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Purdue Performance answer your running questions


UK marathon and half marathon champion Charlotte Purdue and GB 1,500m and 5,000m runner and coach, Adam Clarke of Purdue Performance give us answers to your running questions - 


- I'm an 18m15s 5k runner. I am a triathlete, so with other disciplines to work on, it's hard for me to just increase mileage. What would the best sessions/structure be to get me under 17m30s, based on around 4h30m running per week over 4-5 run sessions?

We would recommend including in your week: One longer run of about 75mins, a threshold training run, one shorter recovery run and one interval session per week. The interval session should be a 5k type speed session something like 5X800m off 1min recovery at faster than your 5km pace. The threshold run is at about 70% max effort and between 20 - 30mins. 


- What type of training session is best to help increase speed? 

We love sessions like 1min on/1min off X10 to increase speed. Also including fast strides at the end of a long run can help.


- What's the best way to increase your distance ?

The best way to increase distance is to do it gradually over a period of time with a small increase each week. Try not to change too many variables at once. So If you are focusing on increasing distance then keep the speed and intensity the same whilst you do that to prevent getting injuries.


- How much strength training should I do? 

It’s very individual but we would suggest doing 2 strength or core training sessions per week to prevent injuries and to make you stronger. Trying to fit it in is sometimes a challenge but after an easy run when you are warmed up is ideal.


- What advice would you give to someone thinking about running a marathon?

I’d advise getting a coaching plan so that you can really target the race well. Not leaving the training to the last minute and building up gradually. Then invest in some good running shoes and enjoy :)


- What/when should I eat before a long run? 

Something which doesn’t upset your stomach - our favourites are toast with banana and peanut butter or toasted banana bread and of course a Revvies!


- What recovery would you recommend after a run? 

Post run, straight away we love to have a smoothie - usually almond milk, whey protein and berries. Then followed by a meal later on. 


- How long should I warm up for before a run? 

We recommend that our athletes run a 15min warmup jog before workouts. Before an easy run, doing some light stretching and activation exercises before heading out the door will help you feel better on the run.


- What do you enjoy most about running?

I love the freedom of being able to go out the door and run wherever you feel like. No equipment is needed and you can go anywhere in the world and run!


- What's the longest training run I should do before a 1/2 marathon / marathon? 

It depends on your fitness level when starting the training program but we would generally recommend for a half marathon building up to at least 11 miles (17.7 km) and for a marathon building up to 21/22 miles (33.8 / 35.4 km) before race day.


About Purdue Performance:

Purdue Performance is a worldwide running community and personal coaching service led by British Marathon Champion, Charlotte Purdue and a team of head coaches.


We are founded and run by a group of elite international athletes and coaches who are experienced in multiple disciplines. This expert knowledge base ensures a holistic, results-driven programme that focuses on both physical and mental development, as well as continual self-improvement.


Our training ethos ensures a close partnership is formed with all our participants, and our bespoke strategies accurately reflect the fitness goals and life context of each individual. We offer support and advice over a broad range of areas, allowing the opportunity for training targets to be met, and then surpassed


We work with runners across all athletic abilities. From couch to 5K, through to potential Olympian, we have tailor-made programmes designed for every level.


We foster a passionate global team of like-minded individuals that unite to offer advice, motivation and inspiration. We recognize the value that being part of a wider social network brings, allowing greater breadth of insights and the sharing of multiple perspectives.