Top 5 Marathon Tips

Top 5 Marathon Tips

Top 5 Marathon Tips from the Front Runner team…

Collectively, our expert team coach over 140 Marathon runners on personalised training plans to achieve their marathon goals. To date, over 61 of our athletes have broken 3hrs for the Marathon.

It doesn’t matter if you are new to the marathon or an experienced campaigner. Certain principles are transferable to achieving your personal goals with optimal efficiency:

  1. Don’t run a marathon, be a marathoner: at school, you aren’t ready to sit your tertiary entrance when you are in first grade. Similarly, your best marathon is years of work and learning away. Take a long term approach to your running to maximise your potential. By focussing on ongoing self improvement and taking a long term approach to performance optimisation, you will gain the most from the “perfect challenge” that is marathon running. The majority of our runners (over 90%) achieve their fastest time between their 3rd and 5th marathon.
  2. Mileage is VERY important: we live in an age where many want quick results, often while wanting to do less work. The marathon is the anti-thesis to this line of thinking. Increasing your training volume gradually over time is pivotal to improving your performances in the Marathon. Of the 34 Front Runners who have broken the 3hr marathon the lowest peak mileage per week was 90km/wk and the highest was 160km/wk. Further, increased volume of training per week correlated with much smaller difference between 10k and Marathon race paces in marathon runners.
    The distances help teach the body to use fat as a fuel more efficiently, thus preserving glycogen (carbohydrate) for longer in well trained marathoners. It also helps lean up the athlete, builds strength in the lower limbs and perhaps most importantly adding easy/steady volume is much lower risk than adding more intensity or speed sessions. Read more
  3. Strength is important: appropriate running drills and functional strengthening can provide significant gains and reduce injury risk for marathoners. The correct exercises can enhance the runners neuromuscular system and improve running economy through enhanced use of elastic energy at the musculo-tendinuous junction. It can also improve strength and injury resistance with consistent and ongoing application. See a specialist Physio or Strength coach for Pilates or a Strength plan before you start your build up to run strong!
  4. Race Specific Training: we are in one of the biggest periods of improvement in the history of marathon running. One of the biggest changes implemented by the likes of Italian Marathon coach, Renato Canova (coach of world record holder, Wilson Kipsang and multiple world Champion Abel Kirui) is the addition of a final specific phase of preparation. This includes specific progressive or paced runs at close to race distance and speed. These specific sessions closely replicate the demands of the race and galvanise the physical, mental and emotional preparation of the marathon runner. Over repeated testing before events, these sessions also provide an extremely accurate guide to the athletes condition and make goal setting and pacing strategies much more accurate.
  5. Have a coach: probably the most poorly understood aspects of running training is load. A balanced training load that applies progressive overload with corresponding recovery will result in consistent and ongoing gains. Furthermore, it will play a significant role in preventing overuse injures which are so common in running populations. Essentially, the coach should be a logical guide and mentor for the athlete whom often attach emotionally to ideals or principles which should be sense checked for appropriateness. Our team have been able to help clients achieve over 97% goal attainment with tailored solution, evidence based scientific  structure and experienced coaching feedback.

Rafael Baugh

High Performance Director

Front Runner Sports