For the initiated or previously injured this can be a difficult planning operation. How much training, how hard and when are all valid considerations when undertaking a marathon. The attached reference article details some very useful and well researched information that covers in detail each of these aspects of training - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/2018/feb/15/an-updated-formula-for-marathon-running-success . I have tried to summarise some of the more important aspects of this article below.
Training load variations are often identified in the clinic as a prime source of injury. It has commonly been recommended that training should be progressed at 10% per week throughout the course of the training period. A more recent study - (ww.rug.nl/research/portal/files/2727628/Buist_2008_Am_J_Sports_Med.pdf ) based on a review of several randomised control studies challenges the 10% concept by identifying the evidence at hand. It appears that on the commencement of your marathon training your body will manage larger increases in load (up to 30%) but as you start to progress past 20 km runs it would seem that increases of 10% are more appropriate.
Speed training is another consideration for your marathon preparation. This may not be as relevant for those of us on a just trying to finish approach, but it certainly can help in improving running times and generally mental toughness in approaching the event. A popular running magazine details some of the more popular methods of speed training- (www.runnersworld.com/training/a20850120/how-to-add-speed-workouts-to-marathon-training/)
As noted in this article it is commonly proposed that in every third to fifth week you drop your distance run by thirty percent to allow for a relative rest week. This allows the body some chance to recover from the marathon training schedule and can be a great opportunity to practice some speed training. When addressed well, the increased demands on the body help to build mental toughness as you manage to cope with increased stresses on the body during your run. Remember, you don't train by running a marathon distance regularly and this is a great way of increasing the demands on the body whilst keeping your running distances “reasonable”.
Marathon training is difficult and injuries in the running community are common. Sports Medicine Australia quote in an online document https://sma.org.au/resources-advice/running/ that there may be up to a 70% incidence of injury in competitive or recreational runners over a twelve month period. So listen to your body and if doesn’t sound right it may be time to see a physiotherapist. Small changes made early in the training campaign can help to prevent injury or to prevent injuries worsening and overall, make your training more enjoyable. Remember to have a plan and run your plan, there is no cram studying for a marathon. This is a brief guide only, and is designed to give you some ideas to consider when planning your training schedule.
The words and other content provided in this blog and in any linked materials, are not intended as medical advice and are an opinion only. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern you should consult a medical practitioner immediately. While Physiosense Physiotherapy have made every effort to ensure the information supplied on this web site is suitable, accurate and complete, we accept no responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by any party as a result of accessing or utilising the information on this website, blog or for any websites linked to or from this website. We try to ensure the information on this website is up-to-date and accurate, however we take no responsibility for inaccuracies or any information that is out of date.
Jason is the Leichhardt Physiotherapy clinic practice principal. A graduate from Sydney Uni and practicing for 18 years he is passionate about sharing new discoveries.