Marathon Training Philosophy : 11/05/2006by Tinman:
Marathon running is a big challenge. Covering 26.2 miles by foot at a good pace is not easy. To do the event well, one must have performed excellent training for several months. Since, I do NOT believe in “surviving” a marathon, I’ll show you how do it the right way.
Committed runners should prepare well five to six months prior to a marathon race, at least. The first two to three months should be focused on 10k training. The last two to four months should be marathon-specific training. During 10k training, one should focus on consistently doing the types of workouts that lay the foundation for marathon-specific training.
Before describing Tinman Marathon Training, let’s look at 10k training in more detail. In truth, there are many ways to prepare for this event but, in brief, two main approaches are viable:
Approach # 1: Run moderate mileage every week and do plenty of faster paced interval, tempo, or varied paced speed runs. By moderate mileage I mean ~110 miles per week for elite runners, ~90 miles per week for semi-elites, ~70 miles per week for “club” runners, ~ 50 miles per week for “local” runners, and ~30 miles per week for novice runners.
Approach # 2: Run high mileage and do less fast running. By high mileage I mean ~125 miles per week for elite runners, ~ 105 miles per week for semi-elite runners, ~ 85 miles per week for club runners, ~ 65 miles per week for local runners, and ~ 45 miles per week for novice runners. You should not do long, fast runs during 10k training, even if you are doing high mileage. However, you could do many double day runs – two runs per day - to elevate aerobic volume. An elite and semi-elite runner using this method would run 90-120 minute per day in most cases. A club and local runner would cover 60-90 minutes of running most days (a weekly single run of 90-120 minutes is fine). A novice runner would cover 30-60 minutes of running most days (a weekly 90 minute run would be fine) and have 1-2 days of rest per week, too.
In my book I’ll show you examples of 10k training schedules. Various schedules will be shown, relative to ability classification and mileage per week. For now, just think “balanced training.” It should be consistent and moderate in how much fast running you do.
You should reach the end of your 10k training phase without fatigue, injury or malaise! Avoid the trap of racing too often: it would deplete your adaptive reserves. Use common sense and be patient. Never run “super-hero workouts” and be sure to take care of the little details like icing sore spots, backing off when you feel pain or exhaustion, eating right, and getting enough sleep. Remember, you want to be “hungry” to start marathon-specific training!
Tinman Marathon Training is all about two words: Big Workouts. It really is that simple. Whenever you prepare for the marathon, you need to do workouts that last a long time, twice per week. If you have a history of injuries or breaking down easily that may mean you should do only One Big Workout per week. However, most runners who do it the Tinman Way find that the shorter, slower runs between the Big Workouts make all the difference in the world. Many runners I’ve coached have made comments about how good they feel doing Big Workouts because they aren’t running too much distance work between each Big Workout. That is, they are using a bigger variance between the important (key) workouts and the regular, every day, runs. For example, a club runner using a different training program might be running 10 milers every day between harder workouts but when using Tinman Marathon Training they run just 7 miles between key workouts.
I’ve never believed that high mileage is necessarily the best way to train for marathons. Though mileage builds aerobic capacity, it is not specific. Big Workouts, on the other hand, are specific. They simulate the demands of the event. That’s the key!
Big workouts vary in length or duration relative to a runner’s ability and experience, but generally “Big” means at least 90 minutes of continuous running. When you run more than 90 minutes three important elements of exercise physiology are improved: glycogen storing, fat burning, and shock absorption. This doesn’t even include the mental elements: relaxation while tired, concentration, and tenacity. Since I am not a sports psychologist, I’ll focus on the exercise physiology elements – in my book.
So, let’s get to the core of Tinman Marathon Training: Big Workouts. I’ll provide samples of Big Workouts that one might do (see table 1.0). Note there are many combinations and types of Big Workouts. I show them in my book. Hopefully, however, what I show below gives you a reasonably good enough idea of what Big Workouts are like.
One final note, do take care to build up to Big Workouts slowly. Be sure to have a graded exercise test from your cardiologist or sports medicine physician before attempting any training schedule or workout provided by me. It is assumed that you are healthy and have no injuries. It is also assumed that you have built up to such workouts over many weeks and months. If in doubt, consult a doctor who is specialist in exercise.
Tinman All Rights ReservedNovember 5, 2006Therunzone.com