RW’s Ultimate Marathon: Monthly Goal

A RUN OF 2:20 OR LONGER (Week 7)

Why? Long runs are the most important part of marathon training, and there is no way to fake them. Some people can build pure speed off a few short, sharp sessions, but you can’t do the same for endurance.

If you didn’t have time for the run: The most important run of the week is the long run, and if you don’t work at this aspect of your training, the marathon is going to be a real struggle. If you want to race or you have other commitments on Sundays, try to rearrange your week so you still complete the long run.

If you couldn’t run as fast as the schedules suggested: At this stage time on your feet is more important than the pace you’re running, but if by Week 10 you are still struggling to get near the suggested pace, you might have to ease back on your anticipated marathon target and aim for a more realistic time.

If you couldn’t complete the run: Possibly you went too fast early on in the run, or just suffered an off day. Next time start more slowly and worry less about your pace. Just concentrate on running for the specified time.

If you felt you could have run faster or you completed the suggested distance well within the time: If everything is going ‘too’ well, take care – try to hold yourself back for now to avoid the possibility of overtraining. Nonetheless, your new-found fitness might genuinely be better than you originally anticipated. At the moment, maintain the training schedule you are on, but be prepared for the possibility of a very pleasant surprise in your marathon.