Is that long run really what you need?

I am a big fan of Matt Dixon, Purple Patch Fitness, who coaches a number of pro triathletes and writes for a number of fitness magazines including Triathlete Europe. While I do not agree with everything he says, for me too much is made of ‘core stability’, I thought this article about marathon training would be useful for you to read. A number of you are training for marathons and half-marathons so please take the time to read the article and digest it. Perhaps even leave a few comments. Go on be daring!

I think Matt’s ‘Pillars of Training’ are a very good concept. The four pillars in relation to marathon and half-marathon training are: run training; recovery; functional strength and nutrition. In this case core stability sits within functional strength which in my opinion is where it should sit. More on this in coming weeks. I see a lot of people pay too much attention to the first pillar and neglect the rest. The number of times I ask someone ‘Do you do much in the way of strength training?’ and the reply is ‘No, I get that from running don’t I?’ While running will certainly helps build running specific strength, functional strengthening can help build strength in areas that need it, areas that running may cause injury.

Recovery is also an often overlooked pillar. Have a look at your own training plans. Do you have adequate recovery built into the program or is your training load increasing from week to week every week until the taper? Does your long run come at the end of a normal training week where the effect of cumulative fatigue might increase your risk of injury? How will you assist recovery immediately after your long run? Is there adequate recovery built into your program in the days/week after your long run?

Nutrition must also be carefully considered. The timing, quantity and quality of your meals will either help or hinder your performance while training and racing as well as facilitate recovery. Pre and post training fuelling is vital if you are to get the most benefit out of your training sessions and obviously testing your race day fuelling strategy in training is essential. Here is another one of Matt Dixon’s articles about nutrition that is worth a read.

This week we will continue our focus on breath timing in the swim session. Check out last weeks blog for some helpful links that will allow you to get a better idea of what is meant by breath timing and why it is so important. Remember your fins and pull buoys as we will be using both in the session. Our run session will be some longer intervals with a short burst of speed. While speed may not be the focus at this time of year there is not harm in doing a little speed work to remind body and mind of what is required to run fast.

See you tomorrow. Late post sorry! Tim (LFTC Coach).

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