By DAN LYNE
In my last post, I discussed what you should be doing during your four weeks a typical 16 – 20 week marathon training plan. After you get a doctor’s clearance to train for a marathon, you should:
- Practice proper nutrition and hydration for peak performance and recovery
- Plan your workouts in advance to ensure you get in the habit of working out 5-6 days per week and are able to complete your training plan.
- Ensure you are outfitted with proper running gear. Avoid running in worn out shoes.
- Complete 2 conditioning workouts per week to build strong injury resistant muscles and tendons
- Regularly stretch warm muscles to speed recovery by increasing blood flow to the muscles.
- Learn how to run slow so you can vary the speed of your workouts
- Ensure you get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
With Missoula and many other Northwest marathons coming up in June and early July it’s not too late to register and even start training (provided you have a running base).
Over the next 6 weeks our goal is to gradually increase our weekly mileage, build strength by completing regular conditioning exercises and endurance with track, tempo and hill workouts. A typical training schedule for weeks 5-10 would be similar to the following plan.
With the exception of the following workout specifics, please refer to my last post for program/workout definitions.
Hill Workout Specifics: Start all Hill workouts with 10 minute warm-up (including some strides). Find a hill or sloped road 5 to 10% slope. Run up at approx. 10k pace for 4 minutes with with rapid stride rate and good knee lift. Keep a short stride with your feet directly underneath you. Recovery jog back down hill/slope. Complete 4 repetitions. Push yourself to go further up the hill with each repetition. Finish with 10 minute cool down and stretching
Conditioning Exercises: Over the next 5 weeks, I recommend 2 types of conditioning workouts to build strength and endurance and help prevent injury.
- Plyometrics – full details of an excellent 15 minute strength workout are included on my blog. You can search for other “runner specific” plyometric exercises online.
- Ladder Bodyweight SuperSets
This workout is tough, but it does an amazing job of building strength and endurance. Take 2 minutes between supersets for recovery if you find yourself very short of breath. You should be able to complete the entire workout in 15 minutes. For clarification, supersets are two different exercises that are performed back-to-back. The intent is to speed up your workout by cutting down rest time. Cardio bursts are short spurts of movement that elevate your heart rate in the middle of a workout. For this routine, you will complete two ladder supersets that follow a 10-1/1-10 pattern. On the first exercise, you will work your way ‘down’ the ladder, and on the second exercise you will go ‘up’ the ladder. If you have not done much conditioning work, then you can modify the sets into a 5-1/1-5 pattern and gradually increase over the next few weeks to 10-1/1-10.
10-1 Push-ups/1-10 Reverse Lunges (each leg)
Cardio burst: 30 seconds jumping jacks
Begin with 10 push-ups followed by 1 reverse lunge (each leg). Continue in this manner with 9 push-ups and 2 reverse lunges, followed by 8 push-ups and 3 reverse lunges until you’ve completed the ladder. Finish with a 30-second cardio burst before starting superset #2.
10-1 Plank Arm Raises (each arm)/1-10 Prisoner Squats
Cardio burst: 30 seconds jumping jacks
Begin with 10 plank arm raises by starting in a pushup position with your feet wide apart. Raise one arm straight out, close to your head with the thumb pointing toward the ceiling. Slowly lower your arm and repeat on other side. This counts as one repetition.
Try not to twist your body while raising your arms. The key to this exercise is slow and controlled movements so you can engage your abs and strengthen your core. This exercise can be completed on either your hands or elbows. After you complete 10 and then stand with your feet hip-width apart and your fingers placed on the back of your head, while pulling your elbows and shoulders back and finally sticking your chest out. The exercise is completed in 2 steps. First, lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Keep your torso upright and your core tight (think like you’re sitting in a chair). Pause while down and then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.
Stay tuned for additional marathon training tips. In my next post I’ll share 5 recovery secrets that will help you stay injury free and get you through what many people feel is the hardest part of marathon training, when the mileage really starts to increase during weeks 11-15.
Dan Lyne is a long distance runner from Camas, WA. With over 36 years of running experience, he specializes in coaching long distance runners and helping them achieve their half and full marathon goals through his website, middleagemarathoner.com.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is based on the author’s personal experience and thorough personal studies. The information provided here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor or physical therapist. All forms of exercise pose some inherent risks. The author advises readers to take full responsibility for their safety and know their limits. There is no guarantee that you will experience the same results & benefits as presented and you accept the risk that the results can differ by individual.