I am not entirely sure why the running program didn't come in Sunday's (18th December 2016) paper in Hindustan Times. I am putting this weeks plan here. 

In next couple of days, I'll launch a customised plan for folks wanting to pick up running or training for a 5km, 10km, half or full marathon in next 2-4 months time. This customised program will be paid. Idea would be to help you to run at your optimal level. Click here for some background.

The trick is not to think about running when you run. Once you do that, it becomes effortless running.

This is a full marathon (42.195 km) training plan for Mumbai Marathon in under 4hr 10min and New Delhi Marathon in under 4hr, which, respectively, are in 4 weeks and 10 weeks away. I am of the opinion that anyone who is able bodied and is remotely fit, is capable of running these times, obviously with appropriate training. 

This plan is applicable to those who have managed to do half marathon in last few weeks in under 2 hrs in last few weeks.

Tips for this week:

  1. In winters, because of the cold, runners shrug their shoulders too much. That restricts normal rib cage movement and further reduces lung expansion. As soon as you get out of your car or home, start taking long deep breaths and remind yourself to relax yourself. This will help you run better and effortlessly. 
  2. If you haven’t yet run over 3 hours in last couple of weeks and are planning to run full marathon in Mumbai, you should seriously consider if you should be doing that. Running a full marathon will not enough preparation is a perfect recipe for disaster. Don’t unnecessarily pick up a permanent injury. 
  3. Mumbai is hot and humid in January. Going from north India to run in Mumbai will be a shock for the system. It’ll be useful to practice running with warmer than usual clothes during the long runs on the weekend. 

Lets move to Wednesday as missed out on Monday and Tuesday because article wasn't printed in the newspaper. 

Wednesday: Tempo Run

Run 5 km between 25min 15sec - 25min 30sec. Rest for 2-3 min to recover completely and again run 5 km at the same pace as the first repeat.

Thursday: Exercises & Drills

Do the exercises that we have been talking about throughout the program. In addition to that, do the drill of the week mentioned below. 

  1. Skip: Skip or hop in the same spot very softly for 45-60 seconds. Repeat 6-10 times throughout the day. Reminder, be as soft on your feet, as you possibly can be.
  2. Squats (from 1st week): Do 30-50 repetitions. 5-7 sets throughout the day. 
  3. Single Leg Heel Raises (from 2nd week): Do repeat 50-70 times with both legs. 5-7 sets throughout the day.
  4. Toe Curls (from 3rd week): 30-40 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day. 
  5. Nordic Hamstrings Exercise (from 4th week): Do 10-15 repeats, 5-7 sets throughout the day
  6. Gluteus Maximus Activation (from 5th week): Do 10 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  7. Squeezing the orange (from 6th week): Do 20-30 repeats, 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  8. Planks on the ground (from 7th week): Hold the plank for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.
  9. Sitting Side Bending: Hold for 10 seconds, increments of three, both sides. Repeat 4-5 sets throughout the day. 
  10. Butterfly: Do 15-20 repeats. Do 4-5 sets throughout the day.
  11. High Knees: 10 metres for 4-5 min. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day. 
  12. Heel to butt: 10 metres for 4-5 min. Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.
  13. Soft but quick steps: 1 min, Repeat 4-5 times throughout the day.

Drill of the week: Running leaning forwards 

Check here to understand better about running form. 

Learning to fall

Stand tall like a puppet that has an imaginary string attached to the top of the head that is pulling you straight up. You are coming slightly off your heels.

  1. Now imagine that string is not just being pulled directly up but at 5-10 degree angle forwards.
  2. Its almost like someone pulling you forwards. 
  3. Another way to think of this is as if someone has his or her hand between your shoulder blades and is pushing you forwards. 
  4. You end up taking the first step to cut short your fall. 
  5. Now the string is constantly pulling your forwards. 
  6. Run for 100 metres with this fall like posture. 
  7. During each step, bring your heel towards your butt. 
  8. Take a break for 1 min and repeat this 4-5 times. 

Friday: Interval Repeats

3 km repeat intervals in 14min 45sec - 15min. Do 3 to 4 repeats with 2-3 min long rest between repeats. Remember you need to maintain the same pace throughout all the repeats. 


Repeat exercises and drills from Thursday. Go for a 30-45 min brisk walk or slow jog.

Sunday: Focus is on time-on-feet and not on speed or distance. Walk - Run for 3hrs to 3hrs 30min in total. Take walk breaks every 15 minutes for 30-60 seconds and remind yourself to breathe easy and land softly on your feet.Remind yourself to have a sip or two of water or electrolytes. Also, take a bite of energy bar / gel every 30-40 minutes from the very beginning. 

Dr Rajat Chauhan is a student of running & pain and a Sports Medicine doctor who is an author of The Pain Handbook: A non-Surgical way of managing Back, Neck and Knee Pain. He has been organising La Ultra - The High, a 333km run in Leh-Ladakh for last 7 years now. Twitter: @drrajatchauhan