/ Pre-marathon training training
I've entered a half marathon in October to keep me motivated but what I'm really keen to understand is what I can do NOW to start preparing my body for when I start increasing the weekly mileage in the run up to the marathon itself (planning to do a classic 16 week program from the start of January).
Currently I run most days and do 90 minutes of Ashtanga yoga a week but I sometimes find when I start increasing mileage my knees start hurting (have previously had knee injuries caused by running). I'd like to make my body and my knees in particular more robust which I guess means working on leg strength in particular but also overall body/core strength as well.
Has anyone got any suggestions for general ideas on the sort of exercise I should be doing? For example should I introduce more hill work or should I be spending a couple of days a week in the gym doing squats, resistance work, etc? I basically want to be in a position come January that my body is prepared to start a program that will eventually require me to do around 40-50 miles per week with a low risk of injury.
Lastly - my target for the marathon is sub 4 hours.
All advice appreciated.
If you run most days, I guess you are only running 3 miles or so each day. Build up you miles for at least one run, even if it means not running the day after. Comparing you 5k and HM PBs suggests to me that you lack endurance. If you are regularly running 10-15 miles when you start your 16 week programme, it will be a lot easier.
My runs are mainly between 4 and 6 miles and I run around 5 times a week so my weekly mileage may be a touch over 20 miles but yeah I've not done anything over 10k for months.
I think I spend too much time doing comfortable runs - flat, gentle pace, 30 minutes or so. Reckon I need to mix it up a bit more.
I asked the same question last year
and got some good advice. (identical thread title: great minds and all that)
Given my abject failure in my target marathon last weekend, I'm probably the last person you want advice from however...
My guess is if your goal is sub four hours you don't need to change anything until the start of your sixteen weeks. If you want to go quicker...
I had an easy summer, just running when I wanted to - but rarely less than about 20 per week. I then did a solid block of high mileage weeks in October and November. Around 50 per week, but all from of two short runs five days per week, because this fitted around work and homelife. I then through December I reduced the number of runs, and mileage, but introduced a few longer ones and a few speed sessions. This meant that at the start of my 16 weeks I found I could go straight into 50 and then 60 miles weeks (possibly a bit over the top) with midweek speed sessions and weekend 18+ long runs without having to build up to it.
I find some strength training for the legs good for my creeky old knees. It doesn't have to be eyeball popping gymnasium monster type squats with weights. Body weight squats, one leg squats, lunges, etc. seem to help.
Some good advice above about increasing the long runs, bit more quality, etc. You could add some hill reps once a week.
Do some races. Great motivation, you will push yourself and get a better racing head, as long as you mix it up with the easy runs and the longer runs, it should cause any problems.
London's downhill - you don't need to do hills. ;-)
Seriously - don't get carried away and start doing too much too soon. I have a mate who got terribly excited and did his first 20 miler in October before the April mara - crashed and burned. Went through half way in 1:32, finished with 3:46.
Nick's advice is good - get your weekly long run up to 10, I'd say no more than 12, by about Christmas, then give it full beans for 4 months.
Basically I'm going to introduce some weekly long runs (10-12 miles) in to my training with a focus on just doing the distance as opposed to time and speed. That should help with the endurance.
Plus I'll hit the stairwell of my block of flats and the gym to build a bit of strength. My knees are definitely my biggest worry.
Yoga, strenghening work et al is all good, can perhaps be seen as a preparatory base for the running bit, which is what will actually get you round.
(Sorry to hear it did not work out for you Mark as I recall your post)
Elsewhere on the site
Rock shoes stink – let’s face it. Boot Bananas are the perfect way to fight the funk and keep them fresh. They help... Read more
At a bar in Llanberis an old man chimed in And I thought he was out of his head Being a young man I just laughed it off When... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more
Tonight's Friday Night Video features the Norwegian town of Rjukan, once believed to be the home of the world's tallest... Read more