Marathon Training

2 Weeks of Jared Ward’s London Marathon Training

Olympian Jared Ward outlines every mile in the heart of his accelerated training for the 2020 London Marathon.

Olympian Jared Ward is training for the 2020 London Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 4. He detailed his training for us from Aug. 24–Sept. 6 as he prepares for the race on an accelerated time frame.

I committed to the London Marathon on Monday, Aug. 17, just 7 weeks ahead of the race. They announced the race days later. I have been excited and honored to be a part of a historic race in a unique “bubble” experience. But my preparation timeline has been limited — now I’m 3.5 weeks way — making this a very different build up. I like to have 3 months to get ready for a marathon, and that’s if I’m already fit-ish. Maybe even 4 months.

This time, I get 7 weeks.

Fortunately, I had been doing workouts throughout the summer. But these were speed workouts — 6 x 800, 8 x 400, etc. — and my mileage has been 60–70, sometimes 80, miles a week. Now my weekly mileage is over 100, and I’ve traded speed sessions for long tempos and 2.5 hour longs runs. I’ve been constantly tired since aggressively increasing training volume, but I think I’m finally adjusting.

I’m presenting here my last 2 weeks of training starting 6 weeks out and 5 weeks out from race day on October 4.

Week 1 Training: August 24–30

Ward on the Lake Loop Photo: Jaren Wilkey

Monday, Aug. 24

I ran my 13.1 mile loop from home in the morning. It’s mostly flat. Recovery days become a good gauge for me. I don’t try to hit a time, but by running by feel and seeing my time I can gauge fitness. I have come to believe that marathon fitness is about making my body resilient to fatigue, so how I recover is a better indicator of fitness than how fast I run. Today’s morning run was in 1:20. When I’m moving on these runs I’ll be a couple minutes faster, but this is a good sign. I did a little core work afterwards.

In the afternoon I ran 4 easy miles (averaging 6:30-7:00 pace).

Daily total: 18 miles

Tuesday, Aug. 25

Today, coach (Ed Eyestone) had me head to the “lake loop” for my favorite workout: 3 x 2 mile repeats. However, this time I was a little intimidated by the workout because I’m not quite fit yet. But I’m 5.5 weeks from London. I felt pressure to put up good times because of how little time there is left. I laced up my Endorphin Pros and ran 9:20, 9:28, 9:24. The times weren’t anything to write home about, but for the last mile of the third interval I started to feel a familiar rhythm. Fast, but kinda relaxed.

In the afternoon I ran 5 miles at 7 minute pace, and did strength training: hang snatches (3 x 5, 65 lbs), squats (4×5 — slow down, pause, fast up — 165 lbs), nordic curls (3 x 10), core (dead bug exercises and side plank dips), and pull-ups (3 x 7).

Daily total: 17 miles

View this post on Instagram

Squats and box jumps; my favorite superset to do at home while having to train by myself! #ad The @timex R300 watch records workout data even when lifting (🤓– I like this watch, link in bio). #timex * My "go-to" volume is 3-4 sets of 5, but early in the season I'll get up to sets of 8, and 4-5 weeks out from a big race I'll increase the weight and drop to sets of 3. Research says for endurance athletes to lift heavy, so I aim to finish each set feeling like there are only 1-2 reps left in the tank. When we lift heavy we recruit (and activate) more muscle fibers, making us more efficient when we return to a sub-maximal activity (like running, biking, etc.). For the jumps, take power from your hips thrusting forward. Remember to let your glutes do the work on both these exercises!

A post shared by Jared Ward (@jwardy21) on

 

Wednesday, Aug. 26

I ran the 13.1 mile loop from home again. I felt tired today (1:22), but I tacked on 4 x 20-second strides. Then, I snuck in 4 miles up in Salt Lake City after signing on some real estate.

