Elite Full Marathon Training Schedule

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Last modified on Friday, 24 August 2012 21:12

CREATING A MARATHON TRAINING SCHEDULE

 

Running a marathon is an extremely rigorous display of human endurance. No one can just jump right into a marathon, it takes months of training and preparation, creating a marathon training schedule, both mentally and physically with running routines to reach the coveted 26.2 miles. The problem is, the training a lot of people do actually ends up causing more problems than good. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel though, just because you’ve trained wrong before doesn’t mean you can’t change that and see results.

 

Mental Readiness

 

Before even starting any sort of training for a marathon, you’ve got to mentally prepare yourself for all the things that come along with partaking in a physically demanding event like a marathon. You have to know and accept the fact that for the next few months, the marathon will be top priority, everything you do, think, or talk about will be geared towards the marathon. Mentally preparing yourself BEFORE a marathon will also help with everything from training and pushing yourself to make goals, to pushing through fatigue and blasting through the dreaded “wall”.

 

Physical Factors

 

There are a number of factors one’s ability to do well let alone complete a marathon. While most people believe that by running constantly you can train properly for a marathon, it's going to be a combination of different running routines. While it's true that genetics plays a big part in one's ability to perform well, someone who isn't as genetically gifted can still train well enough to be successful at high levels. Some of the factors involved that are able to be runningstridetrained include:

-   lactate threshold

-   VO­­­­2max

-   running efficiency

-   recovery/rest

 

All these factors can be improved through multiple array of training techniques, depending on the marathon training schedule that you go on or how you map a run. Other factors such as the proportion of fast twitch to slow twitch muscle fibers are determined genetically that can be somewhat altered to adapt, with training, to accommodate for the upcoming event. The key to improving these areas is not allowing your body to compensate for weaknesses that improper training can create.

 

Fast vs. Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers

 

The body is comprised of both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. Your fast twitch muscle fibers are responsible for explosive movements that generate force and relax after a short period, while the slow twitch fibers generate force, but take a longer time to relax. The proportion of slow to fast twitch muscle fibers you have in your body is determined genetically, so those individuals with a larger percentage have an advantage when training for marathons. Now, while the 2 different muscle types have specific characteristics, proper training allows fast twitch muscle fibers to maintain similar properties to slow twitch muscle fibers. Marathon training programs involve muscle contractions with minimal force but high volume. The increases in the muscle fiber types’ aerobic potential are fairly similar, the only difference being that slow twitch muscle fibers start with a higher aerobic capacity. Your fast twitch muscle fibers become more fatigue resistant and become more efficient at producing energy aerobically. There is also an increase in the number of capillaries allowing for more efficient oxygen distribution to the muscle.

 

Lactate Threshold

 

A common misconception about lactate in the body is that it is associated with the production of lactic acid and that it is the cause of muscular fatigue. The truth is muscular fatigue that experience during exercise or activity usually correlates with high concentrations of lactate, it is not the cause of the muscular fatigue. The blood’s lactate concentration usually maintains steady levels to the production and clearing of lactate. The lactate threshold is the point at which increased exercise intensity causes a production of lactate faster than the body is able to clear it. Complete fatigue is thought to occur anywhere from 10 to 50 times an individual’s normal range. These levels appear to return back to normal levels around 1 hour after exercise or activity and have been shown to clear more with light activity immediately following activity (ie. why you never see elite runner just lay down after a race, they walk around a bit after). An important thing to note, is that resistance training has similar adaptations in lactate response as aerobic endurance training. And while most people will train for marathons by running as much as possible, resistance training is going to a vital part of training for running at a steady, consistent pace and preserving the muscles not being used from being broken down to use for energy.

 

VO2Max

 

VO2max is simply the maximal amount of oxygen that is consumed by the all the body’s tissues. Depending on the size of the muscle, it’s efficiency, and the intensity an individual is working at, the demand for oxygen by the muscles increases. By increasing muscle efficiency through acute activity, the amount of oxygen that muscles are able to utilize increases. Finding vo2max is more involved than a simple breathing test, but can be trained to adapt and increase through a combination of anaerobic and aerobic activities.

 

Running Efficiency

 

Depending on how much oxygen your body will consume at a certain pace or how fast you are able to go with a certain amount of oxygen is going to separate marathoners from weekend warrior to elite status. Running efficiently will allow elite athletes to remain under their lactate threshold for a longer period of time and the body will be able to consume more oxygen to supply to the muscles and organs. Your running efficiency is affected by a number of factors, namely:

-   running mechanics/your biomechanics

-   your level of training (ie. practice makes perfect)

-   adaptations made in your muscle fibers to become more fatigue resistant

The more activity/exercise you accomplish, the better running efficiency becomes (and that doesn’t mean ONLY running).

