From couch to marathon - Making full use of the Dubai Marina | Iconic Fitness Dubai Marina JLT

From couch to marathon – Making full use of the Dubai Marina

From couch to marathon – Making full use of the Dubai Marina

By Andy on November 11, 2015

4 excellent ways to train for your first run using the Dubai Marina.

Last weekend thousands of people took part in the annual Standard Charted 42 km and 10 km runs. It’s a massive emotional paycheck for us coaches here to have helped so many people train and prepare for the event. Congrats once again to all of you!

So for those of you who are inspired by your colleagues and friends and are keen to try a run yourself, but have never done so – here is a very simple plan you can follow by using the space right on your doorstep.  The Dubai Marina is easy to access to literally 100’s of thousands of people living in Dubai.

So here’s the plan: The distance around the whole Marina from the ‘blue bridge’  / last bridge to the ‘twisty building’ / Cayan Tower is just under 10 km, that’s an ideal distance and space to train for a series of different distances ranging from 5 km fun runs to 42 km distances.

I’ve divided the Marina into 4 sections based on the distances between the bridges. Use this strategy :

Month 1: Combine all running methods below over the 1st orange section.

Month 2: Combine all running methods over sections 1 and 2 orange and green.

Month 3: Combine all running methods over sections 1,2 and 3.

Month 4: Combine all running methods overall 4 sections. By this time you will have build a very decent conditioning base for some serious training!

1) Long slow distance running / LSD 

This should be a comfortable pace where you can have a reasonably decent conversation throughout the whole run. It shouldn’t be an intensity where you find yourself gasping for air. This method of running will increase your fat usage and increase your ability to run for a longer duration. Start with 10 minutes per session, increase each session by 1 min, and build up to a full hour run over a few weeks.


2) Interval running

Run at a speed between jogging and sprinting effort for 1 minute and walk slowly for 1 minute. The running time needs to be equal to the resting time you need to recover. So it’s a 1:1 run-rest ratio.  The same approach here, start at 10 minutes, add a minute longer per session.


3) Repetition running

This is an alternative between walking and running. Run from point 1 to point 2, and walk to point 3. Keep alternating your walk and runs. The lamp posts are spaced out a good distance from each other across the Marina, so using these as markers are perfect. This is a tough one so I would say start with 10 minutes per session and only increase your duration once you can complete the full 10 minutes at max effort throughout.

4) Fartlek running

This is a random combination of all the running methods above. No rules. Go at it however you choose and just have fun. This is most sufficient at the end of the week as your body is tired after all the week’s training and stress. Just have fun, run randomly. Run fast, walk, sprint, jog from one bridge to the next, and feel free to run backwards if you really want. Start off by doing this for at least 20 min and keep going as long as you still have the will power to keep going.

It is important to incorporate all 4 modes in 1 week of training as they cater to different aspects of running and recovery.  See you at the starting line next year!

Coach Hannes

Iconic Fitness, Dubai Marina