Marathon Runner – Accredited Running Coach & On Ambassador
What’s your training like? Do you have set goals per day or week?
My training varies throughout the year and consists of running, cycling, strength and yoga. My typical marathon preparation includes 3 months of running 160-175km average per week with a peak of around 220km and running 2x per day. I have a pretty well established weekly structure that I’ve been following for years which is based on the Complex Training Method created by my mentor Pat Clohessy. While the weekly routine is consistent, each day’s training is different based on its specific purpose i.e. long run, hill repeats, recovery runs etc. I vary my training routes, and often trial new ideas and techniques that I read about myself and try to learn from top runners around the world.
What are some the mistakes new runners make?
Running too fast too often, which can lead to injury. The importance of the base aerobic endurance conditioning has been well established since Arthur Lydiard came up with it in the 1950s. One of the important lessons I learned from my coach when I was in the junior national team was that it takes 5 years to develop a strong aerobic endurance engine. Most athletes just don’t have the patience to follow this principle and just keep racing and running too hard, too soon. I see this in running, in triathlon as well as many other sports I have been involved with.
What advice would you give to a new runner?
Apart from building up slowly, good running form and technique advice is paramount for performance, speed, injury prevention and to make running more enjoyable too. My coached sessions always have an element of technique involved and I do regular video analysis and checkups with my athletes. Technique is important in any sport, but some people don’t see the value as much for running – until they get injured. Although running is a very natural movement for humans, not everyone has developed that specific skill set needed for running well over long distances.
What couldn’t you live without when racing?
A balance of focus and relaxation is what I strive for when racing. Getting closer to a marathon or other important race; I can get quite a bit introverted, obsessive, compulsive and controlled. Yoga, power naps, music and mental strategies help me to relax and get in the right headspace needed to perform at my best possible level. It is this total harmony of mind and body coming together on race day that keeps me hungry for more sporting events.
When you are running long distances, how do you push through the discomfort?
Mostly it’s all mental during racing, so I train my brain to push through different pain barriers in tough physical training sessions, such as a series of hard tempo runs like 4x15min at 3:20min/km pace, a marathon simulation run where I run anything from 30 to 38km at a 3:40-3:50 average pace, or a 50km trail run over plenty of hills.
Which is your favorite On running shoe model?
The On Cloudsurfer is definitely my favorite shoe model ever and I have successfully raced in it for a few years now. It is light but through its innovative Cloud technology provides enough cushioning and support to get through a full marathon distance or 50km trail run. I love the light feel and proprioception it provides which is important for my fast workouts, on the trails and in the gym too. Otherwise, I use the new On Cloud and On Cloudsurfer for my endurance runs, slower running and coaching sessions and do most mileage on them.
What do you hope to achieve from running this year?
I am into full training after a short break following my last marathon in Japan. Over the next few months I will run a few road races from 10km to half marathon distance, which will then lead into my first long distance triathlon, the Ironman 70.3 on the Sunshine Coast and then another overseas marathon later in the year.
Pat owns his P.A.T.42.2 Running business and coaches runners and triathletes of all levels in Brisbane and online worldwide.
Learn more about Pat here:
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twitter – @PatrickNispel
instagram – @patnispel