 

Recovery/Rest

 

People underestimate the power of rest, especially athletes. But the rest and recovery time you take is where your body will make all the adaptations it needs to with the kind of training you are doing. The amount of rest an individual’s body needs to going to be determined by the activity, intensity, and goal of the activity. For resistance training, rest period between the sets and exercises allows for recovery of depleted energy during the exercise and build muscle endurance by utilizing the muscle to fatigue, giving it rest, then bringing it to fatigue again forcing the muscle to adapt. By utilizing resistance training to train for a marathon, it will cause the preservation of necessary muscles and positively affects one’s aerobic capacity and abilities positively. The recovery phase of training is extremely important for being successful in running a marathon, without rest/recovery, your body goes into overtraining and your ability to perform will decrease. Post exercise static stretching and ice are going to be your best friend. They are going to aid in recovery and help prevent or reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

 

Energy and Nutrition

 

While none of the energy systems are solely responsible for providing energy for any one activity, the exercise intensity and duration determine which energy system is more predominant in providing energy. The oxidative or aerobic energy system takes precedence during activities or exercises that are low intensity, long endurance. When training ones aerobic system, carbohydrates and fats are used as a source of energy in collaboration with the glycogen stores of the body. Also, staying hydrated is going to play a huge role before, during, and after the marathon. Hydration not only includes intaking water, but some sort of electrolyte replenishment (ie. Gatorade, powerade). When you sweat, sodium/electrolytes are lost which can cause imbalances, replenishing them well help keep your body in a homeostatic state.

 

The body has stores of glycogen in both the body’s muscle and liver. With a combination of both anaerobic training and aerobic endurance training, resting muscle glycogen stores increase. The glycogen stores found in the liver contribute more significantly to low intensity, increased duration exercises. Muscle glycogen replenishment is related to an individual’s carbohydrate intake post exercise.

 

While the physical training is a huge part of preparing for a marathon, the diet is going to be a huge part of energy and recovery to maintain the gains that you make through training, as it is in all facets of training. Your proportion of all the macronutrients should reflect your activity. Consuming enough protein is a given to preserve muscle that you gain and for recovery throughout your entire body. The other two macronutrients, carbohydrates and fats, are going to be used for replenishment, but mainly as sources of energy to continue pushing through during training and the actual marathon itself.

 

Training These Factors

 

While it is important to train and prepare for the actual running involved for the marathon, running is very taxing on the body so much of the training is going to involve injury prevention methods and techniques. Combining anaerobic training (ie. resistance training and high intensity interval training) with traditional aerobic endurance training (not necessarily running), all these factors will show positive effects through the following program. Now unless you have fairly high tech gear, finding out things like your VO2max, your slow to fast twitch muscle fiber proportion, or how much oxygen your muscles actually utilize, you are really going to need to listen to your body and take the appropriate measures/push yourself enough to train BOTH smart and hard.

 

 

 

Advanced Marathon Training Program:

 

The following program incorporates techniques to improve the physical factors involved in running a marathon successfully training both anaerobic and aerobic pathways to gain benefits from both types of training, lasting 18 weeks.

 

 

DAY

Week

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

(recovery)

Monday

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1a+ 30 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1b + 30 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1c + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1a + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1b + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1c + 45 minutes elliptical training

Tuesday

Cycling (8 mi) or short run (3 mi.)

Cycling (10 mi.) or short run (4 mi.)

Cycling (8 mi.) or short run (3 mi.)

Cycling (10 mi.) or short run (4 mi.)

Cycling (12 mi.) or short run (5 mi.)

Cycling (10 mi.) or short run (4 mi.)

Wednesday

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1b + 30 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1c + 30 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1a + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1b + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1c + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1a + 45 minutes elliptical training

Thursday

Cycling (10 mi.) or medium run (5 mi.)

Cycling (12 mi.) or medium run (7 mi.)

Cycling (10 mi.) or medium run (5 mi.)

Cycling (12 mi.) or medium run (7 mi.)

Cycling (14 mi.) or medium run (9 mi.)

Cycling (12 mi.) or medium run (7 mi.)

Friday

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1c + 30 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1a + 30 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1b + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1c + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1a + 45 minutes elliptical training

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 1b + 45 minutes elliptical training

Saturday

Dynamic warm up + Cycling (15 mi.) or long run (8 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Cycling (17 mi.) or long run (10 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Cycling (15 mi.) or long run (8 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Cycling (17 mi.) or long run (10 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Cycling (20 mi.) or long run (12 mi.)

