Taking on a marathon is a challenge that will push your endurance to the maximum. For finishing the race while enjoying each kilometer of the run, endurance training should make up approximately 80% of your preparation.
What should be the starting point for an amateur runner who wants to take on a challenge like the 42 kilometers of the marathon? Ideally, it’s recommended to have run about 10,000 km cumulatively before beginning marathon preparation.
HOW DOES GOOD ENDURANCE TRAINING INFLUENCE PERFORMANCE?
The overall goal is to improve endurance on long-distance runs. This type of training results in a number of decisive improvements when it comes the time for the competition:
Improves cardiac efficiency.
Increases lung capacity.
Stimulates fat burning.
Increases muscular vascularization.
Raises the runner’s aerobic threshold.
Trains mental toughness.
- Allows for gradual improvement of race technique.
PREPARATION FOR ENDURANCE TRAINING
We should always base our endurance sessions on our heart rate data. A heart rate monitor is a fundamental tool in our daily lives, and will be with us in all of our training sessions.
Heart rate doesn’t just determine the zones at which we are working during each exercise. It also serves as a guide to measure a runner’s progress over the middle and long term.
It’s very important to alternate long-distance runs with other types of exercises. We can find the optimal pace at which we can run for a long distance by doing the following:
Training sessions at a faster pace, out of our comfort zone.
Running striders until we reach high heart rates.
- Specific speed training sessions: intervals, short circuits, long circuits…
And although it may seem contradictory, we have to be very careful with overtraining. Getting ready for a marathon, in contrast to what many people believe, does not mean to routinely run distances close to the full 42 km. In fact, it’s not necessary nor even beneficial. Typical long-distance training sessions can be around 15 or 20 km, distances which we will gradually work our way up to, but never in the first sessions.
We do recommend that you occasionally test yourself with a longer-distance training session, which is why we recommend you to do a 35 km run about 10 or 15 days before the race. This will help us to get a real idea of the kind of shape we are in as we approach race day, and also to build confidence. Believing in ourselves is always a key factor for success.
A good endurance training session is the best way to guarantee a good result. Download the training plan here for the tenth week of preparation and advance one week closer to your goal.