Marathon Training: Week 15

How did you go with your intervals on Monday and Thursday?

Increasing the number of intervals to 3 this week, you’ll likely find the second interval the easiest. The aim is to set your pace to be the same over all intervals. In following weeks as we increase the number of intervals to 6 or more, you’ll likely find the last one or two to be a bit harder as you fatigue. As you fatigue in the latter intervals, it’s a great chance for you to make sure you’re holding good technique and form for efficient running.


To give yourself a good quality and measurable session, it’s a good idea to set a repeatable section of hill for your intervals. Hard on the way up, and easy jogging back to the start point for recovery. This also enables you to gauge your pace to be as consistent as possible, especially on the later intervals when you’re starting to fatigue.


For example, start at a gate, finish at a tree or track junction or driveway. I’d recommend a trail, paddock or gravel road, avoiding roads or hard surfaces if possible, to stay injury free.

Three minutes is important to stimulate the anaerobic threshold mechanism we’re after for marathon running, but I’d make it just a bit more than 3 minutes, say 3 and a half minutes when you’re initially setting your course this week to allow for future weeks becoming a bit quicker as you get fitter, (and also to allow for the few seconds it takes to get your heart rate up).


Remember to always do a good 10 minute warm-up first. It’s important to do a good 10 minutes, easy warm-down after the session to help your lymph and circulatory system eliminate excess lactate and resupply your cells that have done all of that lovely hard training work!


Recovery is as important as training

Speaking of recovery; stretching, massage and good nutrition all accelerate recovery. Remember that the hard effort of sessions is only half of the training equation. The recovery is just as important.


For the next 8 weeks, I’d recommend you treat yourself to a sports recovery massage once a week. Ideally after the session you find hardest.


Recovery nutrition

Have some sort of protein/carbo snack as soon after your session as possible (e.g. an egg or meat sandwich and a drink). Nutrients are absorbed around 6 times quicker if consumed in the 15 minutes after a work-out compared with 2 hours later.


Protein is good at helping build muscle stronger. Straight after your session is good, and the next meal. Fish, eggs, lean meat, dairy and beans are all good sources of protein, and I advise to mix it up a bit, eating from all sources.


To help your metabolism to resupply energy to the cells, have some carbohydrate too. If you’re busy and on the go, you can pre-prepare an egg, beef or tuna sandwich.


Make sure you’re drinking a little extra water to help your circulation flush out waste products. Your pee should be nearly clear in colour, and definitely not dark.


I’ll discuss general nutrition for athletes next week.


Week fifteen training schedule:

This week we’re increasing the number of intervals out to 3 and the long, easy endurance session on Saturday out to 3 hours. We’re getting really close to showing your body the full time duration now.

Thursday 25th Sept

Warm-up jog; 15 minutes

Intervals x 3 of the following.

3 mins hard; pace, unable to converse. Ideally up a hill

3 mins easy jog or walk, recovery; could be back down the hill to start again.

Warm-down jog; 15 minutes


Friday 26th Sept

How did you go with your intervals on Monday and Thursday?

Increasing the number of intervals to 3 this week, you’ll likely find the second interval the easiest. The aim is to set your pace to be the same over all intervals. In following weeks as we increase the number of intervals to 6 or more, you’ll likely find the last one or two to be a bit harder as you fatigue. As you fatigue in the latter intervals, it’s a great chance for you to make sure you’re holding good technique and form for efficient running.


To give yourself a good quality and measurable session, it’s a good idea to set a repeatable section of hill for your intervals. Hard on the way up, and easy jogging back to the start point for recovery. This also enables you to gauge your pace to be as consistent as possible, especially on the later intervals when you’re starting to fatigue.


For example, start at a gate, finish at a tree or track junction or driveway. I’d recommend a trail, paddock or gravel road, avoiding roads or hard surfaces if possible, to stay injury free.


Three minutes is important to stimulate the anaerobic threshold mechanism we’re after for marathon running, but I’d make it just a bit more than 3 minutes, say 3 and a half minutes when you’re initially setting your course this week to allow for future weeks becoming a bit quicker as you get fitter, (and also to allow for the few seconds it takes to get your heart rate up).


Remember to always do a good 10 minute warm-up first. It’s important to do a good 10 minutes, easy warm-down after the session to help your lymph and circulatory system eliminate excess lactate and resupply your cells that have done all of that lovely hard training work!


Recovery is as important as training

Speaking of recovery; stretching, massage and good nutrition all accelerate recovery. Remember that the hard effort of sessions is only half of the training equation. The recovery is just as important.


For the next 8 weeks, I’d recommend you treat yourself to a sports recovery massage once a week. Ideally after the session you find hardest.


Recovery nutrition

Have some sort of protein/carbo snack as soon after your session as possible (e.g. an egg or meat sandwich and a drink). Nutrients are absorbed around 6 times quicker if consumed in the 15 minutes after a work-out compared with 2 hours later.


Protein is good at helping build muscle stronger. Straight after your session is good, and the next meal. Fish, eggs, lean meat, dairy and beans are all good sources of protein, and I advise to mix it up a bit, eating from all sources.


To help your metabolism to resupply energy to the cells, have some carbohydrate too. If you’re busy and on the go, you can pre-prepare an egg, beef or tuna sandwich.


Make sure you’re drinking a little extra water to help your circulation flush out waste products. Your pee should be nearly clear in colour, and definitely not dark.


I’ll discuss general nutrition for athletes next week.


Week fifteen training schedule:

This week we’re increasing the number of intervals out to 3 and the long, easy endurance session on Saturday out to 3 hours. We’re getting really close to showing your body the full time duration now.

Thursday 25 Sept

Warm-up jog; 15 minutes

Intervals x 3 of the following.

3 mins hard; pace, unable to converse. Ideally up a hill

3 mins easy jog or walk, recovery; could be back down the hill to start again.

Warm-down jog; 15 minutes


Friday 26th Sept

Well earned rest day (optional swim or bike or yoga or gym)


Saturday 27th Sept

3 hrs; long, easy endurance run /jog.

Start at 8 am.

Eat breakfast 2 hours prior.

Pace yourself to jog or run the entire time, (no walking) to show yourself the discipline for race day.

Soft trails such as dirt, gravel, grass etc to avoid injury.

Stretch straight after, and ideally get a massage to aid recovery.


Sunday 28th Sept

Easy walk or hike, eg with friends or family. 60 to 90 mins. Make it scenic and fun.

Important to make it easy, to help recovery from yesterday’s long session.


Monday 29th Sept

Warm-up jog; 15 minutes

Intervals x 3 of the following.

3 mins hard; pace, unable to converse. Ideally up a hill

3 mins easy jog or walk, recovery; could be back down the hill to start again.

Warm-down jog; 15 minutes


Tuesday 30th Sept

Warm-up 10 mins brisk walk or easy jog.

Time Trial #12. Aim to beat last week’s time. Do this in the morning if possible.

Warm-down 10 mins walking. Record your time.


Wednesday 1st Oct

Steve’s Strength and conditioning clinic:

5:30pm sharp! til 6:30 pm Meet 5:25pm at the Tennis courts on the grassy banks Lake Avenue, Frankton, Queenstown.

Alternative: 60 mins, easy pace jogging with fartlek = speed play.. with 4 x 5 mins effort (fast run) in the middle. Undulating small hills.

Well earned rest day (optional swim or bike or yoga or gym)


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