Marathon Preparation Training


There were over 1,100 marathons held in the US with over 541,000 runners competing in 2013. That’s a lot of runners, anyone know the statistics for the UK? The marathon has turned into a common goal for many bucket listers and is not so far out of reach for the average runner as it was before. The modern marathon is open to runners of all abilities and is achievable to all those willing to put in the time and training

Here are some workouts that will help you achieve your marathon goals, you may have to adjust them slightly in order to match your experience level.

The Marathon Race Simulator

You should do this workout approximately four weeks before the actual race. This should be the last high intensity workout before the marathon.

As a warm up you should job for 1 to 2 miles. The actual workout will consist of 8 miles run at race pace followed by 1 mile for recovery followed by another 8 miles again at race pace. As a warm down, you should jog for 1 to 2 miles.

This may seem like too much workload for some runners, if this is the case you can simply reduce the distance down to 6 miles. If it’s more to your liking instead of basing the workout on distance you can do so by time and instead run for 2×45 minutes.

This workout should under no circumstances last longer than 3 hours.

The Marathon Progression Run

Start off by jogging for 5 to 6 miles as a warm up. In the workout you will then gradually increase the pace until you reach your race pace. The first 3 miles should be run at race pace +15 secs per mile. The next 3 miles should be run at race pace +10 secs per mile. The next 3 miles should be run at race pace +5 secs per mile. The final 6 miles should be run at race pace. As a warm down, jog for 1 to 2 miles.

Marathon Preparation: Track Intervals

This should be performed once every week. You should start doing it approximately a third of the way into your marathon preparation. Every week you should try to make it a little bit harder by doing one extra 5 minute repeat. If you can’t fully complete the workout one week then do not add a repeat.

As a warm up jog for 2 miles. The workout requires you to run for 5 minutes at 10K pace. This needs to be done 5 times. Take a 5 minute recovery between each run. To warm down have a 2 minute job.

Marathon Preparation: Race-Pace

To start, warm up by jogging for 5 miles. The workout is a simple one, run at race pace for 10 miles. To warm down jog for another 5 miles.

If this seems like a lot of mileage to you then instead of running 5,10,5 you can run 3,6,3.

I hope you enjoyed these sample workouts and maybe you can use them when you are preparing for your next marathon.

Losing Weight and Running

Many people looking to get into running don’t do it because they like to run, it’s simply to lose weight since running is one of the best ways to burn off excess calories.

This is a simple topic but one that many people get wrong, confused by the rubbish information out there written by people that don’t have a full grasp on the subject. When it comes to losing weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit, there is no escaping this fact. That means you are providing your body with less energy (food) than it needs, this forces it to make up the deficit through the use of stored body fat.

Where people may go wrong is that even though they understand the need to have to eat less they overdo it. Weight loss is a marathon not a sprint. By cutting their food intake too dramatically their running performance may take a hit due to falling energy levels.

Cutting too many calories in the form of carbohydrates while training will not only hinder your performance but also your recovery. Your ability to challenge yourself on a workout and to cope with a higher workload will diminish.

What You Should Be Doing

There are some so called professionals, like the writer of this article, who claim you shouldn’t pay attention to calories. This is complete nonsense for the simple reason that you have to control your calories in order to lose weight. Eating “healthily” doesn’t mean you will lose weight just as eating junk food doesn’t mean you will gain weight, it’s all down to creating a calorie deficit.

We want to create about a 10% calorie deficit which is enough to lose weight at a nice steady pace that isn’t too high. We also want to keep our carbohydrate intake as high as possible. These two things will limit any negative impact a diet will have on our running performance.
Since we are eating less we should try to stick with nutrient dense foods. This is because we have less calories to play with in order to provide our body with the micronutrients it needs. If we were to fill up our daily calorie intake with junk food we may not be able to provide our body with sufficient vitamins and minerals.

You may have to experiment with the macronutrient breakdown of your diet. That means, how much of your daily calories come from protein, how much comes from carbohydrates and how much comes from fats. If you feel lethargic during your workouts you will have to increase your carbohydrate intake and in order to do so you will need to decrease your intake from protein and fat.

It really is that simple, but for some reason when it comes to nutrition people misunderstand or misapply the basic concepts.