Training Marathon
Training to run a marathon


Marathon Speed Training

In order to get your speed at a marathon level you need to work on the following training steps.

  1. Strength training - Muscular strength and endurance that improves the ability to hold a fast pace. (Workouts include weight training and hill/cross country runs)
  2. Endurance training - Slow, conversational pace (Around 70-80% of Max Heart rate)
  3. Speed training- Training to run faster usually by intermittent bursts of speed at race pace or faster over a set distance, with recovery at a moderate pace.

Why Marathon Speed training?

When running faster your body reacts differently such as your foot strike and angles of the body are different then a slow simple jog. You may also need to make the necessary changes to your running form running at pace causes harder breathing, and oxygen debt. This is because for the muscles tightening and the lungs burning, and your body temperature will begin to rise, not only this but you will also have trouble holding a conversation comfortably.

This is where speed training plays a big role by helping improve running form and leg strength. It also helps a runner learn to pace properly and hold back at the start of a workout or a race to allow a kick at the end of the race. The psychological gains from these workouts are more important as small doses of discomfort in training helps a runner realize that one can continue on with mild pain and push a little harder and increase confidence.

Speed training allows faster running and improves the form and style since most often then not they run in small areas the coach is nearby to watch and monitor your technique.

* Speed training is not recommended for the novice runner it usually increase the risk of injury. To improve safely, just run a little faster than your normal training pace and learn to handle a modest amount of discomfort to be ready for more advanced speed workouts later.

Blending Marathon Speed Training into your program

The average runner will race faster for the first few years without speed work just regular training. With endurance training, they will get to the finish line easier then without. When only using one training schedule such as long, slow runs or speed training alone is not a successful training formula. The key is combining them together into a balanced schedule. Endurance running should be followed by speed workouts on a track, hills, trails, and roads to sharpen for key races. All runners do fewer speed workouts during training lulls between races. The rule is, the shorter the race, the more speed workouts will be needed and for the less experienced, the fewer speed workouts.

Speed Training Elements

  • Do not increase distance and speed at the same time. Build them carefully with distance first then speed, and then cut mileage as you intensify speed.
  • Speed work build up your body, not tear it down. Work hard, but keep control. Ease into the work; follow the principle of adaptation to progressive stress.
  • Listen to your body for protests about overstress, obey them, and ease back.
  • Drop out immediately if anything unusual happens, a muscle tightening or a sharp pain.
  • Follow the easy-hard-easy method. Always take it easy the day before and after speed workouts.
  • Do not jump back into speed sessions for several days after a short race and for several weeks after a marathon.
  • Make no sudden changes in surface, shoes, types or intensity of workouts.
  • Log every speed run in a journal and indicate quantity, intensity, rest, weather, shoes, etc. Then you can compare and measure workouts more accurately.
  • The shorter the race, the more speed work you do; the faster the speed work, the shorter the distance run.