A few weeks ago I reported that I would like to run a marathon at the end of October. Since then a lot of time has passed and consequently my marathon training has made a lot of progress. I have basically got used to the different motion sequence and run quite fluently. In order to reduce muscle ache and joint pain I have built in a small routine of strength, coordination and stretching exercises before or after my runs. This has helped me a lot. Fatigue and heavy legs are thus forgotten.
Endurance in marathon training
One of the most important steps in marathon training is to make sure that the Endurance to train. Not only physically but also psychologically. In order to achieve this, my training has focused on two things in the last few weeks. The interspersion of long training sessions of up to 3.5 hours, while at the same time I have increased the total training volume of each week.
I had to reduce the number of training hours on the bike extremely. The last four weeks I was neither on the road bike nor on the MTB.
Yasso 800's - The perfect marathon training?
This training session should probably say something to every marathon runner. Named after Bart Yasso, the "Chief Running Officer" of the American Runners World, this is an interval training. After an individual warm-up you run 8-10 intervals over 800 meters. The target time should correspond to the desired marathon time (not to be confused with the pace). Between the intervals there are simultaneous, quite relaxed but active breaks. Afterwards a cool-down follows.
Since I want to run the marathon in less than 4 hours, this means for me alternately 800 meters in 4 minutes (this corresponds to a pace of 5 minutes/kilometer) and 4 minutes of relaxed rest.
As early as the 1990s, Yasso established a connection between the ability to repeat over 800 metres and later marathon performance. In relation to the performance range mentioned, however, no sports scientific relevance can be established. However, the experience of many athletes shows that the later marathon time can be predicted very well. Therefore, this is not a miraculous unit in marathon training, but rather a precise performance test.
Already twice I have done the Yasso 800's. The first time, in order not to make the load too high, with eight repetitions. Since I felt relatively fit after the first two runs and was fast, I tried to keep the pace up to the end. On average I ran the intervals in about 3:30. That corresponds to a pace of 4:23.
The second time was less positive. I aimed for ten reps, but had to throw in the towel after five runs. Pain in the left Achilles tendon and calf muscles spread and I knew that it was better to finish the training calmly instead of overstraining my body. But this time I was much more controlled during the repetitions and was able to keep the pace.
Long runs in marathon training
The long runs in marathon training have shown me most so far how difficult the marathon will be. Especially in the third hour you notice clearly that your legs are already pinching.
I hope to keep such problems under control in case of emergency by a controlled diet and enough fluids. So far I have limited myself to one or two gels for long sessions or a coke from the gas station. During the intervals in the stadium I had a drinking bottle standing at the edge of the track, which I was happy to reach for during the breaks.
The marathon course
For the track, I decided on a lap of about 10.5 kilometres. On this lap I will have to contend with relatively few metres in altitude for the Aachen area. There is only one real climb. In addition, I can always take a bottle from time to time. In addition, relatives, friends or colleagues will accompany me over part of the route, whether on foot or by bike.
With four laps to complete, the track is not only divided into clear sections, but I can also easily keep track of my split times. On the other hand I don't run in circles so much that I get bored or get a spinning worm (at least I hope so). I have been running the track in training over and over again. Another advantage of my track choice is the traffic situation. I run a lot on asphalted and gravelled forest roads so that cars don't play a big role and I am almost like on a closed course. Twice I cross a country road, but always at clearly arranged places that allow me to continue walking quickly.