MARATHON TRAINING STRATEGY: BUILDING ON 3-WEEK LONG BLOCKS
Most long endurance race training programs involve increasing weekly mileage by adding one or more miles onto the long easy run at each week’s end. Kevin Beck posted a method on
PodiumRunner.com that involves repeating what he calls “blocks” of 3 weeks duration which include lower, then moderate, and then longer mileage runs interspersed with tempo, fast-finish, and speed runs.
I was immediately interested in the concept because I had done something like this, although not so elaborately, to prepare for the one marathon I ran.
Instead of adding a mile or two to the long run each week I began alternating the long runs of greater than 13 miles with those of 10 miles. For example on one week I would run 14 miles, and the next 10, followed by 16 miles and then 10 miles, followed by 18 miles then 10 miles. To save my knees.
Beck says, “Not only is it simple-though not easy- to follow, but based on your current fitness level, you can decide how many ‘blocks’ you need before your goal marathon and plan for that race in a surgical way.”
I’m thinking of trying Beck’s “Blocks” method but adjusting the numbers to fit my abilities and concern for maintaining musculoskeletal health and avoiding injuries. In addition to adding blocks, I will need to adjust the mileage.
Above is a preliminary attempt to translate Beck’s plan for personal use. It’s going to require more tweaking but hopefully will be ready when I am to start training again this winter/spring.
Check it out. The math has not been double-checked and there may be errors in this first go-round. Beck’s exact phasing is in italics.
Beck’s Definitions (in italics and quotes):
“Tempo (T): Running done at anaerobic threshold; this is between about 5 and 7 percent faster than marathon pace for most runners “
Now is the time to plan for 2021. There’s little motivation to do this mental work once fall and winter festivities begin. People are already looking for holiday music on the radio and streaming services!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
PS: I changed the calendar to start with Sunday and end with Saturday per personal convenience.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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