Marathon racing: You've done the marathon training, now it is time to rest up, allowing your muscles to be fresh for the marathon race. Marathon running is about spreading your capacity over the entire distance. Don't start out faster than your average pace to get something in reserve, or to get ahead of pace target. Run at goal pace from the beginning to preserve glycogen supplies. Your legs should feel fresh until at least half way...which many people consider to be the 20 mile point in a marathon.

Copyright David Holt 2,000 Any part, or all of this training material may be quoted or reviewed...provided you acknowledge the source...Running Dialogue and other books by David Holt, this web page or www.runningbook.com, and contact me at holtrun@sprynet.com to let me know the material is being used or reviewed.

Marathon training and racing, the basic running schedules
Marathon Training--intermediate to advanced
Marathon Training phase three...VO2 max intervals

Marathon Training, phase 4: Resting or Peaking for the Marathon race.

Harry Wilson is best known for coaching Steve Ovett to Olympic Gold and many World Records; but he has also coached sub 28 minute 10k runners and international caliber marathoners.

From Harry Wilson
* "Athletes usually need three attempts at a session before they can
progress further. The first is an introduction--the second time is
coming to terms--the third time is being in charge of the ses¬
sion...that’s the time to move forward."


You should not be trying for personal records in the last two weeks of marathon training.

* "During the last few sessions as you approach big races, you are
not trying to run faster than before--you are trying to match your
previous time...but in a more relaxed way. At the end of the session
you should feel, “Hey, if I’d wanted  to, I could run that session
faster.”

Resting for a marathon race is simple:

Remember to rest up by 20 percent in the penultimate week,
and 40 percent in the final week before the marathon, and
you will have done all the training which an international class
athlete does.

You rest in all your marathon training sessions, not just the long runs.

If your longest run was 22, do a 17 two weeks pre race, and a 12 to 14 the pre marathon weekend. Four miles of the last weekends run can be at marathon race pace.

Marathon speedwork

Are you used to five miles at threshold pace in your marathon training? Decrease to four miles the penultimate week, then to three in the last week.

VO2 max training

You are not looking for improvement; you're looking to maintain VO2 max with 400s at 5k pace instead of 600s. Use 300s at 2 mile pace instead of 400s. Do a mile less of reps. Both sessions will be easier than normal...though in a strange psychological twist, they often feel harder--probably because you were expecting it to feel easy! Run relaxed, work on form. If you are a second a lap slower than normal, it does not matter--you'll still be "floating" at 40 seconds per mile faster than marathon pace.

What about hills in the last two weeks of a marathon rest up

Don't do them. The body takes two weeks to give you any benefits. Retain minimal practice if you have a hilly course though: very minimal practice.

And what about those lovely long reps at two mile to 5k pace...if you got to them.

Marathon training phase three suggested the third session should be 15 days pre-marathon. If you are used to miles or 1,200s, you might consider half miles, or 600s about 8 days pre-race...provided you cruise through the reps well under control.

Last speed session--4 days pre race

If this represents less than fifty percent of your normal marathon training session, do two times one mile at half marathon speed, or 6 x 400 at 10k pace. Think of this as a respectable stride type effort.

Then a rest day; an easy run with a couple of strides, and a rest day. About four miles in three days--and you're ready to race.


Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at Amazon.com

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)


10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing: The Running Pyramid, at Barnesandnoble.com
David Holt's Homepage
Speed sessions for 10K and Marathon racing
Marathon training and racing, the basic running schedules
Marathon Training--intermediate to advanced
Half marathon training 3rd element...VO2 max and peaking
Sarcomere--muscle contraction unit
Running Nutrition and Diet
10k running & racing: part 5...peaking with long reps

with connections to 4 other 10k training pages.


5k training and racing...the first of five pages for the 5k runner

E-MAIL ORDER TO DAVID HOLT
Running Dialogue">Running Dialogue at barnesandnoble.com
Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at Amazon.com

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)


David Holt's second running book: 10K & 5K Running, Training and Racing.
Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at Amazon.com
10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing: The Running Pyramid, at Barnesandnoble.com
Art Liberman's Marathon Running Links...State of the art Marathon Training
Links to other running pages