“The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.” Fred Lebow, New York Marathon founder.
After seven weeks on marathon training for 2011 Stanchart marathon, everything is going like clock. I have been very consistent with my training: 3 speed works in a week plus a long run on Sunday. Every day am feeling more confident of achieving a sub 3 hours marathon.
The last week consisted of intense speed works. I did Basso 800 on Wednesday, followed 10ks speed runs on Thursday and Friday. I feel am getting more benefits from this speed work because they are really challenging my body. During the runs I can feel the strain on my lungs and feet but at the finish I feel relaxed and satisfied.
I have been working on my feet movement, especially on my landing, to try and get the perfect foot strike. I have tried landing on my forefoot, mid foot, heel and I have found landing on my heel seems to work for me. There is no answer to the perfect foot strike, you have to experiment and see what works for you.
Another important area of focus is hydration. I have been seriously water loading. Drinking plenty of water is important to ensure quick recovery.
This week I will miss my Sunday long run because I will be traveling. The trip had been planned months in advance and there is no way I can cancel it. I don’t plan to try to recover it when I come back, I will just skip it and restart my training next week.
upward and forwards.
As you prepare for the marathon it is important you maintain a positive attitude. Always believe you will be able to finish the race, you can do this by mentally visualizing yourself in the race and crossing the finish line.
Running is never easy for anyone so make sure your training is challenging enough: run hills and do speed work so that you can get used to the feeling of running under stress.
Have 100% confidence on your ability to run and finish a marathon. And the only way you can have absolute confidence is to got out and train, train and train hard. Lastly keep yourself healthy and have a positive attitude the week before the race.
In order to build endurance to complete a half marathon comfortably you need to work on your aerobic fitness, mental stamina and physical fitness.
Half Marathon Endurance Tip 1 : Mileage
The way to go about those three is doing enough mileage. Ask any fast marathoner how much they run and you are sure to get something like, upward of 120 km a week. If 120 km sounds too much, start small, aim at 20 km then 30, 40, 50 km like that.
Half Marathon Endurance Tip 2 : Long Run
Once per week you should run a long run. The distance should be anything from 15 km to 20 km. The long run is done at slow steady pace, just go out thee and have fun at your own pace. The long is critical to your half marathon performance as it provides you with the aerobic fitness.
Half Marathon Endurance Tip 3 : Speed Work
Speed work is about trying to push your body beyond its limits. It helps in improving running efficiency. Ideally these sessions should be done on a track or flat grass oval. It about running at a fast pace.
Half Marathon Endurance Tip 4 : Diet
Remember to fuel your body. Eat healthy foods and make sure you eat enough. Have a small meal before going out for a run.
Half Marathon Endurance Tip 5 : Water
Stay hydrated. Lack of water is one of the main cause of fatigue
Half Marathon Endurance Tip 6 : Rest
Rest is very important in any training program. Rest allows your body to recover from fatigue and minor injuries. The body regenerates during rest. It is also important to reduce your training days before a race.
A pulled hamstring is a common running injury. A running hamstring injury is more common among sprinters than long distance runners.
Long distance runners are likely to suffer hamstring injury when doing their speed work.
Cause of Running hamstring Injury
Hamstring injury is another over user injury, i.e a running injury caused by doing too much, too soon or pushing beyond your limits. That is why it is common in sprinting, where runners are constantly trying to push beyond limits.
A pulled hamstring injury happens when one or more muscles that run along the back of your thigh gets stretched too far.
Treating Running Hamstring Injury.
Minor to moderate hamstring strains usually heal on their own. The recommended method of treatment is similar to any other soft tissue injury a HI-RICE (Hydration, Ibuprofen, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) regimen lasting for at least 48 to 72 hours after the onset of pain. “Rest” includes such commonsense prescriptions as avoiding running or hiking. A complete break from running will give the hamstring time to heal.
In serious but rare cases where the hamstring muscle is torn, you may need surgery. The surgeon will repair the muscles and reattach them.
If you are training for your a half marathon or 21K you can benefit from following a half marathon training program for developed by an Australian endurance coach. Ben Wesby
The 12 week program contains training tips and ideas for half marathon training. It covers the following areas :-
1. Long runs for half marathon
2. Interval training for half marathon
3. Strength sessions for half marathon
4. Speed work for half marathon
5. Improving your lung capacity
You can download the detailed PDF report at half marathon training program site.
Suffering injuries is part of the deal of choosing a running lifestyle.
The last week I suffered my first injury as I continue training for 2009 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon. I have suffered an Achilles Tendonittis in other words it is an inflammation of the Achilles. For a good description look at the image below.
If I was to take an x-ray of my leg it would look something like that.
Thanks to the injury I had to cancel one day of speed work and I have decided to cancel my weekly long run.
