Mo Farah’s Typical Weekly Training Schedule

Most of us mere mortals are happy if we get out for a run a few times a week. Some even do the occasional two-runs-a-day thing to really up their fitness, however nothing compares to the mileage that the pro’s like Mo Farah put in.

Below is the typical weekly training schedule for Mo Farah. This involves running up to a maximum of 135 miles per week with no rest days and two sessions every day but Sunday, when he just does an all out 22-27 miles at 5:40 min/mile. This is the life of an elite runner!

Mo farah typical training week

Monday

AM: 10-mile recovery run (6:00min/mile pace)
PM: 6-mile recovery run

Mo Farah

Mo Farah

Tuesday

AM: 4-mile warm-up run; 8-12mile tempo run anywhere from 4:40 to 5:00min/mile pace (depending on altitude and terrain); 3-mile cool-down run
NOON: Strength and conditioning session (1 hour)
PM: 6-mile recovery run

Wednesday

AM: 12-mile recovery run, followed by a massage.
PM: 5-mile recovery run

Thursday

AM: 11-mile recovery run
PM: 5-mile recovery run

Friday

AM: 4-mile warm-up jog; 10x200m intervals (with 200m recovery jogs) on grass in 29 seconds each rep; 10x200m hill sprints at equal effort, walk back down to recover; 4-mile cool-down run.
NOON: Strength and conditioning session (1 hour)
PM: 4-miles easy

Saturday

AM: 11-mile recovery run, massage
PM: 6-mile recovery run

Sunday

AM: 22-27 miles, no slower than marathon race pace + 1 minute (for Mo, this means 5:40min/mile)

Total: 126-135 miles per week

Race Review: The @RunBournemouth Marathon Festival ‘Supersonic’ 10k

After watching my dad take part in the very first Bournemouth Marathon Festival 10k last year, I was so impressed with the organisation and atmosphere I vowed to take part this year. So sure enough, I signed up for this years race with hours to spare until applications closed.

Organisation

I don’t usually pay much attention to the organisation of a race – if it’s fairly well organised then you take this for granted and it’s only when it’s supremely awful or completely amazing that you stop to think about how it’s all been put together. The 10k that I did was part of a weekend of running which saw the ‘Speed of Light 5k’ and ‘Supersonic 10k’ happening at 4pm and 7pm respectively on the Saturday and the Half and Full Marathons on the Sunday. The events on the Sunday in particular called for a lot of road closures and traffic management to ensure a smooth event. Even coming towards the event from the other side of Poole I was greeted by electronic traffic signs warning me of the festival…

The finish of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival (image from the BMF Facebook page)

I received my race number around 10 days in advance and this had a chip built into to the back of the number. Nice. The thing I get most anxious about before races is having enough time to find the registration tent and collect and pin my number on!

Come race day I parked in nearby Westbourne and jogged the 15 minutes to the start line as part of my warm up. Upon arrival, again the great organisation was evident. I hadn’t realised that the colour of my race number denoted my finish time and so which ‘pen’ I should start from! I thought at the time that it was amazing that the marshals knew exactly where I should be and guided me through! I arrived at the start line with 15 minutes to go and did a bit of a warm up and stretches in the alcoves of the beach huts that line the promenade at Bournemouth. Then, at 4pm prompt, the countdown began… 10, 9, 8… GO!

The Route

I’d had reports from the 2013 race that the course was actually just over 10k, but I can confirm that my watch said 10, 9.98k to be exact! Basically you start just to the east of the pier (green dot below) run out to the right, back towards where you started, out round the pier (the red bit sticking out into the sea), out to the left (west) and then back to the pier.

Bournemouth Marathon Festival 10k route

The Race

It was only when standing on the start line that I realised that I didn’t have a clue what the route was! Fortunately there was someone I knew at the start line and they told me; 2.5km out along the sea front, 2.5km back, 2.5km out the other side of the pier and 2km back the the start/finish.

This was a race that impressed upon me the psychological influence on running and races. Firstly, the route was split into four clean 2.5k sections so mentally I knew exactly where I was and how far I had to go. Secondly, the impact of such a positive and cheering crowd really does make you run faster! Thirdly, being able to see all the runners trailing behind you as you turn and go back on yourself is a total boost, especially when people are shouting words of encouragement your way!

There was a bit of a wind on the day coming in from the west. This wasn’t too strong but it definitely had an effect on me when running the 5km of the course straight into it – not much, but enough.

I felt really good for the first 5km, awful between 5km and 7.5km and better again with the wind behind me and the end in sight towards the finish! I keep on meaning to try and negatively split a race, that  is, either doing the second half faster than the first half or even doing each km progressively faster than the last. I’m rubbish at this though and never manage it. As you can see below, I started out way too fast and had to then slow down a bit in the middle to recover! There was an inspirational guy doing all four races in the festival over the two days – he overtook me midway through the 10k and was getting lots of cheers! Big well done to the first lady in the 10k too, Serena O’Connor who can’t be older than 16 and raced past me to finish in 37:29!

Pace for the Bournemouth Marathon Festival 10k run

It’s funny as in the final km I felt like I was sprinting, but I was actually going slower than the first km!

