If you’re familiar with marketing, you’ll recognise the 4 Ps as the Marketing Mix of product, price, place and promotion.
Just as a marketer would plan the perfect launch of a shiny new product, I’ve applied this thinking to my campaign to successfully realise a Personal Best (PB) at the Paris Marathon on Sunday 12 April 2015.
- Product – in this case, I’m trying to develop/realise the perfectly formed PB. How do I turn my running into a sub 4 hour reality?
- Price – how much is this going to cost me, both physically and mentally (not to mention financially), and how do I find the optimum combination of the two so I don’t burn out too early, by getting injured or all-consumed, to the detriment of day-to-day life?
- Place – on the big day the PB will be attempted/realised in Paris, but the training will take place around London over the next 16 weeks, with a few ski resorts thrown in too!
- Promotion – and we all know that you’re more likely to achieve a goal if you visualise it, and commit it to writing – better still publicly – through a plan, which is where this blog comes in…
I’ve been reading many different programmes, taking advice from some seasoned runners and fellow BeaRCats, as well as reflecting on my own previous experiences of running the London Marathon twice… And the overriding consensus is that there’s no one-size fits all plan. As Dominic from Sporting Feet, Richmond said “It’s about intelligent running” and Caitlin, founder of The BeaRCat Running Club added “Think quality if you are looking for a time…”
We all lead busy lives, and therefore need to be flexible in our approach to training for a big challenge such as this, otherwise we are only setting ourselves up for failure. It does however need to start with a plan, and yes expect to deviate from the plan, but you still need to have a starting point from which to focus and somewhere to return to, when you do go off-piste.
My programme begins tomorrow – Christmas week – a prime example of having to juggle busy lives with running…
My plan is a combination of a Hal Higdon programme, Nike Plus coach, and various other contributors, including Caitlin of the BeaRCats. If you’re interested in reading it, you can view it here: Paris Training Programme.
You can also follow my progress to Paris right here with my weekly review, tips and tricks. And of course, if you’ve got any words of wisdom, I’d love to hear from you.
Happy Christmas and happy running!