MMRF Endurance Events

Marathon Training Tips - Week 3

Week #3 – Building Volume For Injury- Free Training

One of the most important aspects of marathon training is building your training mileage wisely. Many running related injuries are directly caused by doing "too much too soon,” increasing mileage too rapidly or “over-racing”, Shin splints and knee pain are two common ailments that can arise from building your running mileage incorrectly. The good news is that by gradually increasing your training volume and "periodizing" your training, you can get to race day injury-free and ready for a great experience.

In layman's terms, periodization simply means "cycling" your training, gradually increasing and then decreasing your total training volume over time. For marathoners and half marathoners this translates into 3 or 4 week cycles consisting of adding a little more training time in each week, followed by a "recovery" week where you decrease the training time to allow your body to "absorb" what you have done and prepare it for the additional volume to come. One mistake I have seen in so many runners make is that they don’t add these recovery weeks in their training, and they get injured. Scheduled recovery weeks are essential to your marathon success strategy and cannot be left out of your program.

A few rules to remember when building training volume:

  1. Don't increase your training time too drastically from one week to the next.

  2. Don't "cram" missed workouts in and throw off your overall plan.

  3. Remember that your key run each week is your LSD or Long Slow Distance run. These are the runs that will best prepare you to go the distance. The mileage of these runs needs not only be increased gradually, but also shortened during your recovery weeks as well.

  4. Stick to YOUR plan. Don't worry about what others may be doing; stay focused on your own program.

  5. Be sure to help your body adapt positively to the increased mileage by strength-training, stretching, resting and eating a healthy diet.