Now the marathon program for the Hella Marathon Nacht in Rostock, Germany on Autust 5th is started. If you want to get in shape for a marathon you are more than welcome to join me in my marathon program. It’s a program that will last for 10 weeks, and the first one is now completed.

This week I have ran 37 kilometers.

Marathon program

As I’ve mentioned before, the marathon program that I followed is taken from the book Smart konditionsträning by Erik Wickström.

What is interesting with his program is that there is no notes around how fast you should be running. He means that only you know your own capabilities and therefor you should set the pace yourself. That is both a joy and a problem. The risk is that you run too fast!

Intervals

The first exercise we did in accordance to the marathon program was an interval run. According to the program we should run 1000 meters 5 times. (We should also add a 15 minute warm up and before a 10 min cool down). One kilometer is not that far. We used the app Endomondo to measure a distance of one kilometer around Ramnasjön, a small lake in Borås. At the starting line we did a short count down and then we set off. We had a lot of energy the first lap and we did the full kilometer in 4 minutes and 5 seconds. I don’t know about your running abilities, but fur us that is a bit above our capabilities.

On the following four laps, we didn’t want to do worse and so we fought our way around that lake somewhere around 4:07 and 4:15 on each lap. We felt really proud of ourselves afterwards. When I woke up the next morning, though, I felt like I had seen the wrong end of a truck.

Too fast!

When I read a bit more in Erik’s book I found the following text (my translation):

The marathon distance gives even less demands on speed compared to the half marathon and […] as a marathon runner you don’t need to do short intervals. It’s better to focus on longer intervals in a lower tempo. By generally lowering your speed when training hard you will get less worn out, which means that you as a marathon runner can focus on keeping a higher speed on the less intensive exercises.

Erik gives the following example on an interval for marathon runners:

5 x 8 min intervals on a soft and flat track with 2 min rest. Let the speed be around your race speed.

Our plan is to run a marathon in 4 hours. The tempo for that target time lies just above 5:30 minutes per kilometer. To be rushing ahead in a 4-tempo on a hard track is (according to Erik) a big no-no. Well, I’m glad that I’ve learnt that one!

marathon program - start line

Start line for the 1000 meter intervals around Ramnasjön in Borås.

More training

We followed up the too hard intervals on Tuesday with a calm 10 km run on Thursday. On Friday evening I had an hour on my spinning bike. I bought a used one for around 80 € which I have placed in front of my Xbox. It’s easy to spend an hour down there without noticing that you’re actually exercising. When the game is loading you can increase the tempo a bit to get more out of the training.

On Monday we did a distance run. We ran for 45 minutes in a nice and smooth tempo and then we increased the speed to just below lactic acid levels. We had a nice 5:35 tempo the first 8 kilometers and then we increased the tempo. I feel like my body responds well to the exercise and I’m really looking forward to yesterday’s workout.

Well, this is not a paradox raised by time travel. We just decided to wait with the workout we had planned for yesterday until today. Today we will do the exact 5 x 8 min intervals that I mentioned above. I will just have to ignore the rain that is pouring down outside.