I have this nagging pain on the area, it is not serious and I could still run with the pain but I have decided to take precaution and avoid see it turn into something more serious. After all time is on my side, I started marathon training two months ago and I have made great progress and I still have two more months before the marathon. Start your training early and you will have time to treat inevitable injuries and get back to training.
What caused the Achilles Tendinitis.
I speculate it has something today with the changes in my training. The last two week I have been doing serious speed work and I guese the fast running was more than my body could handle.
Treatment of the Achilles tendinitis
A one week rest,wearing my sports shoes instead of my heavy boots to work, a few calf muscle strength exercise plus applying an anti-inflammation cream should heal the archilles tendonitis.
After two months of training for 2009 stanchart marathon am feeling good. The last two Sundays I have run two 28K long runs, the first one turned horrible when I suffered a blurred vision near the end. Yesterday I had a strong 28K, I finished the run feeling strong.
Long run marathon training to build fitness.
Until now my training was focused on building physical and cardiovascular fitness by running a long run once per week at a slow pace. Mission accomplished!
Shifting to speed.
My goal this year is to finish the 2009 Stanchart marathon on a New PB of 2.44. I want to now start focusing my marathon training on speed work.
I am now increasing the number of training days by two days. I will be doing two midweek speed works, on Wednesday and Friday.
The speed work will be around a running track. 10 repeats of 2 x 1. That is two fast paced laps followed by a slow recovery run.The follow this with a Sunday long run.
To run like Kenyan runners you have to train like them.
The long run will no longer be a slow paced run, I plan to step up my game by increasing the pace to near my race pace. Kenyan runners are great runners because they do their long run at a race pace.
Staying Injury during training.
My biggest achievement so far has been able to stay injury free. I believe am benefiting from three years of consistent marathon training. When you run consistently over the years all that pounding tends to make your leg, ankle & heel muscles and bones strong.
I hope I can keep it going.
Am starting my training for 2009 Stanchart Nairobi marathon. I have had a seven months rest from serious running. During that time I learn’t how to swim.
My running goal this year is to finish the 2009 stanchart marathon in a time of around 2.45. My personal best is 2.56. I will be a smiling runner if I can be able to shelve 10 more minutes from my PB.
Am confident I can run faster. At the finish line of 2008 Stanchart marathon my legs felt strong, no fatigue & no cramps. I had this feeling that I could still keep running another 10k.
Taking My Running To the Next level
This year I will build on the strength of my three years of marathon running. I believe my body is now physically strong and it can cope with stress of more weekly miles and faster running.
Advantages of many months of training
To reach to my goal am dedicating 5 months of serious training. More training time means, no over training, more rest and fewer running injuries. If I suffer the unfortunate injury at least I will have enough time to recover.
In the month of June I will focus on cardiovascular fitness. I will do this by accumulating as many miles I can at a slow pace. I will also assessing my physical condition to see whether I might be carrying a running injury that I might not be aware of.
In July, that is when I will start on speed work. Am yet to decide on my actual mileage and exact tactics so keep reading as I will keep posting my plans and progress.
After reflecting on my performance at 2007 Stanchart Nairobi marathon I have realised my biggest obstacle is lack of stamina for the last 10K of a marathon. Running up to the 32k mark is no problem, the problem is the last 10K when your calves and ankle start aching as the lactic acid builds up in the body.The 32K mark is the point where most runners hit the wall.
If you read my training plan for 2008 Nairobi marathon you will see it has focused on speed work during the week and one long run of 25 – 30K on Sunday morning. This has helped me build speed and endurance but I have neglected my calves.
I have decided to make changes to my training plan. Two days in a week I will be doing Hill repeats to try develop strong calves.
I will be starting with a 5-10 minutes run to warm up my muscles then run up and down a steep hill for thirty minutes.
After three months of marathon training on road I have decided to shift my next three runs to running on a grass track. The purpose of the shift is to give my legs, especially the ankles a break from the hard tarmac surface.
One way I avoid suffering an injury is to alternate my training surface. I run on tarmac for a few months then shift to a grass track for a short while.
Yesterday was my first run on grass and its was one of the fastest run I have run for a long time. Three months of running on tarmac and doing hill runs has made me strong and fast.
Benefits of a Track
1. Speed work, A flat surface allows you to accelerate as fast as your legs can run.
2. Minimizes Risk of Injury, Whether the track near you is a grass or an artificial track, the soft surface reduces the risk of a running injury.
3. Helps In Injury Recovery. After a running injury I start running on grass first before getting back to road running. If it feels good on grass , its safe to run on tarmac.
3. Easy to Measure Your distance. A standard track measures 400 meters. Two and a half laps is equal to a Kilomete. By calculating the number of laps, times 400 meters you can easily tell the distance you have covered.