Marathon Training Tips
Marathon Training Tips
Pat Connelly (Running Coach for LA Roadrunners and Valencia High School) gives expert video advice on: What is the best surface on which to run?; Is it better to train in the morning or afternoon?; How much sleep is needed to train properly for a marathon? and more...
What is the best surface on which to run?
I can give you them in order. The worst surface is cement. The second most destructive surface that causes injury and tired legs is asphalt. The next surface that would be good might be a very hard compact ground. The next surface that would be good, even better would be kind of a gravel. A soft gravel that would cushion the foot. And of course the very best is a nice firm flat grass area to run on.
Is it better to train in the morning or afternoon?
That depends on the individual. Are you a morning person? Are you an evening person? That usually dictates when is best for you. Then of course you have to consider time management. Am I a Mom with three kids to get off to school? Am I a person that works until seven o'clock at night? From my studies and my experience coaching 30,000 runners for a marathon; most people like getting up early and getting it done, and having it out of the way. So, the rest of their day they are free to do their job and be with their family. It is always seems to be something that you carry heavy on your mind, knowing that "Oh, I got to work out today, when am I going to fit it in?" And then something comes up and you can't do it. So, from a psychological stand-point and time-management, getting up early in the morning is really the best time. Usually for breathing the proper air – avoiding air from vehicle exhaust or smoke or whatever that might be - morning time is healthier.
How much sleep is needed to train properly for a marathon?
Some people need less sleep than others, but as a rule, normally, you need if you are going to be working a full day work or going to a school full time, handling home responsibilities and then going out and running for an hour or two hours, then your body needs a proper rest cycle to rebuild all of those cells that you have torn down, and so that's usually about 8 hours to rebuild all those cells. What happens if you don't understand: If I tear down 5 million cells in a day and I sleep for 6 hours and replenish only 3, I made a 2 million deficit, right? If I continue that for several days, I am going to fall into a valley and be tired, flat legs, and not really mentally spontaneous towards running and so rest gives you an opportunity to build everything that you have torn down.
Should a runner breathe through the nose or mouth?
You cannot get enough oxygen if you just breathe through the nose. You must, and you shall, open your mouth and inhale and exhale through the mouth. Your body needs oxygen in the bloodstream. And so, you need to fill up those lungs with oxygen to feed the muscles, and you cannot do it enough just through the nose.
My normal workout is tougher than marathon training, what should I do?
Can you deviate from a training program? Yes you can. However, I think if you look at a professional training program that's been written from a coach that has a strong background experience of marathon training, you'll probably want to stick to that training program. I find athletes that who want to do more get themselves in trouble, either over fatigued or possibly injured.
What are good alternative workouts that supplement running?
Alternative workouts are vary valuable in running and so to give your legs a break from that, as I have mentioned before, 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on each foot striking the asphalt, you can do some things to still work the heart but at the same time don't tire the legs. And one thing that I really like to do is put a vest on and run in a pool. Go into a pool for forty-five minutes or an hour and work out that way. My heart doesn't know the difference. Or I can get on a stair master, or I can walk stairs in a fifteen-story building, or I can get on a bike and ride some steep hills or work at a very fast tempo on my bike to work the heart. And here all of those do not cause any pounding or ground impact to tire my legs.