There are a whole bunch of hundreds of us, all around the globe, preparing for spring marathon season. Right here within the operating highlands of Kenya, I’m fortunate sufficient to be coaching with a few of the finest marathoners on the planet. We’re preparing for London, Boston, Paris, Ottawa, and lots of different marathons, and I wish to share how we do it so regardless of the place you’re, you’ll be able to prepare to run like a Kenyan.
To start out off, there are three phases of coaching for a marathon.
Exit on simple and reasonable runs with out caring a lot about velocity. There aren’t any arduous velocity or hill work classes but. This part can differ in size, however ought to be no less than 3 months.
Athletes are actually getting fairly match and might get into intensive tempo runs and velocity exercises. This part lasts about 2 months.
If you begin to scale back their coaching a bit as a way to protect sufficient vitality for the race. Usually the final 2 weeks earlier than the race.
Let’s take an in depth have a look at what you’re doing throughout every stage.
At this stage, what issues is getting as a lot mileage as attainable into your physique with out dashing your coaching. You wish to construct your general health and get your legs and ft used to many hours of use.
You can begin this part simple operating 3–4 instances per-week, however wish to construct to the purpose of operating 5–6 days per-week. You wish to be on the level the place you’re comfortably operating 1hr 10 minutes to 1hr 20 minutes every weekday morning and including a 2 hour simple run each weekend. The important thing phrases listed here are comfy and simple, you need to end every run feeling such as you’ve nonetheless acquired loads of vitality.
As time goes, you’ll be able to slowly begin including one velocity session or one hill exercise session per week, however ensuring they don’t seem to be intense.
About 10 weeks out out of your race, it’s time to start out the tougher exercises. You don’t wish to begin this era of extra intense coaching too far out out of your race as a result of it takes a toll in your physique and also you turn out to be extra inclined to accidents, sickness, or exhaustion.
It doesn’t matter a lot which group one joins for coaching in Kenya as a result of the packages listed here are comparable. Even the times for specific type of coaching program are nearly the identical in all places. Mondays are hill runs; Tuesdays are for observe intervals; Thursdays are for velocity exercises on the highway, be it fartleks or measured distances; Saturdays are for lengthy runs and Sundays are for resting.
Some runners can rearrange their exercises, like transferring the lengthy runs from Saturdays to Thursdays and doing their velocity exercises on Saturdays. It’s additionally vital to permit some flexibility to permit for a mock race, enjoyable run, or reply to how your physique is feeling.
Earlier than each exercise session, athletes have to heat up for 20 to half-hour of gradual operating or calisthenics. On daily basis of a tough exercise within the morning is adopted by a straightforward 40–50 minute run within the night.
In many of the coaching teams in Kenya, hill work is normally the primary exercise of the week. However regardless of while you do it, it’s crucial to do no less than one every week to construct power and stamina. Relying on how shut athletes are to doing their races, there are other ways of doing hill exercises.
Most athletes will begin to incorporate hill runs throughout the loading stage. Hill exercises throughout loading stage won’t be concerning the variety of repetitions, however simply the general period of time operating up and down the hills — usually round 1 hour. With time, as you get nearer to peaking, hill exercises begin to incorporate timed sprints on shorter measured distances on a hill. These might be 400m, 200m or 100m sprints up the hill, repeating 10–20 instances relying on the size of the dash.
That is the toughest exercise of the week, because the trick to attaining nice velocity for marathon truly appear to lie in nice observe interval exercises. Most athletes name these intervals “lapping” as a result of they’re largely 1600m, 2,000m and three,000m arduous repetitions across the 400m observe, with a cool-down interval between units. The tempo is often brutally quick, a lot quicker than marathon race tempo. The full distance completed in a single session is generally between 12km to 20km. On the finish of those “lapping” classes, athletes do just a few shorter 200m to 400m sprints earlier than cooling down. There’s no higher exercise for serving to construct energy and velocity.
Street Velocity — Fartlek
Fartlek is without doubt one of the most typical velocity exercises completed by lengthy distance athletes in Kenya. It’s a nice exercise because it doesn’t want any measured portion of the highway or a flat floor. The commonest such exercises are 1 minute quick, 1 minute gradual runs or 2 minutes quick and 1 minute gradual repetitions. The full size of the run will usually be 40 to 50 minutes.
Street Velocity — Tempo Runs:
Tempo runs are runs that mimic a race day. You desire a good course for this run. There’s normally a favorite route at each coaching spot in Kenya, and each one or two weeks athletes will attempt to run quick and set a brand new course report on the route. You wish to be operating at a tough tempo for round 1 hour, so most programs in Kenya are 16km to 18km. However tempo runs are actually about time and the way lengthy you wish to run at this gruelling tempo, so typically athletes resolve to heat up for 20 minutes then run a tough 40 minutes. On the finish of this run you need to really feel drained, such as you’ve simply run a race.
Street Velocity — Street Intervals:
Alternatively, athletes can look out for a flat and straight 1km or 2km part on the highway the place they’ll do the intervals. You run quicker than race tempo, relaxation for a few minutes after which repeat.
In many of the coaching camps in Kenya, a long term is completed as soon as each different week and a semi-long run is completed in between. Lengthy runs are normally distances between 35km to 43km whereas the semi-long runs are normally 25km to 30km.
Water is essential throughout lengthy runs. If you happen to’re consuming 300–600ml (10–20 oz) each hour, you’ll want extra water than you’ll be able to carry with you. Working teams right here can have a car drive alongside the course distributing water as athletes want it. Realizing that water is excellent there once they want it and that there’s a car to hop into when the going will get powerful, athletes are inspired to present it their finest efforts whereas coaching and likewise to run longer than they’d have completed and not using a car by their aspect.
Different days in between the powerful exercise days are normally 1hr simple runs within the morning and 40 to 50 minute simple runs within the night. Usually this can be Wednesday after the arduous observe session on Tuesday.
That is the final stage of coaching, and is all about letting the physique get better from the toughest coaching so you are feeling recent on race day. Tapering begins two or three weeks to a marathon and usually means a 50% discount in time spent operating every week from the height of coaching. There can be no extra runs past 25km and the velocity exercises can stay intense, however will take comparatively shorter period and fewer repetitions. You need to really feel like you would hold operating even after a observe session.
Nonetheless, totally different methods work for various athletes at this level. There are those that really feel that once they decelerate their coaching, they gained’t have the ability to be quick on race day and like to not interrupt their coaching in any respect till race day. You simply by no means know till you do a few races and know what kind of taper works finest for you. So hearken to your physique and goal to really feel recent on race day morning and powerful all through the top!