If life were to leave you able to run just three runs each week what would you do. Unfortunately it’s not just a runners world and other factors of life can limit our ability to run. This shouldn’t have to mean that we alter our goals too much.
I believe I would still be able to train for a marathon or goal race and be within 5% of my PB on just three days per week training.
The three running sessions that would get me to a marathon startline if they were the only ones I did would be.
1) Hill Repeats
Each week I do hill repeats, usually longer hills. Running uphill builds strength in my feet, ankles and overall running strength. It also builds speed when you return to the flat land. Running downhills builds strength in quad muscles and teaches running economy.
Intervals sessions are proven in running training that building speed and strength endurance and teaching the body to run faster when fatigued. I would vary these intervals between 400m and 1km on different weeks and keep me motivated to run different hard intervals.
3) Long run
No surprise here, the long run is the key session for building endurance in a marathon program. I would increase the mileage of my long run each week up until three weeks before race day.
On each of these three days I would ensure that I have nailed the session. It would be quality over quantity for sure.
I hope I don’t need to just run three days a week, however these three runs will be in my training every week during a race preparation regardless.