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# Marathon training theory

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The 3 most critical elements of marathon training (aerobic threshold, learning to utilize fat as a fuel source at marathon pace, and increasing muscular endurance) and how you can specifically target these essential physiological factors in training.

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### Marathon training theory

2. 2. Marathon Training Theory 1. Developing your aerobic threshold • What is aerobic threshold & why does it matter • How to target it in training 2. Learning to burn fat as a fuel source at marathon pace • Why this is critical (and difficult) and how to target in training 3. Increasing muscular endurance • How to train your muscles to survive 26.2 miles without having to run 26.2 miles a day in training
3. 3. Marathon Training Theory Developing Your Aerobic Threshold Imagine you are a hybrid car Muscles = Engine Glycogen = Gas power Fat = Electric power
4. 4. Marathon Training Theory Developing Your Aerobic Threshold Your gas tank holds a finite amount of gas (glycogen). This is as true in your body as it is in a car. Fully carbo-loaded, you can store 1320 kcal to 2020 kcal of glycogen
5. 5. Marathon Training Theory Developing Your Aerobic Threshold Depending on your size and fitness, running utilizes about 1kcal/Kg/Km. Let’s say you weight 175 pounds (80kg) you need about 3360 kcal (80kg x 42 km) to make it through the race
6. 6. Marathon Training Theory Developing Your Aerobic Threshold 2020 kcal < 3360 kcal Max Stored Glycogen Needed to finish the race Since it’s impossible to eat 1500 calories during the race, we need to find a way to conserve gas (glycogen) and run as efficiently as possible on electric (fats)
7. 7. Marathon Training Theory Developing Your Aerobic Threshold Like a hybrid car, the faster you want to go, the more you need to rely on gas (glycogen). So, we need to find that optimal balance between electric (fat burning) and gas (glycogen burning) that allows you to get to the finish as quickly as possible.
8. 8. Marathon Training Theory Developing Your Aerobic Threshold Aerobic threshold is defined as the fastest pace you can run while using the aerobic system as the primary energy pathway In essence, aerobic threshold is that optimal pace between fat and glycogen usage. Thus your marathon pace is directly correlated with your aerobic threshold.
9. 9. Marathon Training Theory So How Do You Train Your Aerobic Threshold? The key to improving any specific physiological system is frequent, repeated bouts of stress Run workoutsaerobic thresholdseconds faster to 15 seconds Training your in a window 10 is challenging because these workouts are not extremely taxing. You can easily run faster slower than your current marathon pace and push the pace, but if you run too fast or too hard you miss the target and make the workout less effective.
10. 10. Marathon Training Theory Learning to Burn Fat as a Fuel Source The problem with using fat as an energy source is that it’s not a very efficient provider of energy. However, you can train your body to become more efficient at burning fat as a fuel source.
11. 11. Marathon Training Theory Learning to Burn Fat as a Fuel Source The problem with using fat as an energy source is that it’s not a very efficient provider of energy. However, you can train your body to become more efficient at burning fat as a fuel source.
12. 12. Marathon Training Theory Learning to Burn Fat as a Fuel Source The big mistake I see a lot of runners make is not paying any attention to improving their ability to burn fat as a fuel source at marathon pace.
13. 13. Marathon Training Theory Increasing Muscular Endurance The challenge is that running the full marathon distance in training is not recommended (due to how long it would take to recover). So, we need to get creative in training to simulate the fatigue and develop the muscular endurance needed.
14. 14. Marathon Training Theory Increasing Muscular Endurance 1. Utilizing Accumulative Fatigue The fatigue from one workout accumulates and transfers to the next so that you're always starting a workout or a long run a little tired from your previous training.
15. 15. Marathon Training Theory Increasing Muscular Endurance 2. Specific Workouts Designed to Fatigue Your Legs Using the knowledge of muscle fiber recruitment, we can train your legs to run more efficiently and be less susceptible to fatigue at marathon pace
16. 16. Marathon Training Theory Discussion of Long Runs As we’ve discussed already, the primary goals of training should be to increase aerobic threshold, utilize fat more efficiently, and build endurance. So where does the long run fit in with these 3 goals?
