Build Up – Don’t Break Down

Build Up – Don’t Break Down
Paul Soskind

As the fall season of racing approaches, many of us seek to increase our level of training to meet the challenges of marathons and other long races. To have success at such endeavors entails training that will ensure the outcome of an injury-free race and recovery.

There are several ways to achieve this that involves buildups of total mileage, intensity of effort and devotion. These can be incorporated simultaneously into your training if you follow a few simple guidelines.

Mileage should only be increased by 5-10% on a weekly basis, usually over a 6-10 week period with the last 10 days before “the race” as a gradual tapering down.

Duration should include building up over the same period to at least 10% over the time you expect to be on your feet to complete your race, e.g., if you are shooting for a four hour New York City Marathon, work up to a long run where you ignore your mileage but are on your feet for 4 hours and 20 minutes.

Intensity is the most difficult and potentially dangerous aspect of this training. It could include tempo runs at race pace, but at shorter distances than the race distance; speed workouts including races of 5K to 25K at faster than marathon pace to sharpen up and become accustomed to prolonged, sustained quality effort or interval training.

Interval training ideally should be done on an all-weather track because the distance you cover is precise and you will be able to use segments of the track (100m, 200m, 300m) for recovery jogs before commencing the next interval. It is also a softer, more forgiving surface. Alternatively, you can do intervals with timed running. For example, if you are planning a 3:15 marathon: mile intervals at seven minute pace with five minute recoveries; 1/2m intervals at 3:30 pace with two minute recoveries; 1/4m intervals at 1:45 with one minute recoveries. As you become more adept and your fitness level increases, you can increase the number of interval repeats.

In all three forms of buildup, beware of overtraining. What can start as a minor annoyance can become an injury that prevents you from racing. Back off; be prudent; show patience and you will be able to re-intensify and achieve your racing goals.
UncategorizedMichael Ring