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John's Running Tips

Goofy Training

First off, let's all agree on one thing; running a half marathon one day and running a full marathon the next day is indeed, goofy! However I've had many letters asking for a program for the "Disney Goofy Race" weekend so here is the training required. A number of runners followed this regimen last year, all finished "smiling and upright."

The key ingredient to the program is specifically training your body and your mind to run a long distance, and then, run double that distance the following day. With the added endurance to the program, the amount of speed, tempo and hills are reduced. Your first goal is to arrive at the start line injury free. If you do so, the odds are well in your favour to finish strong on race day.

Two rest days and two easy run days provide you with extra recovery from the long run double days. Your quality workouts are the Saturday and Sunday long slow distance and the hills and fartlek run on Wednesdays. This program is certainly not for everyone but it will work for those about to prove they are certifiably "goofy."

A note on LSD Pace

The pace for the long run on the chart includes the walk time. This program provides an upper end (slow) and bottom end (fast) pace to use as a guideline. The upper end pace is preferable because it will keep you injury free. Running at the bottom end pace is a common mistake made by many runners. They try to run at the maximum pace, which is an open invitation to injury. I know of very few runners who have been injured from running too slowly, but loads of runners who incurred injuries by running too fast. In the early stages of the program it is very easy to run the long runs too fast, but like the marathon or half marathon the long runs require discipline and patience. Practice your sense of pace by slowing the long runs down. You will recover faster and remain injury free.


Distance for the day is calculated as the approximate distance covered up and down the hill. Now, you will no doubt have to run to the hill and back from the hill unless of course you drive to the hill. You will need to add your total warm-up and warm-down distance to the totals noted on the training schedule. I recommend a distance of 3 km both ways to ensure adequate warm-up and recovery because hills put a lot of stress on the body. Hills are run at tempo pace (80% maximum heart rate) and must include a heart rate recovery to 120 bpm at the bottom of each hill repeat.

Workouts Long Slow Distance (LSD–Run/Walk)

Long Slow Distance runs are the cornerstone of any distance training program. Take a full minute to walk for every 10 minutes of running. These runs are meant to be done much slower than race pace (60%– 70% of maximum heart rate), so don't be overly concerned with your pace. These runs work to increase the capillary network in your body and raise your anaerobic threshold. They also mentally prepare you for long races. Tempo Before starting tempo runs, include several weeks of hill running to improve your strength, form and confidence. For the tempo runs, run at 80% of your maximum heart rate for 60%–80% of your planned race distance to improve your coordination and leg turnover rate. Include a warm-up and cooldown of about three to five minutes. These runs simulate race conditions and the effort required on race day.

Fartlek (Speed Play)

Fartlek runs are spontaneous runs over varying distances and intensity. Run the short bursts at 70%–80% of your maximum heart rate, if you are wearing a monitor. From a perceived effort, conversation is possible but you notice increased breathing, heart rate and perspiration. Between these short bursts of hard effort, but no longer than three minutes, add in recovery periods of easy running to bring your heart rate down to 120 beats per minute. Speed play fires up your performance with a burst of speed. The added recovery/rest interval keeps the session attainable and fun.

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