Sunday, September 02, 2007

Basic Principles To Train For A Marathon...

Principles to train for a marathon (extracted and modified from Runner's World).

1. Run just enough
Staying healthy is the most important training advice and the most often ignored. It does you no good to train hard, and then get sick or injured. So remember to train smart and not hard.

2. Build your training slowly
Increase weekly mileage by just 10% per week. Extend long runs by just 1KM at a time up to 16KM, then by 3KM at a time if you want. Take recovery weeks as well as recovery days.

3. Recover
Train smart 3 or 4 alternate days a week, allowing the days in between for you to recover.

4. Do your long runs
The newer you are to marathon, and the slower the more important your long runs. You simply have to get accustomed to being on your feet for 3 or more hours. There are no magic length. Experts recommend stopping at 2.5 to 3 hours, however going farther includes walk breaks.

5. Practice marathon pace
A recommended key is the addition of "Progressive Marathon-Pace" (MP) long runs into your program. Do a 3KM warm-up, then 10KM at MP +40 seconds, 6 more at MP +20 seconds and a final MP.

6. Extend your tempo-run distance
Gradually extend your tempo runs, slowing by a few seconds per mile from your 6KM pace. The longer the tempo run workout you can substain, the greater the dividens down the road.

7. Eat your carbs
To stay healthy and recover well, you need to fuel your body efficiently. First, consume some carbs (sports drink, gel, etc...) during long hard workouts. Second eat/drink a good amount of carbs as quickly as possible after workouts. This will replenish the glycogen in your depleted muscles. Add a little protein for muscle repair.

8. Pay atttention to iron
Running increase iron loss through sweating and pounding. Consume iron-rich foods with Vitamin C, which helps body's iron absorption.

9. Sidestep injuries
Rest for several days a week at the first hint of a problem. Include core training during that as it helps runners maintain good running form and pace late in a race.

10. Taper for 2 to 3 weeks
Most runners hate to taper. Research shows a particulate gain in Type IIa muscle fiber strength, the so called fast aerobic muscles that can adapt to improve performance after a 3 weeks taper.

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