I have anxiety, I am afraid of crowded places with lots of people and I am doing the Calgary Marathon which will have around 9000 runners and 1500 volunteers. So why am I running a marathon that has so many things that could trigger my anxiety?
This is my first marathon race I will be running in. Therefore, this training plan is for first time marathon runners. It will be simple and easy to follow with no intervals, hills, etc. Typically, marathon training takes about 12 to 20 weeks. However, when I decided to race the marathon, I had 7 weeks remaining. It is not recommended to have such a short training plan as you need time to build the endurance.
My marathon training plan will consist of 4 runs, 1 cross-training, and 2 rest days each week:
This type of run will be your typical short run at a quicker pace that you can maintain throughout the run. This can range from 5km to 10km distances.
Tempo runs will be a slower pace than your short runs but at the pace you would target for your marathon distance. The pace could be 30-60 seconds slower than your short run.
Long Slow Distance runs are exactly as they sound. This is where you will build your endurance for long runs by running at a slower pace. Typically, your pace should be 60-90 seconds slower than your marathon race pace. There is a tendency to want to run faster, but it is important to keep your pace slow. During this run, you will walk for a full minute at a comfortable pace after every 10 minutes of running. Walking helps recover the legs for the long distance runs so you can go further. Remember to be patient as the slower the better for building endurance.
Rest days are very important in your training plan. This is both to recover after a long run and to build up energy before them. The rest period should be between 24 to 72 hours for a hard exercise. This allows the muscles to regenerate and get stronger. Marathon trainings are long and if you don’t get the consistent rest you will just burn out before you even reach your marathon race.
Cross-Training is any aerobic exercise that allows you to use different muscles while resting. This can include swimming, cycling, or walking. I will be cycling during the Cross-Training days. They will be kept short at around 30-45 minutes and a comfortable intensity. You do not want to wear yourself out but still keep the body moving.
For long runs it is important to refuel during your run. If you are running more than 90 minutes you will require refuelling. Typically refuelling will be every 45-60 minutes. Energy gels are the most efficient way to refuel. Make sure you practice with refuelling during your training as your stomach needs to adapt to digesting during running, otherwise you may get stomach aches. Do not wait until your race day to try refuelling. During my long slow distance run I will take my energy gel during the walking portion of the run every 60 minutes.
The training schedule is for 7 weeks with 4 runs, 1 cross-training, and 2 rest days. The long runs should always be done on the same day of the week your marathon will be, for me it is Sunday. This helps prepare your body to run on that particular day.
Click download to get a copy of the marathon training schedule to print out for yourself.