How to Run a Marathon
Hard Workouts

Hard sustained run.

Hard sustained runs are part of the Hard workout regime. These runs are also known as Tempo runs in some circles.


The  run is broken down into three phases.



The first phase is the warm up. Depending on the length of the run the warm up may vary. If you are running around 8 miles, then the warm up should be around 2 miles or so. If it is a longer run, the warm up may be as much as three. Judge how your body feels and go as far as you need. For these very hard runs, I am in favor of stopping in the middle of the warm up and getting some stretching in. Science has shown it is better to stretch on warm muscles.


The next phase is the workout itself. The run itself should not be treated as a race. In other words after the warm up, start slow, and then increase your pace slowly over the next mile or so. You should not be running at max right off the bat. Once you are in the middle of the workout. The goal is to run at a pace that is hard but sustainable.


The goal is to max out near the end of the run.  If you are slowing down before the cool down, you have run too hard. Listen to your body! This workout will help with your pacing. The point of the run is to run hard but not too hard.


During the hard portions of these runs, the goal is to be running faster than your marathon pace. These types of runs are the keys to racing. They provide both physiological and physiological benefits that are impossible to get in any other run.


Accomplished 5k and 10k runners, who move to the marathon have an advantage over runners who only train for the marathon. These runners excel in the early stages of the marathon. This is because they are well within their VO2 max levels. ( means they are never breathing hard) This in turn delays the onset of fatigue.


 Greta Weitz, who was only a pacesetter at the NYC marathon, was able to set a women's record, at 2 hr 32 minutes, even though she never trained more than 12 miles.


The final phase is the cool down. It is important to dial the intensity of the workout down in the last mile or so. This will help the body recover from the workout. 

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