Monday, 28 April 2014

Karen writes: More isn't better

Last long run yesterday, I'm officially resting now.  I don't feel like I have done a whole lot of work, but I know I'm ready for the 50th Rotorua marathon in...5 sleeps.

Time and time again I talk to runners (or people who would like to run but think it's an impossible ask) who seem to believe that you need to run and run and run and be in a constant trained-into-exhaustion state to finish a marathon.  That's a No and a No. I found an article the other day which goes to support my point that people training for shorter distance races often do the same or more training volume than is needed for a marathon. This was in an article on Runners World and the author also makes this very valid point

"Runners too often get caught in the mileage trap, thinking more is better. The truth is, more mileage is better only up to the point where you can achieve your potential. After that, each additional mile only increases your injury risk".

The Runners World recommended distances below are in miles, and divided into elite for the truly hard-out and mortal for the rest of us. Notice how the minimum recommended marathon weekly training distance of 30 miles (about 48km) for us mortals is the same as for a half marathon. I should say myself that I wouldn't spend many weeks at 48km or above.  So 8 weeks into into my current 9 week training plan for Rotorua I have done an average of 40km/week (peak of 56km) and been running 3-4 days/week. I'm good to go.

5-K
RUNNER: Elite
MILES/WEEK: 70-80
RUNNER: Mortal
MILES/WEEK: 20-25 (32-40km)

10-K
RUNNER: Elite
MILES/WEEK: 80-100
RUNNER: Mortal
MILES/WEEK:25-30 (40-48km)

1/2 MARATHON
RUNNER: Elite
MILES/WEEK: 100-110
RUNNER: Mortal
MILES/WEEK: 30-40 (48-64km)

MARATHON
RUNNER: Elite
MILES/WEEK: 100-140
RUNNER: Mortal
MILES/WEEK: 30-50 (48-80km)