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MRA

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

 

PHYSIOLOGICAL FACTORS

The MRA requires a unique combination of physiological factors.

+ = somewhat important
++ = important
+++ = very important
++++ = crucially important

Maximal Aerobic Capacity (VO2max) +++

Lactate Threshold +++

Maximal Running Speed +

Resistance to Fatigue ++++

Running Economy ++

 

TRAINING ZONES & WORKOUTS

In order to maximize MRA race ability, you will need to carry out your training in different training zones. About 85% of your weekly mileage should be below lactate threshold and not all of the below-mentioned training zones are emphasized in MRA training.

Zone 1 = Active Recovery

Recovery runs of 20 – 40min.

Zone 2 = General Endurance

Easy runs & long runs of 45 – 150min.

Zone 3 = High-End Aerobic

Tempo runs of 30 – 60min.

Zone 4 = Threshold

Threshold runs/intervals of 15 – 30min total.

Zone 5a = VO2max

VO2max intervals of 2 – 6min repeatedly.

Zone 5b = Anaerobic Power

Sub-maximal sprint repetitions of 30 – 90sec.

Zone 5c = Neuromuscular power

All-out sprint repetitions of 5 – 15sec.
 

Free Download: 5+ Training Zones
 
 
TRAINING PROGRESSION

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 MRA-specific intensities.

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 = Max-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

Mra Intermediate

15-week training plan
4 essential runs
4x/week = 28 miles (45 km) per week
5x/week = no
6x/week = no

Mra Advanced

15-week training plan
4 essential runs + 1 optional run
4x/week = 34 miles (55 km) per week
5x/week = 39 miles (63 km) per week
6x/week = no

Mra Competitive

15-week training plan
4 essential runs + 2 optional runs
4x/week = 40 miles (65 km) per week
5x/week = 46 miles (75 km) per week
6x/week = 52 miles (85 km) per week
Do you prefer a plan handcrafted for your genetic type, training days, weekly mileage, training status, and weeks until your event?

Marathon Custom

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