This comes from one of my contributors, Greg, my endurance training expert. You can read his blurb on my about page. As you may know my specialty is strength and crossfit, but not so much endurance. Greg keeps me on my toes and reminds me that I need to be well-rounded. I had a conversation about how to prep for different race distances such as 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, and a Marathon and here is what he told me.
Less is More
Greg believes that, even when training for a marathon, a ton of mileage is not the key to success. He thinks it is the quality of your training program not the quantity. Logging a bunch of “junk miles” just because you “have to” isn’t going to get you anywhere, except for maybe injured.
Greg has trained for multiple marathons and he has tried the ultra mileage method and he has tried the less is more method. Training 3 times a week with a combination long distances and speed workouts seems to have worked best for him.
Speed = Distance
Greg says, he has seen similar training outlines but their speed days are 10×400 and that’s it. He says why not add some longer sprints in their too, increase your overall intensity, but decrease your workout tempo during the week.
A marathon is a long race. After you get the general conditioning it will come down to mental toughness, especially for a competitive time. This workout prepares you mentally as well as physically.
Run: 2 mile warm-up pace
- Rest 30 secs. to 1 min between sprints
- Only once per week
- Not feeling 100%? Skip or shorten
How will you train?
I have done this workout with him on more than one occasion and it is tough. If you do not run at all you may want to work up to it. However, I am not a runner and completed the workout, but nowhere as fast as Greg did. This workout is not the only thing you should be doing for your training program. You will need to add those long runs too to prepare for the duration of a marathon. This is great for your speed days. Depending on which type of training program you want to pursue. If you are doing the 5K or 10K this workout is great to get you pretty competitive in a fairly short amount of time.
Greg and I have trained a lot together and he knows I hate running. But after I completed this workout I decided to time my mile a few days later and I got it in 5:56, something I wouldn’t have done before the workout. I think this workout does such a great job for mental preparation of running it is insane.
Photo by familymwr