Daily total: 17 miles

Photo: AJ Rich / Honey Stinger

Thursday, Aug. 27

4 x 1 mile repeats today, with Micah (Adams). Training this week has been with Micah and Doc (Ian Hunter) as other training partners, Millie (Connor McMillan), Clayton (Young), Jake (Heslington), and (Connor) Mantz are all racing in California this weekend. I ran on the track, in my Endorphin Pros: 4:29, 4:28, 4:27, 4:26 with 1:1 rest (equal time recovery) in-between. I felt pretty good.

With a cool down and 5 miles in the afternoon, I logged 15 miles today.

Daily total: 15 miles

Friday, Aug. 28

Just a single 13-mile run today and some core/band work.

Daily total: 13 miles

Saturday, Aug. 29

Coach likes me to do 4-5 25 mile runs as part of a marathon cycle, this time I get just 2: this week and next. I told coach I would try and hit 3-4 miles at marathon pace towards the end and he said, “Ya, I like 4.” Coach will sometimes push me, but only when I’m not fit. So I get the message. I switched to Endorphin Pro’s after 18 miles with Micah at just sub-6 min. mile average, and ran miles 18-22 at 4:47. I really surprised myself, and left this run feeling like maybe I could be ready.

Daily total: 25 miles

Sunday, Aug. 30

Off

Week Summary

Total Mileage: 105 miles

Workouts:

  • 3 x 2 miles
  • 4 x 1 mile
  • 25-mile long run.

Week 2 Training: Aug. 31 – Sept. 6

Jared Ward running in summer on black road.
Photo: courtesy Honey Stinger

Monday, Aug. 31

13 miles in the morning up in Kaysville, Utah, (where my wife and I are both from) on a dirt path, then 5 miles in the afternoon.

Daily total: 18 miles

Tuesday, Sept. 1

This morning I met the Honey Stinger video and photo crew at 6:45 a.m. I hung out with Alicia, Dag, and Danny for the rest of the next couple days. They filmed the workout, then we did a series of staged shots immediately following the workout and throughout the rest of the day. The workout went well (2 x 3 miles in 14:15, 14:19, 1 x 2 miles 9:14 — 5 min. recovery), but the shooting was exhausting. We had a 90 min. break mid-day and I snuck in another short jog. School also started today, so I lectured at 12:30.

Daily total: 18 miles

Wednesday, Sept. 2

Today I counted the Honey Stinger shooting for mileage. We got 3 miles logged in the morning (broken up like a series of strides), then they left and I ran 10 miles in 70 minutes. Then, in the afternoon, we did another 3 miles of sunset “strides.” I left wondering how I was going to wake up for tomorrow’s workout…

Daily total: 16 miles

Jared Ward photo shoot
Photo: AJ Rich

Thursday, Sept. 3

Today’s workout was “The Michigan.” It’s a mile breakdown (1600-1200-800-400) on the track, with tempo miles on the grass in-between each interval. We take a 90-second rest in between tempos and track, and 90 seconds after the track to get back into a tempo mile. I was pretty tired during the warm-up, but as the workout got moving I felt pretty good. Mantz really kept me going. Our splits were as follows, regular font are the tempo miles and bold are the track breakdown: 4:59, 4:26 (1600m), 4:52, 3:15 (1200m), 4:48, 2:08 (800m), 4:43, 1:00 (400m), 4:46.

4 chill miles in the afternoon and a very tired lift.

Daily total: 17 miles

Friday, Sept. 4

Today I ran 8 miles alongside Doc’s bike in the morning, and 7 miles with Sarah and Marissa Cummings at Deer Creek in the afternoon heat. Great company today and chill running.

Daily total: 15 miles

Saturday, Sept. 5

On today’s run my legs felt tired from the beginning. But by the end, marathon pace kinda came. 2:26 total time for 25 miles, with a 5 mi pickup from miles 18-23 at 4:55 avg.

Jared Ward's run åSept 5, 2020.
Jared Ward’s run Sept 5, 2020.

Daily total: 25 miles

Sunday, Sept. 6

Off

Week Summary

Total miles: 109 mi

Workouts:

  • 2 x 3 miles, 1 x 2miles
  • The Michigan
  • 25-mile long run.