Question about changing the Marathon Guru program

David's Question
Hi Lee,

Firstly I'd like to congratulate you on the Marathon Guru program that you have provided for the Blackmore's running festival.  I've always wanted to do a full marathon but have lacked the planning and variety your program has provided.  I'm a nurse with two young children (4 & 6) and work night duty full time.  Where I can't follow the program each day I swap and change to accommodate my shift work. 
I've missed some days due to injury, sickness and simply not having time between work, school runs and arranging to swap the kids over with my wife who also is a nurse and work shifts.  My big worry is that I'll not be able to make the full 42 km.  My longest run to date has been 28kms.  Where I feel I had a little left in the tank, to think of running another 14km felt impossible.  over the next 5 weeks I'll try to hit 32, and hopefully up to 38 kms before tapering off if possible.  My other plan is lose 4 -5 kgs (I'm 85 kgs with about 20% body fat).  with these facts in mind, I'll give it a shot, but what do think? Any words of advice or suggestions. Any would be much appreciated as I feel at the brink of defeat.

Cheers again for the program,



Lee response

Hi David,

From this Sunday (two weeks ago) there is only 4 weeks to go and it would be detrimental to your performance on the 18th September if you were to run the 32km and 38km training runs as a lead in.
Our training programs are designed to give our clients 16 weeks of specific training and the last 4 weeks of that program are all about absorbing all the training and freshening up for the big race. I know your longest run has only been 28km but with the preparation you have had with juggling a massive workload (family, training and work) and being slightly overweight, the stress and impact on your body forcing yourself to complete your longest runs prior to your race may see your actual marathon race effort come in one of those training sessions and on race day you will be flat, tired and know doubt struggling to finish.
I have seen many people ruin any chances of a good performance in the last month by over doing it and their body not having enough time to recover so I would suggest that maybe this weekend run 30 - 32km (4 weeks out) and then that is it. Really back off and try to get a bit more rest and save the bit of extra energy for race day where you will need it.
Cheers and good luck,