17. 17. Marathon Training Theory Aerobic Threshold and Long Runs Easy 20-22 Miler vs. 16-18 marathon specific long run Easy 20-22 miler As a 3:45 all easy pace your easy long run pace is likely Running marathoner, never challenges your aerobic threshold. between 9:30 and 10:00 mile. So, a 20-22 miler will take you a Not 3 hours to finish little over one mile trains you to run at aerobic threshold. You can’t improve an energy system if you a significant Research has shown that your body doesn’t see never train it! increase in aerobic development, specifically mitochondrial development, when running over 90 minutes
18. 18. Marathon Training Theory Aerobic Threshold and Long Runs Marathon Specific 16-18 Mile Long Run The total time for an 18-miler will be closer to 2:30 You spend 4-5 miles running at aerobic threshold (and while tired) Much more marathon specific and easier to recover from
19. 19. Marathon Training Theory Fat Utilization and Long Runs 20-22 miles of all easy running = = 4 to 5 training to 16-18 miles with a faster finish 0 miles miles trainingfat while running fuel source while burn to utilize fat as a at marathon pace running at marathon pace
20. 20. Marathon Training Theory Muscular Endurance and Long Runs Yes, running 20-22 miles is good for muscular endurance But, the longer you run, the more you susceptible to injuries you become. Your form begins to break down, your major muscles become weak (thus relying on smaller, less used muscles), and overuse injuries begin to take their toll.
21. 21. Marathon Training Theory Muscular Endurance and Long Runs Moreover, you never run at marathon pace while tired So, very running muscular endurance is on race day Not easy specific to what you’ll experience improved. Muscular endurance while you’re tired and trying to run marathon pace is not.
22. 22. Marathon Training Theory Muscular Endurance and Long Runs Compare this to the muscular fatigue from a 16-18 miler with a fast finish You get 4-5 miles of running at marathon pace while tired
23. 23. Marathon Training Theory Muscular Endurance and Long Runs Plus, if you do things right (as we’ll teach you) you’ll buttress the long run against a steady paced run the day before. Because of the harder running on Saturday, you start Sunday’s long run not at zero miles, but rather at six or eight miles.
24. 24. Marathon Training Theory Which Would You Rather Have? Easy 20-22 Miler 16-18 Marathon Specific Total miles at MP = 0 Total miles for weekend = 22 Total miles at MP = 11 Total miles for weekend = 26
25. 25. Marathon Specific Workouts and Long Runs Lactate Clearance Increasing Muscular Endurance Steady Runs Long runs Where speed fits in
26. 26. Marathon Specific Workouts Lactate Clearance How lactic acid really works: The science of fatigue and lactate
27. 27. Marathon Specific Workouts Lactate Clearance Since running at aerobic threshold still requires some glycogen use, the faster we can train our body to reconvert lactate back into energy in the liver, the longer and faster we can run at a given pace Moreover, this can help with accidental pace surges (hills, getting around others, crowds) and help make sure you don’t fatigue prematurely.
28. 28. Marathon Specific Workouts Lactate Clearance Workout 1: Alternating Tempo Alternating between 10 second faster than marathon pace and 5-10 seconds slower than 10k pace. For a 3:30 marathon runner, the workout would like this: 6 miles at (7:50, 7:25, 7:50, 7:25, 7:50, 7:25 – no rest)
29. 29. Marathon Specific Workouts Lactate Clearance Workout 2: Jogging rests By not fully recovering and jogging quickly between repeats you still sneak in a way to run faster than race pace, but you ensure you have the aerobic strength and support to maintain goal pace on race day. Sample workout for 3:30 marathoner: 4 x 1.5 miles at 7:40 pace w/2min quick jog (8:20 pace) rest
30. 30. Marathon Specific Workouts Increasing Muscular Endurance Workout 1: Hill Combo Train your Sample workout for 3:30be able to run fast when legs, body, and mind to marathoner: tired. First, we tire the legs by running a series of hill repeats, which 90 sec hill repeats muscle contractions and burn 6-9 x require explosive at 5k pace w/jog down rest, glycogen. Then, after a short rest, you run at threshold pace 3 min rest, to better simulate running pace at the end of a race when 4-6 miles at MP you're tired
31. 31. Marathon Specific Workouts Increasing Muscular Endurance Workout 2: 2 x 6 miles The purpose of thisworkout forto run at your threshold pace Sample workout is 3:30 marathoner: for at 10-20 10-12 miles, which marathon pace w/10 your 6 miles a total ofseconds faster than will help you increase min rest ability to burn fat as fuel source when running at marathon pace and practice running on tired legs. The 10 minute rest also simulates the “dead leg” feeling many marathoners experience after 18 miles.
