If we want the best marathon training results in our endeavor, we have to follow the 10 key factors that lie behind highly effective marathon training. When you know them it will be much easier to follow your training and it gives you the certainty that you are on the right path towards your goal. The 10 instructive ways for marathon training progress is about:
- Energy Turnover
- Carbohydrate and fat
- The Oxygen System
- Utilization rate
- Lactate Threshold – LT
- Running Economy
- Fluid balance
You can read about a specific one in the menu section Marathon Training Basis.
The 10 Instructive Ways For Marathon Training Progress Has To Fit Together
We want to develop and target these key factors. It is important to practice continuous and specific training, designed to run the marathon race, you chose in the future. We also have to develop a personal training program to manage your training. Marathon Training for the elite run 1 consists of…
A well-planned training program, which has incorporated progression. It means a development that ensures that you run longer and/or faster. In marathon training, it is about long-term progression. This progression has to be concerning your background and circumstances, which will form the basis for the training program’s composition and structure.
The reason why you should have this Marathon Training progress
Is that the body relatively quickly adapts to a training volume. After a few weeks or months, your body no longer evolves. At the same time, you also have to feel it like a challenge. You remain on the same level if you run the same number of kilometers at the same pace. There are two opportunities for progress: Number of kilometers and speed.
Increasing the number of kilometers is the easiest method, and if you do it gradually, the risk of injuries is relatively small. If you Increase the speed, increases at the same time the risk of injuries. Therefore, you have to find a balance and respect your current level. There are two main types of marathon training: The long-run LSD and interval training.
Other training types are variants of these. Below are some optimal training types, when we aim to run a marathon race.
Long Slow Distance LSD – The Corner Stone in Marathon Training Progress
The long-run also called LSD – Long Slow Distance is aerobic endurance training, which means distance training achieved by continuous work, where the training intensity is at the same level throughout the training in “talk pace”. You should therefore start with a pace that you want to keep all the way and thus not run too fast at the beginning so that you finish the training at the same pace.
To avoid too much variation in the intensity, it is necessary to slow down the pace up the hills, when you run in hilly terrain. LSD runs can last from about 15 min. and up to several hours depending on your training level and the training goal. This training type is the cornerstone of marathon training.
LSD Training Improves the cardiovascular system
This means the central factors including the heart’s pumping capacity and the local factors. Well-trained long-distance runners, get the best results here by running at 70-75 % of their maximum oxygen uptake. This is the dominant training type in marathon training measured in time consumption.
It is also necessary to maintain the LSD training with low to moderate intensity and relatively long duration as basic training, so you do not get a significant decrease in the maximum oxygen uptake. Of course, you can take up supplemental cardiovascular training to maintain the Oxygen uptake.
But studies have shown that the decrease in the local aerobic enzyme activity, gives a decrease in running performance of about 8-10% after a few weeks without running. Although you almost can maintain your Oxygen uptake by supplemental training in e.g. cardio machines. However, supplemental training is a great alternative particularly if you are starting up to getting back after an injury.
LSD training with low/moderate intensity
By this training, we train the aerobic capacity because the heart’s stroke volume becomes larger. The fat decomposition, which takes place in type I fibers increases and thereby saves on the carbohydrates. Furthermore, increases the number of capillaries around type I fibers.
Towards the end of a very long training run, there will be a tiring out of type I fibers. In this situation, the type II fibers will take over the work to some extent, and therefore they become stimulated to change in aerobic direction from type IIa to type I in other words LSD runs enhance the nervous system’s ability to recruit the specific muscle fibers. Besides, muscles and connective tissue adapts to sustained load while ligaments, tendons and muscles in the legs will develop.
By running with moderate intensity obtains the best effect on the heart. The Heart’s stroke volume is at maximum level and also, the heart’s “punch power” is at the maximum level. At this intensity level, you can continue running for a very long time.
This combination of maximum stroke volume, a large force of the heartbeat and prolonged loading gives probably the greatest training effect on the heart and hence on the maximum oxygen uptake. Furthermore, the number of capillaries surrounding the muscle fibers increases and the muscle fiber’s capacity for aerobic combustion of both fat and carbohydrate improves.
There will be both more and larger mitochondria and the aerobic enzyme capacity increases. With moderate intensity, the type I fibers are tiring out earlier than with training at low intensity, and as for the training with low intensity, there is a change from type IIa to type I fibers.
Depending on your training level, LSD accomplishes with low to moderate intensity.
In the long run, uses mainly fat as fuel and it is a benefit that the fat combustion increases through training. The training effect for fat combustion is that trained people combust more fat and fewer carbohydrates than untrained and fat combustion also mean less lactate accumulation.
One of the main purposes of the long runs is therefore to train and thus increase your fat combustion. The long runs also expand the muscle glycogen storage capacity, inoculate the mind against fatigue and discomfort and boost your attitude.
At around two hours of LSD running – as Elite Runner – you will have emptied the carbohydrate depots in the muscles and liver, after that the body will then solely combusts fat.
Improvement of LT Training
If you only run LSD, you will be able to run long in a long time. With Lactate threshold training (LT) you will be able to run the long distances faster. Lactate threshold LT is the line between aerobic and anaerobic work.
Running LSD at low/moderate intensity implies that, you can perform a larger running work without turning into anaerobic processes. However, we are also interested in moving the LT closer to the maximum Oxygen uptake, so we can run closer to this and thus utilize more Oxygen without lactate begins to accumulate. In this way, we can run a given distance faster.
LT training is the main type of training for long distance runners, who want to improve their performance. The longer distance you run the greater the importance of LT training for the performance. To move LT, the training has to be accomplished with an intensity near this threshold.
The goal of LT training is to train as long as possible at the right pace. If you train too much over the LT, you activate the majority of Type IIb fibers, which as you remember are the “fast” fibers specialized for anaerobic energy conversion. Therefore, the accumulation of lactate begins to rise sharply, and you have to shorten the training.
On the opposite, LT training with too low pace will impair the effect of the training. Training of LT is hard training with high quality. It means that you need a longer recovery period afterward. Thus, it is not a training type, you should practice too often, 1 – 2 times a week when preparing for a marathon. You will quickly experience a great effect on this kind of training.
Already after a few weeks with LT training, you will be able to run at relatively high speed with less effort and maintain a high speed for a longer period.
LT – training is a training type that makes it possible to keep the lactate concentration relatively constant in the area around the LT. This provides an optimal loading of the aerobic processes, and therefore a very good training of them. It also contributes to more efficient elimination of lactate.
We can divide LT training into 4 main groups:
– Tempo run
– Hill training
I have made another blog about doing this in practice.
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