In training for a marathon like Venice there are two important moments that can make your race a success. The first when you build your base mileage, four months out from the race. The second is the last month BEFORE your taper, two or three weeks before the marathon. In either case that should be about now! This is the month where you’ll run your highest mileage, and if you're on the right training program, run your most intense workouts. When preparing for a marathon a lot of runners put emphasis on the long, slow runs. Those long runs can be beneficial but they can also push an athlete into over training and injury. My advice is to simply break down that mileage into more dynamic yet manageable distances, also known as interval training. Most runners think of interval training as “fast”, running 200 mt or 400 mt around a track. That’s fine for 5k or 10k races but for marathon training you need to lengthen the distance.
Betina Habuda, our runner from Paris preparing for Venicemarathon, has just started this second phase. I’ve interspersed her workouts with two types of types of intervals.
- 1000, 3000 and 4000 meters. The shorter the distance the more numerous the intervals. If this is your first time running intervals try 10 x 1000mt at a “fast” speed with a three minute recovery in between. Always begin your workout with a twenty minute slow run warm up.
- A ladder set. 1000mt + 2000mt + 3000mt + 2000mt + 1000mt - the shorter the distance, the faster the pace. If this is your first time you can recover with three minutes of stretching in between. If you have more experience recover with 1000 meters at marathon pace! If you want to add mileage either double the set or tack on mileage to your warm up.