Jogging & Running/marathon running plan

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QUESTION: Hello Daniel,

I have about 20 weeks and I want to prepare for a marathon. I have been reading (on the net) as to how can I create my running program/plan. However, the more I have read, I think I am confused and I don't know how should I begin. Could you give me some direction/tips on how should I go about and create my running program? What are some of the considerations I need to make as I create my running plan? Is there any website you can recommend which helps one get started with a running program ?


Thanks

Anil

ANSWER: Hey Anil,

There are plenty of ways to increase your activity level for running for a marathon. However without doing a full assessment I would not be able to give you the most clear answer but I can give you some guidelines to follow so you can get a general idea and then tailor it to your own situation.

- Do a 5-10 minute warm up or dynamic warm up to move the muscles properly and prepare them for the activity that is about to occur.

- Do a proper cool down,when ending your run,decrease the intensity gradually. Do not just stop suddenly but start to slow down for several minutes at a consistent pace.

- Do a 5-10 minute stretching session on top of the previous step. Stretch the calves and soleus muscles after a long run. Do 1-2 sets on each side holding between 30-60 seconds( or until you feel the muscle that is stretched starting to relax).

-Increase duration, intensity or frequency gradually but not all at once. Figure out how long the marathon is and then create a proper plan depending how long it will take you to complete the run. If it takes 2 hours try to see how long it will take to complete. After figuring this out, try to plan intervals ( at a faster high intensity pace and then at a lower pace.). One way you can do this is plan for every 3 minutes of work, you will have 1 minute of rest which would be continuing to run at a slower pace and keep working that duration. First you should figure out how long can you run for (your work capacity) and then then train yourself in increments.

I hope this helps, use this as a general guideline for your own unique situation.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your response. It was certainly useful to get some tips as opposed to starting with no knowledge.
The last time I participated in a mini marathon, I saw some runners running with intermittent walks. Which means they would run for say xx minutes and then walk for say yy minutes. Is that some kind of a running strategy ? if yes, when and how is it used?
I have heard runners say that in order to run a marathon, one needs to run about 12 to 14 hours a week and do about 70 to 90 km a week. Is that a fairly accurate statement? if yes, for how many weeks should one have such schedule (12 to 14 hours run for about 70 to 90 km).

Again, thank you for your response.

Anil

Answer
Hey anil

figure out how much you can run within one day. Usually in interval runs you would do a pace at a higher intensity lets say 5 minutes higher and then 3 minutes recovery. You would keep switching back until the total time of the run is completed. This will make you last longer.  If you jeed more recovery time then you can play with the variables for example 5 minutes high and 4 minutes of recovery. When you start getting better thenyou would decrease the recovery. I cant give you accurate numbers because it really depends on your work capacity, if you can only run lets say 5 or 10km a day then you would need to build yourself slowly so your body can get to the 70-90km. Sonmy advice is, figure how much you can run on one session without over taxing your bodu. Have a high intensity day eith intervals and then the next day hace a light day at a lighter pace, lighter intensity. Have a frequency of 3 higher intensity days every other day anf the dayd that srent high make them recovery days, bike days etc.. try to keep track of your runs. My best advice is to invest in a heart rate monitor and figure out your heart rate, max heart rate so you can measure your progression. Your max heart rate is 220-age and then you would tske a % of that.
i hope this helps

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Daniel

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I can answer Strength training questions, Fitness, sports specific training, injury rehabilitation

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I train primarily athletes and regular people who need to get back in a fitness routine.

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NSCA, ACSM, CSEP, NASM

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You can find more of my material at www.fit2assist.com for further information on how to start building yourself, improve your body and live better.

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I am an Exercise Scientist & Strength and Conditioning coach with 6 specializations/credentials, - Strength Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, primarily dealing with athletic performance training. - Corrective Exercise specialist (CES) and Sports Performance Coach (PES) with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. - An Health fitness Specialist with the American College Of Sports Medicine - An Exercise Physiologist with CSEP. -TRX Group Qualified instructor.

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