This year my marathon training will be based on last year’s with a few tweaks. Two underlying principles worked well for me in 2018, and they were : 1) Make the training fun, keep it healthy, and stay motivated, and 2) Control the process not the outcome (do my best).
The first principle dealt with my attitude. Throughout the 20 weeks I stayed positive. Constantly reminding myself that I am running for my health. Never forced myself to a rigid schedule or fixed mileage. Be flexible. The right attitude minimized my risks of burnt out, injury, or set back.
The second principle focused on my efforts. I trained to increase my fitness level as indicated by my aerobic and lactate thresholds. Each of these thresholds has its intended purposes. And I ran a 5K in the beginning to determine my baseline fitness. Which in turn bench-marked my training paces for the different training phases.
My twenty week training consisted of: 9 weeks of Base run to gradually build my aerobic threshold for endurance. Followed by 4 weeks of Tempo or Threshold run to condition my lactate threshold for race speed. And 4 weeks of Sprint & hill run to polish my anaerobic threshold for marathon fitness. Lastly, 3 weeks of taper.
What will I do differently for 2019? To improve my negative splits, I will tailor the last 7 weeks with more fast-finishes, race nutrition, and recovery. Those are the areas that will make a difference for me.
What is your strategy?