I had a fascinating marathon training day today in Edinburgh.
The day was presented by Keith Anderson, who is a Commonwealth Games marathon runner.
He covered a wide range of areas, from the theory of training through to some very practical issues relating to marathon day itself. He made sure that we knew that miles 18-23 of a marathon are hell, but gave techniques for working through that. He advocated the use of training that is specific to marathon running, and in particular he recommended threshold running as a way of persuading the body to restrict its lactic acid production to levels of exertion higher than those that you will find during marathon running.
It was a lovely day; it was great to meet so many cheery people who were training for their first marathon, like me, or who had achieved their first marathon and were on their second or third.
One thing that will affect this blog is that Keith was very keen on basing training – especially on the long, slow run on a Sunday – on time rather than distance. If, as he believes, a weekly increase of fifteen minutes or so is a safe level, how can that be converted to a change in distance without knowing the performance of the athlete in question?
So, I am thinking that I shall not track my training against the training plan I have, but against a time-based training plan. That plan has me running 75 minutes tomorrow – I’ll let you know how I get on.