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How far or long should I make my training runs when training for a marathon

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  • How far or long should I make my training runs when training for a marathon

    I haven't started training yet, I am currently just starting to rebuild my base, but I am starting to read the articles about marathon training, and can't seem to find anything about how far or long to make my training runs.

    I used to run marathons, and I would like to try and qualify for Boston again. When I was serious about my training, my training schedule would range from 50 to 80 miles per week, from the start of the cycle to race day. I don't want to go there again.

    So after reading Mark's article I will be running 4 - 5 times a week. 2 - 3 aerobic threshold runs, 1 interval, 1 race pace. What I would like to know from other primal marathoners is where do you draw the line? and is that line at distance or time?
    Goals:

    Lose weight/fat!
    Get fit!
    Regain my health and energy!
    Run a marathon! (again)

  • #2
    Since no one's answered, I'll throw my .02 in. I prefer to focus on time. I do ultras in a kayak instead of marathons, so my training might not transfer over all the way. Given that, I do one day of intervals, two days of (heavy) weight training, and one long session per week. I try to make my long sessions at least half the time it will take me to complete the event (for the shorter ones). Granted, my shorter races are in the 9 hour range. I'll go about 5 hours on my long day for those. For the big one at the end of the season (the record is over 36 hours @ 340 miles), I really just let the other races be my 'training'.

    Maybe the equivalent would be to train for and run a few half-marathons and work your way up?

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    • #3
      Everyone deffninitely will have their own opinion on this, but I think it is smarter to go off of time rather than distance. Most people do not need to run as long as they think when training for a marathon (remember you get more fit during recovery, not during the workout). Also don't forget to keep up with the core work! Im my opinion core work is essential to running marathons free of injury. I would say that anything over 2hrs is somewhat overkill for a long session, but it really depends on the person. Just make sure you are recovering well and not digging yourself a hole by pounding the pavement for too long of time. Sorry for the vague response but everyone responds to training very differently. I coach a number of runners and the fastest ones are the ones that know their body and call it a day when they start to feel overly fatigued, even if that means cutting the run short.
      http://nickburgraff.com/

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      • #4
        I trained for my half marathon with Team in Training. I've uploaded our old calendar which shows half (marked with an H) and full (marked with an F) distances during our training program.

        http://imageshack.us/a/img10/6093/da...sschedule3.jpg
        http://imageshack.us/a/img600/9283/d...sschedule4.jpg
        http://imageshack.us/a/img195/709/da...sschedule5.jpg
        http://imageshack.us/a/img19/1858/da...sschedule6.jpg
        http://imageshack.us/a/img545/9349/d...sschedule7.jpg
        http://imageshack.us/a/img543/4246/d...sschedule8.jpg

        It also shows cross-training days and rest days. I think they may show hill work, too.

        As you can see, some runs were time-based while others were distance-based. I preferred the time-based ones because we would work on negative splits (for a 20 minute run, you run for 12 minutes, then turn around and do that same distance back but in 8 minutes). I was awful at those, but it was a great challenge!

        I hope this helps!
        Last edited by MissJecka; 02-20-2013, 10:01 AM.
        >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
        >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

        >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
        >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

        Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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        • #5
          when I ran full marathons I mostly followed Higdon-he isn't as overkill as some plans.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks everyone for the imput.

            I'm sort of thinking that I will start first by following the Primal Fitness plan. 3 - 4 easy, move around sessions, where I will keep my heart rate below 75%, 2 strength days, 1 sprint day and when I'm ready to truly start training, about 18 weeks out, I will convert one of my easy move around days to a marathon pace run, building by 1 mile a week, and run it, when I feel good, every 7 - 10 days. I got the MP from Mark's notes.
            Goals:

            Lose weight/fat!
            Get fit!
            Regain my health and energy!
            Run a marathon! (again)

            Comment


            • #7
              Pretty much what I did last year, though I fell and hurt my ankle so couldn't carry on. I ran once a week for distance, added a mile once I could do the previous distance in a 10 min mile or less and I was up to 10 miles before I got hurt. Worked well for me, I imagine it would work as well if you had a faster target, I'm not a natural runner though, so 10 min miles is a reasonable pace for me.
              You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TrackMom View Post
                So after reading Mark's article I will be running 4 - 5 times a week. 2 - 3 aerobic threshold runs, 1 interval, 1 race pace. What I would like to know from other primal marathoners is where do you draw the line? and is that line at distance or time?
                Personally, I agree with those emphasizing time over distance, but my .02, based on VERY limited experience, is that running 4-5 times per week is way too much. I missed any article of Marks where this was suggested

                Everyone is different, and there are many good ways to get ready, but I just finished a 50k (slower than I hoped, but the trail was much tougher than I expected) after training for 6 weeks with only six runs (1.5 hrs tun/hike, 2 hrs run, 2.5 hrs run, 3 hrs run, 3.5 hrs run, 2.5 hrs jog). Total training miles for entire period < 80, 15 of those being sprints and 1k runs in HIT gym workouts.

                Most of the folks I talked to were long running closer 65 miles per week, than 65 miles for a full training cycle and they obviusly did fine and enjoyed the 31 miles as well (those that didn't get injured during their runs :-) )

                I stuck to
                Monday: Strength (heavy weights, slightly biased to legs and core, but also upper body)
                Tuesday: Yoga
                Wednesday: Sub 45m Crossfit style metcon
                Thursday: Long gym workout that included some running (200m sprints - 1K fast runs). Heart rate at 70%+ for around 2 hrs
                Friday: Complete Rest
                Saturday: Timed long run w full race gear, carrying hydration and nutrition
                Sunday: Stretch, walk, rest

                It was all I could make time for and worked well for me, but I am not a runner and wasn't trying to win anything or qualify for anything bigger than a 50k finish. If I'd run more, I probably would have gotten hurt.

                Good luck! (remember a "base" is built on conditioning, not necessarily miles)

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                • #9
                  Run every other day. That alternates 3 or 4 runs a week. Throw in a longer run every 2 weeks - add a mile each longer run. Don't ever need to go beyond 20 miles for your longer runs. Your daily (non-longer) runs only whatever distance you feel comfortable with. For me, never more than 5-6 miles. If you want to push it - increase your pace on the daily runs.

                  You have to slowly increase the strength of your connective tissues with the longer runs. Truth is, if you have the cardio for 15 miles - you can easily gut-out the remainder for a marathon. The connective tissues are the weaker point.

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