How to use December to build next season run strength

The key word for December is ‘robustness’, and for that you need a Marcothon Challenge…


Well, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, hopefully… swimming pools are shut and the bike won’t fit in the car without getting wrapping paper and tinsel in the mech. 


So why not avoid all the fuss, use this time to build what I like to call ‘run robustness’ and keep training simple? Well you can… with the Marcothon Challenge.

To complete the challenge, you must run 3 miles/close to 5km or 25mins every day (including Christmas!) in December. Started in 2009 by Marco and Debbie Consani, the Marcothon Challenge sees thousands of runners across the world all running together for absolutely no reason whatsoever!

However, for the triathlete, as well as racking up a lot of run miles and it being easy and accessible training during a busy month, it will help you build robustness for when you get back into your normal training pattern in the New Year, as well as burning off the extra calories of that the festive season brings.

The session


10 x glute bridge

Up slow, down slow

20 x moderate paced squats with weight through the heels

10 x lunge into high-knee drives

10 x glute bridge

Up fast, down slow

If the main set involves reps, jog easy for 10-15mins before the first rep

Main Set

3 miles or 25mins

Look to change how you get to this total so that you don’t do the same run on two consecutive days. Also, build up so that you don’t fatigue or injure mid-month. Better to start steady and finish strong than not finish a challenge, which is harder than you might think!


Work on some flexibility in front of the TV!

Adapt for beginners

If you’re new to running then you don’t need to run the whole way, just take your time. Alternatively, run/walk the whole way. It’s all about what you can do, not anyone else.

Adapt for Ironman

Replace the warm-up with a standardised bike session that finishes with some race-paced work. You could even set your turbo up, jump off just before the start and run for 25mins!


This session appeared in the January 2018 (346) issue of 220 Triathlon. You can subscribe to the print magazine, or the digital version if you live outside of the UK, here