Saturday, 3 September 2011

Crash Training (summary)

A bit of background to begin with.  I first came across the idea of crash training when reading various articles written by the successful coach Frank Horwill - the one about crash training can be found at

Of course I realised that, like all training, it shouldn't be just copied blindly without adapting it to my specific needs/strengths/weaknesses/goals/etc.  I have used it successfully though at least three times in the past and have no reason to doubt it's continued usefulness as a part of my overall training schedule.

This is how I use it:  first of all I plan the training, write the schedule, etc without thinking once about crash training - at that early stage it's totally irrelevant.

Then, when I'm happy with the schedule and everything has been included (speedwork, long runs, hillwork, tempo running, cycling, strength and flexibility work) I look at the week immediately before my taper.  That's the one I use for crash training.

Whatever I have planned for that week - I do twice.  Everything, doubled.  But for ONE WEEK ONLY and I'm confident my body can cope because the following week is the beginning of my tapering phase ... and to make sure I fully recover from the extra hard week I make this extra easy by halving everything.  That means, for example, only 30 miles (48 km) instead of the planned 60 (97 km).

One final point - I am very careful about injuries as it is only a few weeks to the competition.  I am fully prepared to cut short the crash training period if necessary.

My crash training week this year comprised:
- two races
- three long runs (25 miles or more)
- three speedwork sessions
- one tempo run
- 14 sessions of stretching
- four cycling sessions
- lots of strength work with weights

This was broken down as:
day 1 ... over 5h 28 minutes
day 2 ... over 5h 29 minutes
day 3 ... over 4h 48 minutes
day 4 ... over 5h 4 minutes
day 5 ... over 5h 12 minutes
day 6 ... over 5h 10 minutes
day 7 ... over 5h 10 minutes

Those times obviously do not include things such as showering, changing, moving equipment, etc

Written another way the week's training was:
running ... over 23h 33 minutes
cycling ... over 3h 27 minutes
stretching ... over 5h 1 minute
strength work ... over 4h 23 minutes

total training ... over 36h 25 minutes

I do realise that I have to change my normal daily routine for a week to accommodate all this training.  I'm lucky in that I'm a freelance writer who can quite easily take time out for this.

Fay has also mentioned this week that there is far more laundry than usual.  I pointed out that as I do 90% of the household chores anyway it won't affect her at all ...


aka Johny Smash said...


Debs M-C said...

If you were a woman, you would have squeezed in a working week too :-) Just kidding. I'm very impressed with your dedication to structured training.