THE ANATOMY OF A MARATHON
The marathon is the ultimate test of endurance for every long-distance runner. Run a fast marathon time once, and brag about it for the rest of your life.
Marathon race intensity
- 40% of your maximal speed
- 80% of your VO2max
- 2.6mmol/L blood lactate (LT = 4mmol/L)
Marathon energy supply
- 99.5% aerobic
- 0.5% anaerobic
Marathon muscle fiber recruitment
- 100% of your slow-twitch fibers
- 23% of your intermediate fast-twitch fibers
- 0% of your super fast-twitch fibers
Marathon training requires a unique combination of maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max), lactate threshold/tolerance, maximal running speed, resistance to fatigue, and running economy. In order to maximize these variables, you will need to carry out your training in different training zones.
What’s more, peak performance training requires a logical sequence where one adaptation piggybacks on another. I’m an advocate of non-linear periodization (multi-pace training) where the emphasis transitions from general to marathon-specific pace.
Focus Block 1 = Twin-Base
Highly polarized training with a focus on the extreme ends of the pace spectrum.
>>> General Endurance + Maximal Speed
Focus Block 2 = Conditioning
The inclusion of middle-paces that develop your fitness to maximal levels.
>>> Lactate Threshold + VO2max
Focus Block 3 = Race-Specific
Emphasis on MRA-specific training while all other variables are maintained.
>>> MRA Race-Specific Endurance + Economy
Marathon Training Plans
You can choose marathon training plans from 4 levels or have one custom made for you.
✔ Elevate your aerobic capacity (VO2max)
✔ Boost your lactate threshold/tolerance
✔ Increase your neuromuscular power
✔ Upgrade your fatigue resistance
✔ Improve your running economy