(C) Jeremy Hemming, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge at the Tower, London (November 2002)
(C) Jeremy Hemming, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge at the Tower, London (November 2002)



My training varies according to what stage I am in the year, my working commitments and the approaching event. My mileage is far less now than it ever used to me, nowadays (2011) it is more likely around the 60-80 miles; with much more cross training, either aqua-jogging, cycling, rowing or elliptical training. I tend to do two sessions most weekdays, but only one session of running. At weekends I still race whenever I can.

  • Mon: am 7 miles easy, pm cycling or rowing
  • Tues: am 6-7 miles with hill reps, pm weights
  • Wed: am aqua-jogging, pm 10 miles steady
  • Thurs: am agua-jogging, pm 8-10 miles with speedwork
  • Fri: am 5 miles race walking, pm weights
  • Sat: parkrun 5km
  • Sun: Race - 25 miles (or whatever I can find mainly local)

Mid -week speedwork sessions are often replaced by short races as sustained runs during the summer months. Also I do at least 20 minutes of pilates most days for core stability.

How do you train for 24 hours?

That's a hard one - I have tried all types of mileages and strategies and what works for me is a written program with good structure. I work around periodisation of building up for three weeks followed by and easy week. I had a 16 week program leading to the British 100km 2002 from a poor background (two years of failure and poor mileage). The weekly miles were 60/70/80 then down to 55 for recovery then 70/80/90 then down to 65 for recover, then 80/90/100 and back down to 75 for recovery, then 85/95/60 then recovery week of 30 for 100km on Sunday.

Within each week of mileage it was arranged around races (this gets the best performance out of myself but does not work for everyone). A typical week structure would have long run of at least 25 miles at weekend or LDWA event, during the week would be speedwork/hillwork or a race. I would have two fast sessions - usually Tues and Thurs. If there was a short race of 5km/10km or fell race I would use this as sustained run to replace a session. Speedwork can consist of 4 x 1 miles or pyramid 4 x 400, 3 x 800, 2 x 1600, 3 x 800, 4 x 400, with half of distance jog for recovery. hill work is a 40 second hill that I sprint up and jog down building up to 20 times.

During the weeks when my mileage is very high (got up a lot higher than this during summer months with weekly long runs always in excess of 30 miles), what I find is a key element to my training that may not necessarily work for every one is three consecutive 20 miles+ runs in mid-week on Tues, Weds, Thurs (which also includes faster work as above). The principal of hard easy days doesn't necessarily get the best out of myself whereas a long run with speedwork, followed by a long run, followed by another long run with fast work does.

Always be flexible and not rigid to the program by working around commitments and how the body feels. I was lucky building up to 100k I did not miss a single session (although they were juggled a little bit)

A glimpse at my races during July and August will give you an indication of weekend distances.

There was a spell of five weeks of consecutive marathons with midweek races for speedwork.

Date Race Miles Position
Sunday 23rd June Blackpool Marathon 26 6th
Weds 26th June New Marske 10km  
Sunday 30th June Durham Dales 28 trail (1st)
Weds 3rd June Darlington 10km  
Sat 6th July Round the Howes 30+ trail (2nd)
Tues 9th July New Marske 5km  
Thurs 11th July Whorlton chase 7 miles fell race  
Sat 13th July Lyke Wake Race 42 miles trail (1st)
Weds 17th July Croft circuit 10km  
Sunday 21st July Nidd Vale 25 trail (1st)


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