32. 32. Marathon Specific Workouts Steady Runs The steady run is a critical cog in the marathon training plan because it sets up the accumulated fatigue that enables the long run to simulate the latter stages of the race. Steady pace should range from 10 seconds faster than MP to 20 seconds slower than MP. The goal is to target and work your aerobic threshold.
33. 33. Marathon Specific Workouts Long Runs Workout 1: Basic Fast Finish • Run fast on low glycogen • Teach your body to burn fat more efficiently • Physically and mentally prepare to run fast when you’re tired Sample workout Run easy to moderate for half or three-quarters of the run and then finish the last 3-5 miles at marathon pace
34. 34. Marathon Specific Workouts Long Runs Workout 2: Advanced Fast Finish (20 miles) 1. Start with running 3 miles easy 2. From miles 4 through 11 (7 miles) you’ll target a pace that is 5 percent slower than goal marathon pace. Not quite hard, but challenging.
35. 35. Marathon Specific Workouts Long Runs Workout 3: Basic Surges • Surges burn available glycogen faster, depleting you for the latter miles • They engage intermediate and fast twitch fibers, tiring them out and forcing your slow twitch fibers to develop. Sample workout 16 mile long w/7 x 90 sec surges @ 10k pace w/5 min easy between starting at mile 10
36. 36. Marathon Specific Workouts Long Runs Workout 4: Advanced Surges Instead of runningpace will burn through more glycogen marathon Surging at 10k easy between the surges, you will run than you wouldas your “rest”. a moderate,should be between 10k and half pace remaining at The surges marathon paced effort. Then, as you slow back downthemarathon pace, your bodybe 4-5 minutes, marathon pace and to marathon pace “rest” will realizes it must conserve glycogen for these on your abilitybursts and attempts to depending 60-90 second level. use fat as a primary fuel source at this pace. Sample workout 20 mile long with 8 x 90 sec surges at 15k pace w/5 min at MP starting at mile 10. Finish run off easy
37. 37. Marathon Specific Workouts Where does speed work fit in? Speed developmenta wasted workout:the marathon specific Example of should be before Yasso 800’s A workout that supposedly predicts of training). The last 8-10 weeks of segment (the last 8-10 weeks marathon finishing time from a session of 10 x 800 meters with equal time rest between each 800 any training program should be race specific 1. What critical element of marathon success (aerobic threshold, fat burning, muscle endurance) do 800’s target? Speed helps improve your efficiency, but you don’t have to 2. waste workouts. You can “disguise”have your training with In the last 8 weeks of training, you it in roughly 16 hard workouts. Why waste one? surges, threshold intervals strides, hill sprints, drills,
38. 38. Putting It All Together In A Training Plan
39. 39. How does this work for me? That’s where things get a little more difficult because the answer isn’t universal. What one runner needs to do is going to be different from you. And, even if what you need to do is the same, the ay you approach it might differ drastically. That’s why training from a book or template plan doesn’t work, even if the philosophy is correct.
40. 40. Getting Your Training Paces Right Getting your optimal physiological training paces right is absolutely critical. It’s one of the most important parts of training.
41. 41. Getting Your Training Paces Right It’s you same for tempo runs, speedof aerobic threshold & fat If the remember the comparison workouts, and easy/long utilization toIf you’re a hybrid car, finding the perfect pace that run pace. driving not in the right zone, then you’re not blends enough glycogen and fat burning is essential to training targeting the right physiological systems and not getting the full benefit from systems. those two the workout. If you don’t hit that zone, then training It’s wasted the workout is not effective.
