Online marathon coaching
JSET marathon coaching is offered by Josh S, a graduate of the University of Leeds with a BSc in Sports Science & Physiology. With detailed knowledge across a wide range of areas of sports science I am able to guide you through your training.
I was fortunate to study a wide range of fields during my degree; meaning I am able to offer insights into biomechanics, environmental physiology, human anatomy, neuroscience, cardio-respiratory physiology, motor control, psychology, exercise prescription and diet & cardiovascular health. This knowledge means I am able to add value to your training and give all kinds of insights.
The JSET marathon training program is rooted in understanding the training required for any given race performance. JSET builds a unique training plan by quantifying your fitness using data from recent runs and then setting out the total training load you need to run in order to gain the fitness required to achieve your race goal.
The system works by understanding the relationship between weekly mileage and weekly pace, and combining these two factors into a measure of training load. This means that the faster you run each week, the less distance you need to run in order to achieve any given race time. Importantly it doesn’t dictate how you should run these miles, it’s simply about the total mileage. Realising that it doesn’t matter how you achieve your miles is a game-changer. You can ditch the gut wrenchingly hard interval sessions and simply do all your training at a steady, talking pace if that’s what suits you.
As an example, here we see the pace versus distance relationship for a 3 hour marathon. In order to be in 3 hour shape you can be anywhere on the blue line. Running 7.5km per day at 4:00min/km or 17.5km per day at 5:00min/km are two ways to achieve the same result.
(In reality it’s a little more complicated than this because you’d need to increase your training load each week; running less distance, slower at the start of your training cycle and then running more distance, faster in the few weeks just before your race. But don't worry, I'll set it all out very clearly in your training plan)
This is the unique thing about JSET; I don’t prescribe sessions or dictate your training schedule like a conventional coach. The JSET system means it’s up to you if you choose to run a huge distance every week, at a slow pace or run really fast, for a short distance. A range of factors come into play when making this choice, for example how much time you can commit to training, what type of training you enjoy and your injury risk are all important to consider. I will of course advise, but the finial decision is yours.
With regards to my own training, I’ve taken this training towards the extremely high distance, low speed side. In the 8 weeks before my 2h28min race I ran an average of 172km per week, at an average pace of 4:47min/km (70% of race pace). That’s almost 25km every single day! However, this is really not as impressive as it first may seem; because a) I rarely ran more than 15k in a single run and b) the only time I ever ran faster than 4:40min/km was my weekly parkrun. Essentially I’d run 10-15k in the morning, and 10-15k in the afternoon / evening. Every run was at a consistent pace, and never so fast I couldn't have a chat with whoever I was running with.
For many people track sessions with a running club are fun, but they aren’t the only way to prepare yourself for a fast marathon. I will provide you with suggestions on how you meet your training target each week, but a huge benefit of JSET (over a conventional marathon training plan) is the flexibility I offer. JSET tells you how much training you need to do - you decide the style your training takes.
In 2011 a scientist named Giovanni Tanda developed an equation that claimed to predict marathon performance to an accuracy of 4 minutes simply by knowing the runner’s average weekly mileage (in the eight weeks leading up to a race), and the average pace of these miles. This marathon race predictor received very little attention from the wider running community, but it has shown to be a very strong predictor of performance.
Alongside this; JSET uses heart rate data to predict race performance. By consistently measuring an athlete's heart rate during training we are able to predict the marathon performance that they are likely to achieve. Of course you can use the JSET program regardless of whether you measure your heart rate or not, but you will get most out of your training by regularly wearing an accurate heart rate monitor.
In order to deal with the fact that no marathon prediction tool is perfect, JSET combines your input (the training you've done) with your output (your heart rate data), to produce a more accurate race prediction.