The Daily Coloradoan has an interesting article about tips for marathon training. One great part of the article is a breakdown of a sensible twelve week marathon training program.
It can be difficult to know how to correctly train for marathon. The 26.2 mile distance is intimidating. However, a high quality training program can be simplified into four phases.
[A] 12-week cycle would look like this: Four weeks of endurance work, four weeks of strength work, two weeks of sharpening and two weeks of tapering.
• Endurance:This phase includes include short, medium and long runs. The pace is easy, emphasizing bulk miles and the development of aerobic endurance.
• Strength: Continue the long endurance runs. Replace the short and medium runs with hill running and tempo runs.
• Sharpening: Move your runs to the track, emphasizing a large number of repeats of a selected distance (400s, 800s, miles or a mix) with short intervals of rest. Taper off the long-distance runs and begin to decrease total mileage.
• Tapering: This period emphasizes power intervals, few in number with increased rest in between. The overall mileage is greatly reduced (40 to 50 percent).
In the strength and endurance phases, make sure to include at least one “long run” every two weeks. The distance of your long run should gradually increase until you are running about 20 miles.
The long run is an important part of getting your body ready for the distance of the marathon.
By planing a sensible training program, you will be able to get the most possible out of your marathon.