42. 42. Getting Your Training Paces Right The primary issue is that most runners base their training off their goals. But the problem is most runners choose an arbitrary goal that is based on a finishing time, rather than a physiological reality
43. 43. Getting Your Training Paces Right Let’s say your goal is to break 3:45 for the marathon (8:35 per mile pace) and you base your training off this. but it’s not going to help Sure, it’s going to get you fitter overall, But, your fitness currently is more like a 3:55in the marathon. This is exactly why is 9:00 pace. you improve marathon (not far off really), which you keep getting fitter and maybe even PRing in shorter events but bonk That means when fall apart duringrun aerobic threshold runs at or you’re trying to the marathon. 8:35, you’re WAY too fast to target your aerobic threshold properly. At almost 30 seconds a mile quicker, this is more a high end threshold run.
44. 44. How Do You Know When You Can Start Training Faster? Getting your paces right at the start of training is only part of the equation. Yes, you may start out in 3:55 shape, but ideally you’ll continue to improve throughout the training and be in 3:45 shape by the end. But, how fast does this happen? How do you know when you to start training faster?
45. 45. How Do You Know When You Can Start Training Faster? OurMost experiencedyour run data, splits and feedback fromrapidly system analyzes runners use tune-up races to assess their And it’s completely individual. Some runners will improve your logged workoutsfind their training paces don’t change much at all. andprogress and adapt their paces.adjusts the training schedule some may and automatically This works well, but the drawback is infrequent data it’s completely individualized and The important thing is accordingly. need to race (which can that and the deter your training efforts) always honed in on the physiological optimum As you gain fitness and work through the training, the paces will change to match your fitness.
46. 46. Developing Specific Workouts For You Maybe you’re naturally a speed demon, having done lots of 5k or 10k training in the past. Or, perhaps you’re a newer runner and thus your aerobic system isn’t fully developed yet. Template plans don’t account for this at all. You get the same training as everyone else. Maybe it works for you, maybe it doesn’t.
47. 47. Developing Specific Workouts For You Our training system and coaches analyze and compare your past performances to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are and then targets those weaknesses specifically in training.
48. 48. Motivation and Support In 2011 our team of coaches surveyed 3,600 runners who were trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Of the 3,600 runners we surveyed, 92% ran into at least one training interruption during their training segment. Interestingly, 85% of the runners who hit their qualifying time had some established support system to help them adjust their training during this interruptions. (coach, club, online).
49. 49. Motivation and Support But what about those that missed their qualifying time? Only 28% of these runners had some support system in place to help them properly adjust their training. Training segments almost never go 100% according to plan. That’s when you need the guidance on how to adjust your training or sometimes you just need the support after a tough workout that things are ok.
50. 50. Motivation and Support Our coaches and our system adjust when you have to miss training. This means you always stay on track and are never in danger of coming back too soon or missing critical workouts. Plus, when you have a bad workout, there’s nothing quite as reassuring as hearing from someone who struggled with the same workout but then went on to race well. That confidence can make all the difference in the world.
51. 51. What is the RunnersConnect Training Training plan *Customized workouts that target your specific strengths and weaknesses *Specific, physiologically optimal training paces for all workouts *Automatic adjustments based on your progress
52. 52. What is the RunnersConnect Training Detailed instructions *Specific paces for each workout *Detailed instructions on how to run each workout *In-depth explanations on the purpose of each workout and why you’re doing them
53. 53. What is the RunnersConnect Training Coaching Support * Coaches provide feedback and support for every workout you log to our activity stream (You can choose to keep workouts private too) * Twice weekly coach chats allow you to ask in-depth questions and learn from other teammates.
54. 54. What is the RunnersConnect Training Make Training Easier and More Fun **Import your workout data from RunKeeper and Garmin Connect with runners training for the same race * Export your workout instructions directly to Garmin and all over the world or those iSmoothRun (target splits, times, distances) who have the same goal
55. 55. Reach Your Potential and Crush Your PRs With a custom training plan, expert coaching support, and a supportive community, you'll have everything you need to achieve your goals Just \$29/month http://runnersconnect.net/signup
56. 56. Questions? Just \$29/month http://runnersconnect.net/signup