 

Rest

Sunday

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

 

 

 

 

 

Cross training program 1a

Exercise

Set x # repetitions

Power cleans

5 x 5

Dead lifts

8 x 3

Incline chest press

5 x 5

Lat pull downs (with shoulder blade depression)

5 x 5

Walking lunges

5 x 5 ea leg

Pike with ball rollout

3 x 10

Suitcase carries

5 x 15” ea side

Kettlebell swings

Tabata method

Sprints

5 x 30”

 

Cross training program 1b

Exercise

Set x # repetitions

                  Snatches       

5 x 5

Front squats

5 x 5

Military press

5 x 5

Incline rows

5 x 5

Bird dogs

3 x 10

Side planks

3 x 30” ea side

Farmers Walks

Tabata method

Aerobic step series

5 x 30”

Battle ropes series

5 x 30”

 

 

Cross training program 1c

Exercise

Set x # repetitions

                 Split jerk    

5 x 5

Cable column press/flyes

5 x 5

Bat wings/reverse flyes

5 x 5

Step ups

5 x 5

Loaded hip thrusts

5 x 5

Jack knife with ball walkout

3 x 10

planks

Tabata method

Ladder drill series

5 x 30”

sprints

5 x 30”

 

For the first phase of training, we focus on building muscles (especially weak ones not normally directly affecting marathon running) and building aerobic capacity with minimal impact as a precaution for injury prevention. A choice of cycling is given on certain days because many people start training soon after completing a race or some other form of extremely rigorous activity from which their bodies need rest and recovery so as to not get injured from over use by taking away the high impact but still training the traditional aerobic pathway.

 

 

DAY

Week

 

7

8

9

10

11

12

(recovery)

Monday

Dynamic warm up + Short run (5 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (6 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (5 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (6 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (7 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (6 mi.)

Tuesday

Dynamic warm up + medium run (10 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (12 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (10 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (12 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (14 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (12 mi.)

Wednesday

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Thursday

Dynamic warm up + short run (4 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (5 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (4 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (5 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (6 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (5 mi.)

Friday

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Saturday

Dynamic warm up + Long run (12 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Long run (15 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Long run (12 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Long run (15 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Long run (18 mi.)

 

Rest

Sunday

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross training program 2a

Exercise

Set x # repetitions

                 Power clean    

5 x 5

Push up series

3 x 10

Pull ups/lat pull downs with shoulder blade depression

5 x 5/

3 x 15

Goblet squats

3 x 15

Walking lunges

3 x 15

Bird dogs

3 x 15

Jack knife with ball walkout

3 x 15

planks

Tabata method

Suitcase carries

5 x 30”

 

 

 

Cross training program 2a

Exercise

Set x # repetitions

                 Split jerk    

5 x 5

Dead lifts

5 x 5

Push up series

3 x 15

Bat wings into row

3 x 5

Step ups

3 x 15

Mini squats

3 x 30”

Glut/lumbar extension to neutral

3 x 10

Pike with a ball rollout

3 x 15

Farmers walks

Tabata method

Side planks

3 x 30”

 

 

 

 

DAY

Week

 

13

14

15

16

(recovery)

17

Race week

Monday

Dynamic warm up + Short run (7 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (8 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (9 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (8 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (7 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Short run (6 mi.)

Tuesday

Dynamic warm up + medium run (12 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (14 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (16 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (14 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (12 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + medium run (12 mi.)

Wednesday

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Thursday

Dynamic warm up + short run (4 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (5 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (6 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (5 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (4 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + short run (5 mi.)

Friday

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2a + rest

Dynamic warm up + Cross training program 2b + rest

 

 

rest

Saturday

Dynamic warm up + Long run (15 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Long run (18 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Long run (20 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Long run (18 mi.)

Dynamic warm up + Long run (12 mi.)

 

Goal Marathon

Sunday

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

Rest

 

 

marathon.

One question that is asked a lot is why there is so much lifting involved with training for an event that is all running. The answer is the fact that although you ARE running, other muscles (ie. your core and back for posture) help with thing such as your ability to run efficiently by keeping good body mechanics. So by preserving the muscle and training them to become more fatigue resistant, you are able to sustain normal functions without compensation and still be successful as a runner.

 

The process of training for a marathon is very trying and taxing on the body. Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions and listening to your body, while you want to push yourself, you don’t want to hamper yourself with injuries putting you out longer, preventing you from successfully completing a marathon. Also, preparing mentally as well as physically is going to be vital to your marathon success, believing that you can complete the training and the marathon is going to be half the battle, master your self and you master the marathon.

 

Read 1358 times Last modified on Friday, 24 August 2012 21:12
Marathon Expert

Marathon, Triathlon, Track & Field, Cycling

Website: ProAthlete360.com