Targeting a spring race? Steve Smythe is here to answer your questions!
Morning all, and happy Friday!ASICS Target 26.2 coach Steve Smythe will be online between 1pm and 2pm today to answer queries about marathon (and half-marathon) training.
Steve has run more than 60 marathons, holds a PB of 2:29, and has also won a British marathon title in his age group. Whether you're targeting a spring marathon, half-marathon or just planning to make the leap, pop your questions right here on this thread.
We're opening the discussion now so Steve will be able to get stuck in straight away at 1pm and get through all your questions in time.
Now, that's enough from me - time to get posting!
fuelling the body:
1. How should I hydrate before long runs + 12 miles?
2. What should I eat before (tend to do long runs on sundays 9.30am)?
Having previously ran marathon's my training was as expected running based. This year I am taking part in some cycle races, Etape Caledonia for example, but still want to run at least 1 marathon.
What would you suggest would be the best cycle to run ratio to get me around a marathon?
Would it be to cut back on some runs but keep a long run or to ditch the long runs and keep up the others?
I am running my 2nd marathon but 1st London marathon in April and want to know what's best thing to do to improve my pace as I'd like to get a PB?
at what point in your training programme should you fix what is going to be goal marathon pace? My current HM PB (1:36:27 Dec 11) would suggest a marathon goal of 3:25 is do-able (current marathon PB is 3:39 Oct 11), but my LSRs are currently around 8:15-8:25 pace which suggests I might be capable of something closer to a 3:15 (and a London GFA).
How important do you feel that strength training is for marathon running? I was recently talking to a friend of mine (level 3 athletic coach) and I asked him what would shave minutes off my time. (I'm already an ideal racing weight and my CV system is good)
He told me to get in the gym.
Do you agree? If you had one tip to give experienced marathon runners the edge, what would it be?
What's the easiest way to maintain a pace during a long marathon? Should I even try?
I'm also contemplating doing the Blackpool Half on 11th March (7 weeks on Sunday) as my first 'proper' race to assess where I'm up to with my training and fitness.
Thanks for your advice in advance. looking forward to the Q&A session later...
I'm running a marathon a month in 2012 for Help for Heroes (2 half marathons a month in the first 6 months and then a marathon a month for the remaining 6 months).
If you have any tips on my training structure I would really appreciate it.
-At the moment I complete a half mara in 2hrs and my goal is to get it down to under 2 hrs. But should I be focusing on speed as opposed to endurance at the moment? I don't want to burn out too quickly as I have so many races to run but I want to be proud of my times and improve on them each time.
-I'm doing x2 training runs at 6 miles+ per week and one longer 10 mile + training run at the weekend- is this a good amount?Should I be doing more?
Thanks very much!
VLM training is going well for me so far. I am planning to enter a half marathon in March. My PB is 1.35 and I think this could come under attack this year. Is there any harm in pushing for a PB in this race or should I run it trying to maintain marathon pace, for a bit of practice?
Oh and the LSR pace in the RW 3.30 Schedule feels soooooo slow! Would I benefit from increasing it?
Dan:1. I prefer going up a few miles each week with occasional
easy week ie 15, 17, 19, race/15, 21
2. most feel it should depend on your speed and your
training miles but a run of 21-23 miles is long enough for
most people but it should not be too fast.
3. There isn't a rule and it's down to personal preference,
opportunity and fitness but 3 runs of 21-23 would be what I
would ideally aim for.
4. Three to four weeks for the last longest run. some
people like to do a half-marathon race three weeks before
so the longest run goes 4 weeks before and the last 3 weeks
should be tapering so I like to run around 15-18 2 wee4ks
dprovanFirstly important to be well hydrated evening before run and not just on day and then drink a reasonable amount pre run. I usually feel happier with half a litre or so but some like more and the weather, the speed you are running at and the time you will be out are all determining factors. It's a sweeping obvious non scientific statement but the key is to be sensible. Drink enough so you don't get thirsty or badly dehydrated but not that much that you have to keep stopping to go to the toilet or feel bloated. Drinking too much is also as dangerous as not drinking enough.
re eating - I personally like to have had carbs the night before and then a small breakfast a hour or so before (some need 2 hours to digest) and then maybe some sort of energy drink or bar prerun. On longer runs I would top energy levels up with gels or blocks
KittenkatGym training and specifically core strength can undoubtedly help, especially if you have weaknesses in that area. In the big scheme of marathoning, I don't think it's the most important thing (ie compared to endurance, consistency of training, pacing, hydration etc) but it could be the final part of the jigsaw and the part that will stop you getting injured.
To me the most important thing to have that edge is speed. 26 miles is a long way and the long run is the most important session but how fast you ultimately run in the marathon is determined by your speed. Paula Radcliffe has run the marathon significantly faster than any other woman partially because she trained harder but also because she has the top 10k speed of any serious marathoner. ie she wouldn't have run 2:15 had she not been capable of running 30 minutes for 10k. Likewise the men who run 2:03-2:05 for the marathon are all capable of running well inside 28 for 10k.This doesn't mean that all runners who run inside 28 for 10k can run 2:03 but for the average person two runners who do the same training and length of long runs, the one who will feel most comfortable and almost certainly run the quicker marathon is the one who has the most speed. so important some running every week is dedicated to running quicker than marathon pace.
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