Friday, February 3, 2017

Peak Training for Half and Full Marathon Programs

With my 5K and 10K running groups, I often have my small groups run the race route - or cover the 3.1 or 6.2 mile distance over a training run before race day.  As new runners, many are often nervous about running in a big event or being able to cover the distance.  With these shorter distances, I don’t feel that they are risk of over-training or being prone to injury if they stick to the training program - consisting of three runs per week, or every-other-day.

For new half marathoners, I have training peak at the recommended twelve miles and full marathoners at twenty miles.  These distances will adequately prepare these runners for the distance that they are about to cover.  Very few training programs will have new (or even experienced) runners complete distances beyond that.  If your goal is simply to finish the event or slightly even improve your finishing time, these training runs will more than prepare your body to run the distance.  I also encourage clients to embrace the taper, in the weeks leading up to the race.

The mental toughness that you have expressed while training for four of five months will mentally and emotionally prepare you to run that final mile of a half marathon or the final hour of a marathon.

I would rather have runners invest that extra energy in their one speedwork session each week.

If a runner is still concerned about completing the entire 13.1 or 26.2 mile distance before the event, I often encourage them to drive the course before their big day.  If the race is a local event, runners can also do several of their long training runs along portions of the course.  This will familiarize themselves with the terrain, opportunities for crowd support and scenery.

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