Feb 07 2013

Marathon training: Building Stamina & Confidence

With 11 weeks to go to the big day, now is the time to start doing some serious work! Hopefully by this stage you will have at least 4 weeks running or jogging behind you and will have become accustomed to training 3-4 times per week. February and March are…

With 11 weeks to go to the big day, now is the time to start doing some serious work! Hopefully by this stage you will have at least 4 weeks running or jogging behind you and will have become accustomed to training 3-4 times per week.

February and March are utterly crucial if you wish to have a decent marathon day. If you have been running 2 days per week you should maybe thinking about adding at least one more training session into the mix. However, the key to marathon success is your long run and this simply has to be your priority each week. Throughout February you should be planning to run further and spend more time on your legs to accustom your body to the stresses of long distance running. There are no shortcuts; you simply have to get out there and do the miles!

So, our suggestion for this week is as follows:

2 runs of 40/45 minutes during the week with a rest day in between, plus 85 minutes of easy running at the weekend. Your long runs should not be about how fast you are running; covering the distance is the most important thing. Its ok to take the longer run a little easier then the shorter ones and if you need to take a SHORT walk break, do so, just keep moving.

Throughout the rest of the month, add approximately 10 minutes to your long run each week. However, it’s important that you give your body time to adapt, so when you reach 105 minutes, make sure your next weekend run is much shorter.

Other things to consider:

Shoes – this may seem like a simple suggestion, but make sure you know what running shoes you will be wearing on race day. You want to have done SOME of your training in your racing shoes to wear them in and ensure they don’t give you blisters. However, as a general rule of thumb, your shoes should not have ‘run’ more than 500 miles. If you’ve had them more than a couple of years (depending on your weekly mileage) then its probably time for a new pair, as new shoes will have more cushioning and help you prevent injury.

Fuelling your long run – A run of 10 or 11 miles will burn somewhere in the region of 1000 calories. In order to avoid what runners call ‘hitting the wall’ (where your body runs out of fuel for your muscles), get used to drinking energy drinks or gels whilst you are running. You need to take on energy drinks quite early on in your race, so you need to practice this in training. Start drinking small amounts around 1 hour into your run; you can get a bumbag which will easily carry a couple of gels. Train with the same drinks you will be given on race day, so that you don’t get any nasty surprises! This will become more important the further you run.

Many people ask about whether to race in the lead up to your Marathon event or not? I am all in favour of it, and I would recommend entering at least one half marathon and maybe even one 20 miler if you want to be really confident you can cover the distance. Races are great because:

  • They get you used to running with others
  • They seriously help with pace judgement
  • They help you get accustomed to the race atmosphere

You can search races on http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/events/ and on http://therunningbug.co.uk

And finally if you have been ill, had the sniffles or worse, don’t attempt to make up for lost time. Just ease your self back into your running with an easy week and plan to pick it up next week. If you feel any niggles or pain during or after your runs, get them checked out now. Get to know your body and understand the difference between muscle soreness and pain. Sore muscles are to be expected whereas pain should not be ignored.

P.S. If anyone has running questions they would like answered, or would like to come in for a free running assessment then call us on 0208 166 5110 or email me personally at becs@salecca.co.uk.

Happy running!

Kind Regards 

Becs Cronshaw FST1 iTS BCT


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Salman