The Anatomy of a Marathon Race
A marathon race – if run at your very best – recruits 100% of your slow-twitch fibers, 23% of your intermediate fast-twitch fibers, and 0% of your super fast-twitch fibers.
That translates to…
- 80% of your maximal aerobic capacity
- 40% of your maximal speed
- 2.5% anaerobic contribution
- 2.6 mmol blood lactate/liter
Training for a Marathon Race
Training for the half-marathon is in some ways similar to the 5K, 10K, or half-marathon – but it is not the same. The following 7 intensities should be used to maximize the necessary adaptations for a marathon peak performance.
General endurance: easy pace
Aerobic support: easy to steady pace
Direct endurance support: lactate threshold
Race-specific: marathon pace
Direct speed support: 10K pace
Anaerobic support: 5K pace
General speed: 1500 – 400m pace
It is not feasible, however, to train all of the above-mentioned intensities simultaneously. This would inevitably lead to overtraining, burnout, and injuries. Instead, I use a periodization model with focus blocks of 4 – 5 weeks. In each phase, no more than 2 of the 7 intensities are emphasized.
This particular method is called block periodization. It is a hybrid of linear and non-linear periodization that allows for long-term progress as well as frequent racing year-round across multiple distances since all physiological parameters – such as VO2max, lactate threshold, and stride power – are maintained at all times.
Block periodization is arguably the most advanced training method to date. It will enable you to break stagnation and set new personal records.
Marathon Training Plans
Train with the block periodization method to set a new personal record at your next marathon race.
✔ Elevate your aerobic capacity (VO2max)
✔ Boost your lactate threshold/tolerance
✔ Increase your neuromuscular power
✔ Upgrade your fatigue resistance
✔ Improve your running economy