Training Plan… & Tabatas!

My mind’s been busy over the last few days… thinking about my training plan for the next 14 weeks before the marathon, and how I’m going to fit in my cross training (swimming / gym work ) and improve for the marathon.

I’ve been kindly prompted by a free marathon email newsletter from Runners World. It’s ‘designed to keep you on track with your training’.  It’s ‘short enough to be readable and long enough to be useful.’  It contains tips and advice along with a weekly schedule for running based on your target time.

I’ve already got a training plan set up which I’ll post later, however what the newsletter will do it allow me to make sure my training stays on track.

Towards the end of 2010 I did 4 weeks where I did anything I wanted and took leisurely (treadmill mostly) runs and was free to do as I pleased.  I did at least one resistance session a week and aimed to swim once a week (but didn’t).

Now January is here, and I know for a fact that the gym is going to be full of new people who have made January resolutions.  The machines and gym will be busy and as usual I will get annoyed at not being able to do my routine.

So, I’m changing my routine.  I’ve read a bit in the last month about ‘Cardio Strength Training‘ – introducing High Intensity Interval Training into workouts, both cardio and resistance.  Working for a set period of time and working as hard as possible during that time, then having a short rest period.

Specifically I’ll be doing my own version of Tabata training, which is a hard 4 minute workout where you choose (8) exercises and repeat each on 8 times, working 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.  You work at your hardest and rest, then repeat the exercise until completed 8 times, then move onto the next exercise.  (Here’s some more on Tabata training).

You can use your own dumb bells, gym balls, kettle bells, bar bell and most importantly your own body weight.  This will mean all that I’ll need is me, a mat and a timer.  If I do need weights, I’ll just use a 10kg set (there are 3)… and maybe a barbell or kettle bell so I only need one set of weights (and maybe a gym ball) to complete my session.

I’ve decided I’m going to try and increase the time I work hard for – 45 seconds work / 15 seconds rest…and I’ll have 10 exercises.  At the start I’ll do the exercises twice each, then increase (hopefully) to 5 times…which will be a workout anywhere between 20 and 50 minutes.

I will also run outside – intervals as a warm up for the tabata training, hills, sprints, and just easy runs.  I’ll do most of my running in and around Bellahouston Park and Pollock Park.

That way I’ll avoid the treadmills, and busy machines/weights areas. 😀  I can’t wait now!  I’ve set up my plan and made it flexible so I can pick and choose the exercises depending on any limitations thrown my way. I just need to decide how often I’ll do it and how I’ll fit it into my marathon training.

Oh and I almost forgot… there’s an app for it… 😀  You can put in your exercises and the times you want for working and resting and the amount of times you want to repeat the exercise and it times you and lets you know when to start stop: Tabata HIIT

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