Casey Wood – Workout Series – Runner’s Tribe

2017 has been the first year that I have switched my training focus to the Marathon, a much longer distance than I have raced before. At the end of January this year, I received an email saying I had been selected to run my debut as one of the Elite Women in the London Marathon within a 12-week timeframe. This was both exciting and a nerve racking email to receive and although I have always trained with a fairly high mileage, I knew there would be a few changes in the next 12 weeks to what I had done prior.

With the help of Dick Telford and my father, Grenville Wood, I completed my first marathon, running a time of 2:39:27. My goal now is to work on improving this for my second marathon, after gaining some experience at the distance.

Below are a few key workouts I have used that I have found to be useful to get me in shape.

2017 Virgin London Marathon

Fartleks

Whether training for 5000m through to the marathon, I have always included fartlek into my running. I have found the ability to run on while also running fast useful for longer distance races. I am not strict on any particular session but do anything from 8 x 400m with a 200m recovery float to what we call a wave run which is approx. 8km of 1km faster, 800m slower at half marathon pace. My recovery sections for this session are quite strong with only a 10 second drop off in km pace.

With fartleks such as the 8 x 400m with a 200m float, I can usually run the length of this run the same as my best time over 5000m. 1 week prior to my best time over 5000m, I ran within 2 seconds of this in fartlek sessions so am confident it gives me a good indicator of where I am at for speed.

1km repetitions with short recoveries

1km repetitions is something that again has always been part of my training but the way I do this session has changed over the years depending on what I am trying to achieve. If I am looking for more pace, in the past, I have alternated between faster and slower kms each rep (approx. 5 seconds faster, 5 seconds slower) for the entire session. I have also done this session as a strength workout leading into the marathon. This included something like 10km at 4-4.10 minutes per km to begin with and then 7-9 x 1km with 1minute recovery. With both of these, if I can complete the sessions consistently and in control, I know I am becoming more efficient at the paces I am running.

Long Run or Reps integrated into longer runs

This kind of workout is one where I have seen the most improvement over the past year. When I first began training for the Marathon, it was more about time on the legs with goals of completing my first 30km long run…then 35km long run. As I have gotten stronger over the last year, the pace of this run has changed. Over a few occasions now, I have run the entire 30km long run slightly under 4 minute per km.

One of the other workouts I do is an integrated longer run with repetitions within the run. An example of this would be 15-20km with 4 x 3km at marathon pace within the run. The goal for this kind of run for me is to complete the whole run strongly with the final efforts as well as my first.

2017 Virgin London Marathon

Thanks for Reading, till next time.

Casey Wood

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