RUN 42.2KM

How pre­pared you are for your chal­lenge will be­come clear on the run. Here’s 36-time iron fin­isher Mark Klean­t­hous on putting your­self in top shape for the marathon leg

220 Triathlon Magazine - - 2018 LONG-DISTANCE SPECIAL -

Even if you’re ex­pe­ri­enced at

Olympic- and mid­dle-dis­tance triathlon or marathon run­ning, I’d sug­gest you pick an eas­ier course for your first Iron­man race. You need to learn your craft be­fore en­ter­ing and train­ing for Iron­man UK or Iron­man Wales, as these are some of the tougher of­fi­cial Iron­man cour­ses in the world. Aim for a race that’s lo­cal to you if pos­si­ble, as I strongly rec­om­mend you run some of the route sev­eral times dur­ing the months lead­ing up to your race.

The win­ter is the time to build a solid foun­da­tion and to gain fit­ness. You can achieve this by hav­ing a men­tal and phys­i­cal break at the end of the triathlon sea­son. When you re­sume train­ing, dur­ing the win­ter keep it sim­ple and focus on the five pil­lars of suc­cess, which are ef­fi­ciency, con­sis­tency, va­ri­ety, pro­gres­sive train­ing and re­hears­ing run nu­tri­tion. In­crease the fre­quency, be­fore then re­duc­ing the reg­u­lar­ity and in­creas­ing the dis­tances of your ses­sions.

You can add va­ri­ety to cre­ate reg­u­lar train­ing stim­u­lus, then add pro­gres­sion with more climb­ing el­e­va­tion per hour dur­ing your longer run­ning workouts. Va­ri­ety is good for the mind and con­stantly cre­ates a train­ing stim­u­lus. Aim to al­ways train on time but avoid be­ing con­cerned by av­er­age speeds; be­come more ef­fi­cient on the run by run­ning at an all-day pace.

I’m amazed how many en­quires I get in the fi­nal six weeks be­fore most UK iron-dis­tance triathlons on what to eat and drink, and how far the long­est run should be. Dur­ing the off-sea­son you must prac­tise your run and nu­tri­tional in­take on flat routes to es­tab­lish your in­di­vid­ual tip­ping point of what you can digest to pre­vent de­layed gas­tric emp­ty­ing, which leads to di­ges­tive melt­down dur­ing the marathon.

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