Full Bournemouth Marathon Festival  results for all races, the 10k, 5k, marathon and half marathon here

In Summary

A fantastically organised race, with a flat topography and beautiful views out to sea. The atmosphere is what makes this race really special though. I was at the London Marathon in April (spectating not running!) and although there are far more people there, it was more of a continual hum of encouragement. In Bournemouth, the crowds were centred on the start and finish areas and the atmosphere was electric! Like running through the middle of a One Direction concert…

Oh and I got a 10k PB which was nice!

Stats:

Distance: 10k
Time: 38:29
Average Pace: 3:51/km
Average HR: 166bpm
Max HR: 204bpm
Cadence: 179 strides/min

Next Training

Took the day off running on Sunday as although I felt fine, I have the Studland Stampede 12k this coming Sunday so don’t want to put too many miles in this week. Will aim for an easy 5 miles tonight.

 

@LondonMarathon 2014 – A Spectator’s Tale

The London Marathon

The London Marathon has been running since the year I was born in 1981. Each year it’s something that I flick the TV on to watch, leaving it on in the background as the race progresses from start to finish.

This year, I had the privilege of watching the race in London as my wife was running for charity. I say privilege as this is what it is – the chance to see 40,000 people putting their all in a single run, having trained for months previously, raising money for worthwhile causes and achieving their own personal goals.

Getting There

We left early on the Saturday, taking a coach up to London arranged by local running club, Poole Runners. An excellently organised affair; the coach dropped us off at our hotel (which was directly on the marathon route), took the runners to the start line on the Sunday morning and picked us up from the finish at the end.

So after a nice catch up with family at Jamie Oliver’s Piccadilly restaurant we took the underground back to our hotel, ready for the activities of the following day.

Marathon Day

Fletcher ready to cheer on mummy!

My wife (Jem) said goodbye at 7am, creeping out and down to the waiting coach in the early morning chill. My son and I on the other hand had a leisurely breakfast and watched the wheelchair and women’s races begin on TV, before heading downstairs and out into the marathon atmosphere. Stepping out of the doors we were hit with a wall of sound, from the Caribbean band playing outside the hotel, the thumping party music blaring from speakers around the corner and an endless line of supporters leaning over barriers to waiting for the first athletes to approach – all bathed in sunlight and blue skies.

Our spot really was great, allowing us to see the race pass us one way at 14 miles and coming back on the other side of the road at 21 miles.

My son (5 years old) was asking where Mo Farah was every 2 minutes and so we were both jumping excitedly when the Olympic and World double champion approached and sped past. And I mean sped. The guy ran past us faster than I would do 400 metres. He did the first 5km of the race in under 15 minutes and the first 10k in under 30m. Incredible!

An Amazing Achievement

The London Marathon website lets you track any athlete’s progress at every 5km, so it was to my phone that my eye’s kept glancing nervously to, to see how Jem was getting on. We were standing at about 22k so I watched her move from checkpoint to checkpoint until there she was, right in front of us waving away. When Jem passed us at 21 miles, she was STILL smiling and gave a little wave. Apparently it got tough just after that, but she finished in 3 hours 51 minutes. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING

When Mo came running back past us at 21 miles and I was a little surprised to see someone who does our local Parkrun follow swiftly behind – 8 minutes behind Mo! Steve Way was then the first ‘amateur’ to finish – amazing!

Ice-creams followed before finding our way to the coach for the trip home.

Entries open for the London Marathon 2015 on April 22nd and I may just enter….

In pictures:

Mo Farah running – look at that stride length!

Jem giving a wave and a smile!

 

London Marathon 2014 medal!

 

To Enter First Marathon…Or Not?

Time To Overcome My Marathon-a-Phobia

I have always sworn that I would never do a marathon. The number of hours of training it seems to take, the sheer distance of it and the worry of whether I could even FINISH a marathon have never seemed worth the worry. But the trouble is, I like a challenge! 5k, 10k, 10mile, half-marathon – check, check, check, check! The only distance left to claim is that fabled 26.2 miles. If truth be told, I’m actually a little scared of doing a marathon as it’s the only distance where participants seem more likely to run in to difficulties or worse. So I decided – TIME TO FACE MY FEAR!

My wife Jemma is doing the London Marathon in April and her training is going very well. She has a very supportive running club at Lytchett Manor Striders and they all help each other through the marathon training schedule.

Which marathon to run?

So what is a good marathon to run? I once tried to enter the London Marathon 5-6 years ago but was unsuccessful (luckily!) Various people I know have done the Dublin, Berlin, London, Brighton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth marathons so the choices seem to be endless.

However, I have stumbled across a relatively secret marathon. A hidden gem in the marathon calendar! Reading the reviews on Runner’s World it’s not too hilly, has a great atmosphere, is well organised and leads you through 26.2 miles of beautiful country lanes. You’re allowed to send your own drinks ahead to two water stations on the course, it’s limited to just 400 runners and, best of all, every finisher gets a beer at the end…

 

The North Dorset Village MarathonNorth Dorset Village Marathon

This is the one i’ve decided on! A nice relaxed run though countryside and 50 minutes from home – perfect. At £21 it’s also a fair price compared to many others, for example the Bournemouth Marathon which is £49.95.

So today I shall enter and etch the 4th May firmly in to my mind.

 

Training

Was going to do a 10 mile run last night in preparation for this Sunday’s Blackmore Vale Half Marathon but I felt cream crackered after my 10k race the day before. They say it’s best to listen to your body and recovery is just as important as training so I left it. Plus it was freezing cold and raining outside and my trainers were still soaked from the previous day!

Tonight

Tuesday night speed session with Poole A.C.