All You Need to Know
In a world where people are always trying to push the limits, ultra-endurance events have become a real craze; Iron Man’s, ultra-marathons, cycling across continents, climbing into the stratosphere and even swimming across vast expanses of water. However, for many the apex of endurance events remains the marathon. Inspired by the exploits of Pheidippides, the ancient Greek herald at the Battle of Marathon, the event was included in the modern Olympics in 1896. Year on year, thousands of amateur runners toe the line in some of the world’s greatest cities, to test themselves over the 26.2mile distance.
Many people consider the challenge, but for people who decide decide to take it on, what exactly do they need to do?
First of all it is a good idea to be a regular runner with a sound level of cardio-vascular fitness. If you are not then a shorter distance may be a better starting point. For those brave enough to commit to the challenge there are a few key ingredients to successful training and then the race itself:
- Commit to the training – you must simply pound out the miles 5 to 7 days a week. This will help you develop the strength and endurance for long distances. Elite marathon runners will run distances of up to 135 miles a week, often running twice in the same day.
- Variety – avoid boredom and maintain motivation by doing different types of running sessions. Use tempo, hill and interval sessions as well as long slow distance runs. Cross training to give the joints a rest by doing a spin class or two might be a good idea.
- Lift weights – there are a lot of theories about lifting weights for distance runners. High rep low weight exercises are suggested by some, where others suggest heavy weight and low reps to build strength. You must find a method that works for you! It is however generally accepted that resistance training will play a key part in injury prevention.
- See food as fuel – believe it or not people do sometimes put weight on when they begin marathon training. An attitude of “I can eat what I like” is not strictly true. Plan what you are eating, count calories, eat plenty of none processed carbs to give you energy, and ensure a decent whack of protein to promote repair. You also need to think about pre run food and timings, as well as practice eating while running to maintain some muscle glycogen and AVOID THE WALL!
- Rest properly – ensure that a rest day means no exercise. When training for a marathon your body will be glad of the odd break. Also try to get 7-8 hours sleep a night. Only by resting properly will you see the maximum physical adaptations to training.
- TAPER – Cut back on volume 2 to 3 weeks before the race. The miles are done. Now it is time to let your muscles recover to make sure you are fresh come race day.
HERE IS A 16 WEEK TRAINING PROGRAMME DESIGNED TO GET YOU TO THE FINISH LINE!!!
|1||5 miles LSD||REST||30 mins Tempo||3 miles easy||REST||40 mins Intervals||5 miles LSD|
|2||REST||40 mins Hills||Weights and 3 miles easy||30 min Tempo||REST||5 miles LSD||7 miles LSD|
|3||Weights and Spin Class||REST||6 miles
|40 mins Intervals||3 miles easy||REST||9 miles LSD|
|4||3 miles easy||REST||Weights and Spin Class||6 miles LSD||REST||40 min Tempo||9 miles LSD|
|5||REST||45 mins Intervals||3 miles easy||40 mins Hills||Weights or REST||3 miles easy||11 miles LSD|
|6||3 miles easy||REST||Weights and Spin Class||6 miles LSD||45 mins Intervals||REST||11 miles LSD|
|7||3 miles easy||Weights||45 mins Hills||REST||6 miles Race Pace||REST||13 miles LSD|
|8||3 miles easy||Weights and Spin Class||45 mins Intervals||REST||45 mins Hills||REST||10k Race or Half Marathon|
|9||REST||6 miles LSD||6 miles Tempo||3 miles easy||Weight and 40 mins Hills||3 miles easy||13 miles LSD|
|10||3 miles easy||REST||Weights and Spin Class||45 mins Intervals||8 miles LSD||3 miles easy||14 miles LSD|
|11||Weights or REST||6 miles LSD||45 mins Hills||3 miles easy||8 miles Race Pace||3 miles easy||16 miles LSD|
|12||3 miles easy||REST||10 miles LSD||5 miles LSD||60 mins Intervals||REST||18 miles LSD|
|13||3 miles easy||Weights and Spin Class||10 miles LSD||REST or 3 miles easy||60 mins Intervals||REST||20 miles LSD|
|14||30 mins Swim or 3 miles easy||Weights
and 6 miles LSD
|10 miles LSD||30 min Intervals||8 miles LSD||REST||22 miles LSD|
|15||REST||3 miles easy||8 miles
|REST||20 mins Intervals||REST||8 miles LSD|
|16||3 miles easy||REST||4 miles – middle 1 mile Race Pace||3 miles easy with strides||REST||10 – 20 min light jog early||RACE DAY|
Please consult our Disclaimer before undertaking any training sessions or programmes on this website.