week. These are:

  • A long, slow, distance run at weekends
  • A midweek session of intervals done at marathon pace or half marathon pace.
  • In addition to the above, there are guidelines for total training hours per week.

Sunday slow long distance runs

Time: 8:30am

Venue: Entrance Sainsbury’s Lordshill Centre

Current training schedule: Thursday training schedule (June)

Next training schedule: Thursday training schedule (July – October)

Sessions are long runs of duration 90 to 180 minutes at an easy pace. Duration varies and pace picks up as we close in on marathon race day. We will divide into pace groups according to target marathon times.

The following pace guidelines are given;

  • P1 is target marathon race pace plus 1:15 / km. This is ultra slow running.
  • P2 is target marathon race pace plus 1:00 / km. This is base pace.
  • P3 is target marathon race pace.
  • P4 is half marathon race pace.

The training plan for LSD runs starts with a few sessions at P1 and then progresses to P2. As the marathon race day approaches the sessions become split pace with each session starting at P2 and finishing at P3. The sessions peek at 3 hours duration with 5 weeks to go and then reduce in duration for the taper.

The emphasis on these runs is to maintain low intensity. The objective is to improve running economy so that less effort is needed to run a marathon. The runs should be at even effort and without stops. The course should be reasonably flat, avoiding steep hills in order to maintain even effort.

All sessions will commence with a loop lasting approx 90 minutes. Followed by a 2nd loop to make up the planned schedule duration. Those not training for a marathon are welcome to do the first loop only.

Thursday mid-week long interval sessions

Time: 6:20pm for a 6:30pm start

Venue: Entrance to Southampton Common, Hill Lane, opposite the Bellemoor Pub.

Current training schedule: Thursday training schedule (June)

Next training schedule: Thursday training schedule (July – October)

Additional training hours

Preferably these should be at low intensity, P1 or P2.
They can be done on a bicycle or exercise bike if the runner is injury prone.
High-intensity training is not required but one session a week is acceptable (LRR Monday or Wednesday Session or alternatively a weekend race).
Strength and Conditioning training is highly recommended (eg LRR Tuesday sessions.)

Useful resources