COACH FORUM: Multi-sport Training for the Marathon
To follow up on last night's Office Hours, feel free to post questions, comments, or concerns about training for a marathon within the realm of multi-sport training.
See you out there!
Mike O. PPF Coach.
Do you just follow the baseline plan until 8 weeks before your marathon and then add more marathon specific runs? I also would like to know your opinion on running a half marathon as a tune up race before the marathon. Would this be helpful or would it be best to just stick with the regular training plan?
Thanks for the help,
Hey RACHEL BROWN good question there. I would absolutely follow the baseline plan ahead of that 8-weeks. That is perfect, and it allows you to start the plan feeling good and not too beat down from tons of running.
Also, I love a 13.1 tune-up race. I definitely think that is useful, and instead of going all-out at 13.1 pace I would aim to run that race really smooth and see if you can pace it well enough to run a good 5k at the end. Then you might even finish with 30-40 minutes aerobic running afterwords to make it a really good training day.
It's not absolutely critical what week you do that, because it certainly is location and availability dependent, but I think you could work that in 4 weeks out or further. That way you still get the big simulator week and have time to recuperate.
Hey, Coach Mike. Really liked the office hours on this topic and looking forward to the 8 week plan dropping. Question for you in the meantime - - is there room in the plan (or otherwise) to incorporate some race specific tempo'ish runs or perhaps long runs with some race pace segments or intervals incorporated? I've got a somewhat unhealthy obsession with one day finishing a marathon in under 4 hours and I'm wondering if and how to play around with that roughly 9 min/mile pace. Thanks!
Hi Coach Mike,
Asking a slightly different question, if I want to have the least disruption in year over year progression in triathlon ability but want to do a few half marathons and marathons as I get fitter, when are the best times of year (relative to the baseline plan progressions) to place them (relative to A/B triathlon races and relative to build/race specific/post-season)? Thanks.
Hi Mike- I did last year nyc marathon following baseline. Basically just added a run on Friday and extended my weekend tun. I have to admit that at times I felt lost ( Am I adding to little, Am I adding too much). Marathon went ok but I cannot shake the thought that I didn't perform up to my potential.
Will this year be an option to choose marathon race build in today plan? I am doing nyc again this year and I would like to do better.
I second the question about tempos....how do we know we can hold goal pace and what types or workout do we use to do that, including when in week? Also I feel nervous not doing a 20+ mile long run at least once (a confidence booster thing). If I add a few 20+ : when (how some before race., specific weeks) and what might that workout look like (include some tempo intervals? T intervals? All easy?). Thanks!
Normcerullo thanks for writing in. I think the plan for right now is good, and this is how we want our marathoners to have a pre-season. Trust that we WILL be building in the race specific tempo runs when the time is right, and when we do, you will eat them up. We don't need to get ahead of ourselves unless you have an A-race marathon before May or something like that.
Just remember, if we start doing tempo's now before we build up more fitness, then we'll typically just end up running the same thing over and over again which is no good for progress and minimally effective.
Patience patience, the work will come, and you'll notice some more intentional and harder runs. The HILLS should be your first love, and to be honest, you can probably just start to work a bit harder on the hill running and that should satisfy the sub-4 beast within you.
David Shinn GREAT one I love that concept and very nicely worded.
Absolutely POST-more key triathlon races. And in fact, can be relatively close to some key tris. I Typically would say the Oct, Nov, Dec time frame is great marathon season especially as many of the Key triathlon races might be before that.
So if you do a 70.3 in Sept / Oct, then a marathon in November is usually pretty great. We like to use that multi-sport fitness to really teach you that you can have a great marathon without hammering yourself in the run.
I love athletes doing Chicago, NYC, CIM, Portland, North Face Trail, etc.
David Garcia yes absolutely, definitely for NYC. The nice thing is that you'll have the FULL 8-weeker for that race and can truly focus on it, while not giving away the swim and biking that we need in this time of year
So to answer, yes, you will definitely be encouraged to use the full 8-week plan to get ready for NYC this year, and I feel really excited to see how people do using that. I have some good feelings about it.
Caldwellkall great point and I did totally acknowledge those thoughts and ideas in the Office Hours from Monday.
Here's a pretty radical statement that might ruffle some feathers (hopefully not yours too much)... but as multi-sport athletes, and as non-professional marathon runners, there is no workout that will tell you if you can hold your goal race pace for a marathon. There, I said it, I got it off my chest. Even the Pro's will tell you that they have workouts that they've done for 8 seasons that they use as a confidence-booster, and it's rarely a tempo run.... it's usually more of "work-load" session like mile repeats, a 13.1 race, 5k repeats, etc. And even then they'll sometimes nail it and have a bad race, and sometimes totally fail the workout and have a breakthrough race.
Now, there are workouts that can help you prepare and feel more and more comfortable at the EFFORT that you know you can sustain for the duration of your goal time, but these is not a way that we can do a workout and say... "Ok, now I can run X:XX per mile and do it for 26 of them." In fact, the best workout for that is to run a marathon.
Doing a bunch of sandwich'd tempo runs doesn't answer that question, all it really does is scratch the mental itch that we want to scratch. And often it means you are doing too much running at a "Z3, marathon, grey zone" pace that get's all us runners in trouble over time.
To now take your side... I'd ask, have you ever done a 20+ mile run? Have you hit those before? Because if not, then I'd absolutely be cool with you adding some duration to some of the weekend longer runs that we have and even set you up on a bit of a pre-marathon build "Run Resilience Block."
However, as a Purple Patch athlete, sometimes we have to truly give ourselves into believing the methodology and philosophy. I recognize its a bit new for some people, but... we also do a LOT of work, a LOT of training, we swim a LOT, we bike HARD, we lift, and let's not forget we actually do prescribe some pretty hard, nasty runs throughout the season. So, I would say this much... I'm all for gaining confidence from running 20+ mile workouts a few times. I would try to take them off-road, I would have fun with them, and just collect time and miles on your feet so that you can get over that hump. But when training for a marathon, I would definitely focus on showing up and crushing each and every workout that you would be prescribed... and if you do that for 8 weeks straight... I can promise that you won't feel like you're missing out from hitting a certain mileage. You'll feel FAF, you'll feel RUN-FIT, you'll feel fresh, and those are all feelings we like to have when we toe the line.
Long answer, huge topic, and this is where we are different from a lot of run coaching programs. But, from experience, we the coaches believe in this down to our core.
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