Autumn marathon training and Braveheart training are the perfect combination. Fiona Bugler who’s hoping to complete Braveheart and the Beachy Head marathon explains why.

THE BRAVEHEART BONUS FOR YOUR AUTUMN MARATHON

  • Injury prevention: With zero impact, cycling and swimming will get you aerobically fit, without the damage to joints, or too much wear and tear, building a solid aerobic base.
  • Core strength and flexibility: Swimming is fantastic for developing a strong core and flexible body, both areas that will benefit your running and often neglected by runners.
  • Recovery: An ice cold open water swim can do wonders for a tired body after a run and an easy bike ride can help release lactic acid built up after a hard run session.
  • Off Road Bonus: Training for Braveheart requires off road running and hilly cycling, which is like a really good resistance session, with nature providing hills, tree roots, windy paths and uneven terrain to challenge and strengthen the body. Most muscle groups are involved when you run on the trails – not just the legs, but the buttocks, back and even arms are used to create balance. Training on the hills on both the bike and the run will condition leg muscle strength, and increase flexibility and glute strength. For runners a tight but and bounding gives you the benefit of a plyometric workout, which will help you ping off the ground more efficiently on the flat.
  • Boredom buster How many times do you hear the phrase ‘running is boring’. With three disciplines to help boost your aerobic power, you’ll never get bored!
  • Confidence boost Braveheart is likely to take you at least one and half if not double the time it takes you to complete compared to your marathon, which will give you confidence to complete the marathon.

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MARATHON TRAINING BONUS FOR BRAVEHEART

* Endurance base building When you’re training for a marathon there’s no escaping the long run. If you can do a weekly long run between now and the end of August, you’ll help lay a superb aerobic foundation for the rigors of Ben Nevis.
* Physical and mental strength Marathon training also gives you mental strength, and if you’ve regularly run for three hours before race day you’ll be confident you can take on the mountain.

TRAINING

Aim to do a minimum of two sessions for each discipline every week, including a long run (see below), a long bike (build up to 90K hilly) and a long swim (build up to 2K) – as well as a brick session. If you have the energy add to your endurance session by upping the intensity for each discipline and include a speed/hill/strength set, for example, swim drills, bike spin or turbo set, and fartlek, or hill reps on the run. If you’re tired, drop one of your higher intensity sessions and replace with an easy session.

LONG RUNS
Even with a three week taper before Braveheart you can get the bulk of your marathon training done in the next eight weeks by including one long run every week, which will give you recovery time and time to sharpen up your speed for your marathon.

Aim to build your training weeks for three weeks, then ease back for one week, and build for a further three to four before tapering.

For example, you may do the following:
13 miles, 15 miles, 17 miles, 13 miles, 16 miles, 18 miles, 20 miles, 18 miles.
Then taper with a 15 miles, 10 miles and 7 miles the week before.

 

TIME IT RIGHT

2 weeks after Braveheart, (2nd October) e.g. Kielder, Bournemouth, Chester, Jersey
Week one: Easy swim, and two recovery runs
Week two: 2 easy runs, and include some strides (6-8 x 20 seconds. RACE

3 weeks after Braveheart (9th October) e.g. the Yorkshire Marathon,
Week one: Easy swim, and two recovery runs
Week two: 3 easy runs with some strides (8 x 30 seconds)
Week three: 2 easy runs, and some strides (6-8 x 20 seconds) – race

4 weeks after Braveheart (16th October) e.g. Run Scotland Loch Rannoch Marathon, Maidstone Marathon
Week one: Easy swim, and two recovery runs
Week two: 4 easy runs with some strides (8 x 30 seconds)
Week three: 5 easy runs, and one fartlek session 8-10 x 60 seconds
Week four: : 2 easy runs, and include some strides (6-8 x 20 seconds. RACE

5 weeks after Braveheart (23rd October) e.g. Abingdon Marathon, Northumberland Castles
Week one: Easy swim, and two recovery runs
Week two: 4 easy runs with some strides (8 x 30 seconds), one to two swims for recovery
Week three: 4 easy runs and one marathon paced run 8-10 miles
Week four: 5 easy runs, and one fartlek session 8-10 x 60 seconds
Week five: 2 easy runs, and include some strides (6-8 x 20 seconds. RACE

6 weeks after Braveheart e.g. Beachy Head (29th October), Snowdownia (29th), Dublin Marathon (30th)
Week one: Easy swim, and two recovery runs/bike ride easy
Week two: 4 easy runs with some strides (8 x 30 seconds), one to two swims for recovery
Week three: 4 easy runs (or 3 runs and a bike ride), two swims
Week four: 5 runs, including one fartlek session 8-10 x 60 seconds, and one off road easy up to 10 miles, swim for recovery
Week five: 4 to 5 easy runs, and one fartlek session 8-10 x 60 seconds, swim/bike for recovery
Week six: 2 to 3 easy runs, and include some strides (6-8 x 20 seconds. RACE