Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Subject: RE: 5 Key Marathon Workouts
Fair enough question. In general I would recommend a runner build up his mileage first through a base period to a certain goal mileage range (understanding there would be weekly variations). Then in a sharpening phase lasting 8-10 weeks (on average) in which they would add in the type of workouts I described above. Then they would taper the last 2 weeks before their marathon.
This is a very rough outline as everything has to be tailored to the individual, his/her background, recent activity, strengths and weaknesses and what has worked for them in the past. Coaching (whether for yourself or others) is as much an art as it is a science.
In general I have found success in a gradual build-up from cycle to cycle. An example would be Runner A who does a marathon once every 5-6 months. Leading up to marathon #1 they reach a goal range of 70-80 miles per week. Then for marathon #2 we move our goal range up to 75-85 miles per week. For marathon #3 we go to 80-90 miles per week and so on. Eventually you hit a maximum effective mileage for an individual which will vary significantly for each individual based on dozens of different factors. After each completed cycle (base, sharpening, taper, race and recover) we sit-down and discuss goals for the next cycle, what we learned from the last and previous cycles and design our plan for the next cycle from there.
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