From Zero to 13.1 miles - Advanced & Experienced Runners – All 5

As an experienced runner you know what you need to do to train.
Cross training will help – swimming, cycling, circuits, weights as well as consistent running is key.

The crucial thing you must not forget, and you really have to appreciate is that you may be able run 13.1 miles comfortably, in 2 hours, but doing 5 back-to-back will take its toll on your body and physical state. It will be injuries that hold you back and not your fitness levels.

You need to continue with your normal training but in December 2015 and January 2016 you need to practice adding in back to back long runs.

For example do your normal long run on Saturday and then add an hour run on Sunday. Once you are happy with that do an hour run on Friday, a long run on Saturday and then 90mins on Sunday. Do just 3 or 4 weekends like that in Dec / Jan / Feb so your body gets used to the everyday mileage. But build this up slowly; don’t suddenly do a total of 4 hours running in 3 days.

If you are experienced and confident with your pace and fitness, the key thing that may prevent you from achieving the full 5-day will be muscle injury and strain.

You must build in a stretching and recovery programme. Stretching is vital AFTER every run. Get into the habit of getting some sports / deep tissue massages every week or fortnight. Finally ice-cold water baths for your legs will be very important and help hugely with recovery. After a week whereby you have done 3 runs back to back get into the habit of putting a jumper on, get a cup of tea and then sit in your bath tub. Slowly turn the cold water on and let the water fill up to your low waist. Stay there for about 15-20mins.

Key sessions for you:
- Long slow run (build up over the months) max 2hrs
- Interval Training run sessions or tempo runs – this will ensure you can run 13.1miles in 2hrs and it feels easy
- Boot Camp or an equivalent strength / core work out
- Back to back runs to get used to it,
- Cross training (i.e. cycling, swimming, tennis etc.)

All of the above information has been written taking into account a certain level of fitness to start with. If you are not sure then before taking on this challenge you must seek medical advice. If, at any time during your training you feel unwell, dizzy or feel pain anywhere then you must stop immediately.