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Got a training question? Ask Runlab founder and marathon runner, Vlad Shatrov below!

With over 10 years’ experience training runners together with competing at the highest levels in distance running, Vlad Shatrov knows what it means to be a runner.

After completing the 2016 Berlin Marathon in a PB of 2:18, Vlad knows what it takes to set a goal and really work towards it. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience gained by racing numerous prestigious events abroad, at home, on road and on the trails. Vlad has a passion for running like no other and has trained with many of Australia’s best runners and coaches. Plus, he's running this year's Blackmores Half Marathon alongside many of you!

Vlad is also the founder of Runlab, a leading provider of group interval training sessions, group functional strength classes and personalized running analysis and programming. He has trained runners of all abilities, so whether you’re looking to run in the Family Fun Run, smash the Bridge Run, step up to the Half marathon or finish the Blackmores Sydney Marathon, he can help you with your training.

His running career started slowly – after undergoing surgery at the age of 10 to alleviate joint fusions in both ankles, he was told it was unlikely that he would be able to make a career out of the sport that he loved yet caused him so much grief. Undeterred, as a young teenager growing up on a sheep property in South Eastern NSW, he continued to push his body, enjoying the freedom that running provided.

Not only has he successfully competed in many individual road races, but he has helped many people, from absolute beginners to seasoned runners, achieve personal bests in both running and triathlons.

Got a question for Vlad? Ask him in the comments section below!

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Hi Vlad,
I was planning on doing my first marathon at Blackmores Sydney this year. I am basically a plodder and have been averaging 8km an hour but I need to stretch each 5kms or my right hip seizes up. I am currently at the 20km mark with my training (total time with breaks 2hrs 45 with stretching breaks) So with my slow pace and the need to stretch frequently I am well and truly a back of the pack runner. So much so that the cut-off points on the marathon are a real concern to me. Is it a realistic goal for me to do Blackmores marathon or should I switch my focus to a marathon with more lenient cut-off points?
Hi Vlad

I'm doing my first marathon in Sept. I've been following a 16 week training program which has the longest run of 32kms a couple of weeks before the race. I'd like to do a 36km run instead (as it would give me more confidence ahead of the race). Do you think it's wise to do this or should I stick to the program ?

Hi Vlad,
Just a quick question- I am running my first Marathon in Sydney and wanted to get a few tips on what kind of energy gels you think are the best? And also, should I wear a waist band with gels in it for the race?
Jacqui :-)
Hi Vlad
Thanks for the program. I'm running my first marathon at Sydney, and just did the 160 minute run this weekend. I was running comfortably, and completed 30km. I'm a bit concerned that as the program builds, I'll be running close to 40k by the time I get to the 210min run. Should I cut it back a bit or keep the run that long?
Hello Vlad,
Thank you for the training programs. I am going to do the bridge run in September, it will be my first 10km run and have downloaded the intermediate program as I have done a little running and I like a challenge.
I am in Canberra so I am effectively my own coach. I do strength and conditioning with a coach on Tuesdays followed by an hour of HIIT and repeat the HIIT on a Thursday also for an hour. The HIIT is at a martial art gym, so we start with skipping intervals and a body weight exercise, then the rest of the sessions are a mix of body weight work e.g keg lifts, burpees, pull-ups, agility runs, box jumps etc.I am sure you get the picture. I also have a remedial massage with a sports based remedial therapist every 4 weeks.

So can I switch the program around to take the above into account and how, as I am struggling to see how to get the rest days in and secondly, where can I get some ideas about drills? Canberra is a bit chilly at the moment so I'm having to do weekday run training in a gym on a treadmill, not ideal, but it is something.

Cheers and thanks in advance

Hi Vlad. Just a quick question on the half marathon beginner training plan. I ran (more like jogged) my first (&only) blackmores half marathon 2 years ago in 2:30 without much training... this year, i have taken the challenge of trying again, but making sure to train and am following the beginner plan.

Just wanted to know - with the long runs - they only go up to covering 2hrs of running in week 11... as this won't quite get me to the race distance, should I be running for longer than the prescribed times throughout the program? While I'll be training, I'm not currently as fit as I was two years ago and probably am aiming for 2.20-2.30 finishing time again.

Thanks for your help!
Hello Vlad,
I ran the Gold Coast Marathon on the weekend in a time of 3:45 after a solid 9 week training program that had a target time of 3:50. I have pulled up fine and will start light jogging in the next couple of days. I would love to run the Sydney Marathon and to set a target time of 3:30 so my question is whether you think there is adequate time to put together the right training to achieve that. Cheers Michael
Hi Vlad,
I set myself the big goal this year to run the Sydney Marathon in September 2017. I was doing brilliantly with my training schedule and really enjoying it for the past 7 months. However I also decided to play netball again this year and to my own detriment have caused myself to get shin splints from over training quite badly (they didn’t just hurt walking, they even ached at night whilst in bed!). I have rested now for almost 4 weeks, received treatment for them and have also given up netball for the year. I can no longer feel the shin splints, and think I’m ready to head out for some lighter and much shorter running then where I was at to kick back off again.
My question to you is, with your experience do you think it is still possible for me to get fit enough to run the Marathon in September from now coming back from injury? Or should I concentrate on smaller runs this year, and look to complete the Marathon in September 2018? Prior to the 4 weeks off I was running 3-4 times a week up to a distance of 12km.
Look forward to hearing your response, Sarah 