Fo­cus on en­durance train­ing ahead of PMB Marathon

Weekend Witness - - Sport - NOR­RIE WIL­LIAMSON Marathon tips

THERE are four weeks to The Wit­ness Mar­itzburg City Marathon and that puts us slap bang in the mid­dle of peak train­ing.

The pri­mary em­pha­sis of train­ing now is en­durance work, which should be about easy run­ning in the fat­burn­ing zone. This is the train­ing that will en­hance our con­ver­sion of blood fatty acids into car­bo­hy­drates and, hence, into en­ergy.

The only way to im­prove this en­ergy source is to train at that base pace with a lim­ited amount of run­ning at marathon paces and two to three ses­sions at the 10­kilo­me­tre and five­kilo­me­tre race paces.

This com­bi­na­tion of paces en­sures we main­tain the “gear box” of speeds, but the slower mid­week long run and the weekend long slow run are the foun­da­tion of the marathon per­for­mance on Fe­bru­ary 23.

There are a few ways of de­ter­min­ing the cor­rect pace for th­ese runs.

The most ac­cu­rate would be to take your age from 180 and keep your run­ning be­low that heart rate for the en­tire weekend long run, and at least three­quar­ters of the time in the mid­week run.

The last quar­ter of the mid­week run can be in­creased to marathon pace. If you have been train­ing for over 18 months, you can add five beats to the heart rate fig­ure, but don’t go over that.

Another guide would be to take your best marathon time, work out the pace and add at least one minute. So a three­hour marathoner would run the long run at 5:15 per km or slower, and a 3:30 marathoner at six min­utes per kilo­me­tre, and a four­hour marathoner at 6:40 per kilo­me­tre.

Then there is the con­ver­sa­tion test where you run with your train­ing part­ner and main­tain an easy con­ver­sa­tion. This is the least ac­cu­rate method.

Be­cause this is so easy, it is pos­si­ble to fo­cus on run­ning style while you run.

From ear­lier tips, you will know that by main­tain­ing a high ca­dence of around 85­90 strikes per leg, per minute, and also a slight lean for­ward, pow­er­ful core run­ners will be­come more ef­fi­cient in their run­ning, gain more from their mo­men­tum, re­duce the risk of in­jury and pro­duce faster times.

The chal­lenge is to en­sure that you have the shoes to com­pli­ment the change in ac­tion to fore/mid­foot and nat­u­ral strik­ing. One of the great­est pro­tag­o­nists of bare­foot or nat­u­ral run­ning is Zola Budd Pi­eterse, who now heads up the pro­mo­tion of Newton shoes in South Africa.

A for­ward lean and fore­foot land­ing cre­ates a nat­u­ral mo­men­tum as the cen­tre of grav­ity is brought ahead of the land­ing point.

In­tro­duc­ing such shoes dur­ing the qual­ity ses­sions two or three times per week, as­sists in the “rote” learn­ing of a new run­ning style.

Tran­si­tion to flow­ing run­ning style does not hap­pen overnight.

This will be just one of the in­stantly help­ful points shown to all run­ners in a free 30­minute prac­ti­cal at Collegian Har­ri­ers Club on Fe­bru­ary 6, start­ing at 5.15 pm. The ses­sion is open to all.

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