Recently I have signed up to run the Dublin City Marathon. I have decided to take a slightly different approach to my Marathon training compared to the normal training schedule, which usually involves a lot of mileage. As a first time marathoner, my goal is to make it to the start line injury free, and complete the distance; I’m not too worried about my time. About 5 years ago, I read some research on two groups of people training for a marathon. One group took the usual approach of running four times a week and the other group ran twice a week including one long run and one tempo or interval type run and two strength sessions in a gym. I’ve decided to try out the latter approach. With limited endurance training background, I don’t fancy hammering the roads four times a week. I’m building my aerobic base with one long run and one interval/tempo/hill runs and adding two functional gym sessions a week. These gym sessions will cover basic lifts such as the squat, deadlift, lunge and single deadlift patterns for the lower body along with upper body work and core stability.
Another major part of people running marathons is getting injured. I am trying to make my body more robust through strength training, so I don’t break down as easy. The less I am injured the more chance I have of getting my runs done a completing the marathon in a decent time. Recovery is as important as the training you do. I make sure my fluid intake is good before, during and after runs, and also ensuring I’m eating good food pre and post workout. Enhancing my recovery further, I am foam rolling, stretching and using compression tights or socks to help the legs recover quicker.
I have a six-month training plan with a download week built in every month and a three week download phase coming into the marathon day. My miles are increasing each week gradually, so I don’t over load and have less chance of injury. The strength training I am doing is built around heavy lifts, working within an 8 to 10 rep range alternating to the 5 to 6 rep range the following month. My recovery is good, which I think has made a massive difference to not getting injured and being fresh on the long run day.
A few idea’s on how to keep motivated during your training would be:
- Training with friends especially on those long runs
- Using motivational music
- Having a personal reason for doing it in the first place
- Doing it for charity.
Whatever it is use it to your advantage. I’m into month two of my training program and it’s a 9 mile run this week as the long run, so when I check back in on my next article related to this topic I hope I have built the miles while being injury free.