Hard Training - With Mike Gratton

See how former London Marathon winner Mike Gratton advises a cluster of RW members about moving their training to the next level


Posted: 6 June 2004

Hard Training
Q&As

TRAINING GENERAL
Do I need to take an "easy week" when my average mileage isn’t that high?
Should you try and break through ‘the wall’ in training?
Is it just the cold weather, or am I getting fitter?
How do I overcome sluggishness at the beginning of my long runs?
What exactly causes a reduction in resting heart rate?
Do I need a rest?
Is this tiredness a result of working hard, or over-doing it?
How hard does hard training need to be?
Routines and periodisation
Why train twice a day?
Is it better to train twice a day or run further once a day?
I take ages to recover - how can I improve?
How can I get faster with minimal speedwork?
What time of day should I run/twice-a-day runs?
Multiple runs and time management
Can I train for a 10K in summer then run a fast marathon?
Form/running style
How do you run over 100 miles a week?

TRAINING COMPONENTS
Should I skip the "easy week" if I’m still feeling strong after a hard block of training?
I can’t get my legs to go fast enough in speed work
Should I squeeze in some more speed work?
How long should my longest run be?
Threshold runs - how fast?
Pyramids/mixed-distance speedwork
How often would you include a 'long run' in your training?
Hills
Cross-training

MARATHONING
When to move on from base training in a marathon build-up?
How Janice Moorekite jumped from 3:10 to 2:48
I've run 3:12 - how long should I wait to run sub-3?
How often to race in marathon training?
I missed 2:45 in spring. how can I hit it in autumn?
Female, high-mileage: advice on getting from 3:26 to sub-3:15 marathon

NUTRITION
What do elites drink in a marathon?
Nutrition: carbo-depletion/carbo-loading

MISC
Should I race a 5K and a half in the same week?
Can low expectations lead to a better performance on race day?
Should I try to change my running style?
Elite hard training and the will to succeed
Hard training, the old days, and full-time work
'Whatever happened to...'
On hindsight

If you want to see how ordinary runners can move their training to its next level, this section is for you. You'll probably have a number of races under your belt, are ready to train five or more times a week - and right now, are possibly stuck on a plateau.

Last spring, 1983 London Marathon winner Mike Gratton (right) got chatting on an RW forum thread about just that, and forumites aplenty soon asked him for training advice. (See the Q&A panel to the right for the highlights of that thread.)

He figured the best way to help was to coach three real forum readers live on the forums, so that everyone could see.

His advice to them will work for you, too - and you're welcome to join the forum threads and ask for clarification if you don't understand something Mike says. The aim: to help people move to their next level.

(Small print: Mike's doing this because he loves running. He has a full-time job running a sports-tour company, so please don't be upset if he can't answer something you ask.)

See Mike coaching the forum three

Becky Smith (aka Becky S): Age: 30
PBs: half-marathon 1:47; marathon 3:30
Targets sub-20 5K; Great North Run in 1.35; London Marathon 2005: 3:15
Mike thinks: Our first target is to work on leg speed. Read more
Dawn (aka Hilly)
PBs: 10K 42:06, marathon 3:26
Target: To run 3:15 at Cardiff Marathon on October 3
Mike thinks: Dawn needs to develop more speed endurance Read more
Anna (aka Awww_Spud): Age: 46
PBs: 10K 48:20; half-marathon 1:53
Targets: Short-term: half-marathon in 1:45, then 1:30. Marathon in 4hrs, then 3:30
Mike thinks: There's some way to go to reach the ultimate goals... we'll add structure. Read more

About Mike

Former London marathon winner Mike Gratton has been a serious runner from the age of 13. He won an English Schools track title at 5000m. At college, despite the impact of beer, three years of running 1500m with Steve Ovett at Brighton & Hove AC brought some success on the track.

Mike's track racing was halted in 1977 when he was run down by a fork lift truck (fact!). Six months later, he returned as a road runner, running his first marathon at Essone, near Paris in 1979. There, he finished 11th in 2:21:22. In 1981 he was third in the AAA Marathon (2:16:40), then third in London (2:12:30) and third in the 1982 Commonwealth Games (2.12.06) before winning London in 1983 with a PB of 2:09:43.

Mike has been organising training camps and tours to overseas races for 20 years. You can see his company website at www.209events.com.


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speedwork, half-marathon schedule, training misc, marathon schedule, improvement, 10K schedule, training technical
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Discuss this article

Im a personal trainer and have recently set up a newly affiliated rinning club"DAVID LLOYD PACERS". I take out mixed ability groups 5 times a week. Tuesday 5mile Intermediate group(8-9min miling).Wed 10-24mile Distance group( 8-9min Miling).
Thurs am 3mile Beginners group ( 9-10min miling) and Thurs pm Intermediate 4-6mile Speed group (fartlek/pyramids/hills/intervals on road @ 7-8min miling). Friday Advanced 4-6mile speed group ( fartlek/hills/intervals/pyramids on road/tracks @6.30-8min miling)
I want to run 3:15 london marathon. I am 44yrs with a pb 2:56 but set some 20yrs ago. My current half marathon is 1hr35mins.
I do the above training weekly plus private clients of mixed ability and try to fit in my own speed/tempo runs at a weekend.
I do 3 core/weights sessions a week in the gym and have a fortnightly sports massage as a preventative means!
Will these slower runs effect my goal? I currently run approx 50-70miles a week.
Posted: 07/02/2007 at 21:05

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