Cross-training programme promises to take you from non-runner to marathon success in six months.
Regular OutdoorsMagic contributor Nik Cook has a secret 'other life' - as well as being a journalist, he's also an accomplished athlete and a qualified sports scientist and coach and now he's put all that background to good use and written a marathon training manual that aims to take your from being a non-runner to marathon-level fitness in just six months.
'Marathon Training, Get to the start line strong and injury free' is published tomorrow, 28 September, and takes a slightly different approach to marathon running from most training plans. Rather than just focussing on running, Nik has embraced a more comprehensive approach.
Not Just Grinding Out The Miles
Instead of concentrating on grinding out endless mileage on the road, he's added in drills and exercises to prepare your body for running more efficiently, which in turn should help to minimise injuries, a major problem for new distance runners. On top of that, his programme incorporates cross training like swimming and cycling both to build all-round functional fitness and to keep thing varied and motivating.
The longest run in Nik's programme is just two-and-a-half hours and mostly there are just three focussed running sessions per week, but it's not, he says, 'a short cut'. 'The key to success is simple, he maintains. 'Avoid the junk miles by mixing up your running with other activities like cycling and swimming as well as strength and flexibility exercises to make training less painful and race day more rewarding.'
All of which sounds good to us and Nik's recent success at the Long Course Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen, where he won the 35-40 age group together with his daunting level of personal fitness suggests that he might just know what he's talking about.
So if you've always fancied completing a marathon, but been put off by the prospect of massively hard, high-mileage training programmes, Nik's book might just be the answer. We've seen a PDF version of the 144-page book and it's readable, well-illustrated and logically set out, so while we can't vouch for the effectiveness of the programme, working out what you need to do to follow it shouldn't be an issue, which unfortunately is not always the case.
It's published by Robert Hale on 28 September, 2012 and priced at £14.99. You can also (pre)order it from Amazon.