Marathon Training Blog #1

3 weeks ago I officially started training for my first 26.2 mile event. I have actually entered a marathon before – Edinburgh 2010. Back then I was very much a beginner when it comes to running (I have since come to understand that anyone that has less than 3 years of consistent running behind them would – clinically at least – be considered a ‘new‘ runner) and got nowhere near the Start Line, let alone the Finish Line. I’m often heard saying that this is in fact that hardest part of a marathon; getting to the start line. The 26.2 miles on the day should be your ‘victory lap’, a celebration of the hard miles, the early mornings, and the long list of sacrifices that you (and your family) have made.

This spring I ran 2 half marathons and so since mid March I have been ticking along with weekly 8-12 milers, meaning I could start my training schedule at 10 miles for my Long Slow Run (LSR). I will limit how much I talk about the specifics of my training plan as I am not a fan of generic training plans, and certainly wouldn’t want anyone using this as such. However, my training plan does consist of 3 runs per week, and 2 specific strength sessions – one gym based (with Ben Grey at YouCubedFitness.com) and one at home. The run sessions are a mix of LSR, Tempo, Interval, Hills and Speed work.

As with everyone that enters a marathon, a lot of the training will be new ground, and a little trial and error. There are lots of things that I will be doing for the first time; running for longer than 2 hours and fuelling whilst running being the main 2. For the next few weeks I will be running distances that I haven’t ran before – equal parts exciting and daunting! What I am really looking forward to is matching up theory to practice. I know lots about marathon running – I couldn’t run workshops otherwise. I know my Hanson from my Pfitzinger from my Maffetone Methods. But how far does Theory get you? As the genius that is Yogi Berra says;

Yogi Berra

One of my first points of call before getting going was Run Swindon, for some Gait Analysis. Liam, as always was a wealth of knowledge. I run in Saucony Kinvaras. Traditionally a ‘fast’ shoe, it was previously thought that these trainers were for speed work, or lower distance work and I was concerned that these may not be up to the job at hand. However, Liam explained that because of how I run, with a quite a brief ground impact, and almost a forefoot landing, coupled with a more stable design, that the latest Kinvaras would actually be perfect for me to continue in. I have 2 pairs which I rotate; generally speaking one pair for my LSR, one pair for anything else. The Kinvaras are a 4mm Heel-Toe drop (for more info on what this means, see http://dc-injuryclinic.co.uk/running-shoe-comparison/), which I take up to a 6mm using adjustable heel raises. The evidence for a 2mm raise is – if i’m honest – not great, but for whatever reason, this seems to be my most comfortable ratio. For anyone starting out on a training programme, even the experienced runner, I recommend going through this process.

RUN 1Run 2

I’ve also picked the brains of a couple of people whom I respect greatly; either on my proposed training plan – Mr Steve Savory, see http://www.stevesavorypersonaltraining.co.uk/ – or the nutritional side of things. Always learning.

So as I say, I’m only a few weeks in, and (naively?) really enjoying the process so far. Lets see how I feel in a few weeks time! Wish me luck.

Song:

N.B. There are no ‘one size fits all’ style quick fixes in most injury scenarios, so these article shouldn’t be seen as such. They are merely guides to a better understanding of how our bodies work.

For more information please visit www.dc-injuryclinic.co.uk

One thought on “Marathon Training Blog #1

  1. franklinh

    Having just successfully run my first half marathon I am full of admiration for you as you focus on training for double this distance! Good luck .. I look forward to reading about your progress.

Leave a Reply