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  Friday, 22 August 2014

How to do better in long distance running

The marathon is, worldwide, the sport that sum each year many new athletes to their ranks. Everyone wants to make it to the end of those 42 km or at least overcome their own record. You need to do a thorough job looking to improve performance in this stamina test.

In order to overcome a marathon you need a lot of preparation, perseverance and discipline, as it is a discipline that tests the athlete's physical and mental capabilities. Physical conditioning that takes place is essential to achieve the proposed goal, which must be directly related to our capabilities.

To adapt a training plan according to our possibilities and allow us to improve our performance it is necessary to be done a checkup and a physical evaluation to dismiss potential problems that may affect or preclude our proper performance or worse, that could jeopardize our health. 



Studies conducted in Germany some years ago showed that runners who maintained a constant mileage of 72 km per week, while they increased training intensity, improved their fitness considerably, not those who doubled mileage and not conducted training speed.

David Costill, Ph. D (Exercise Physiology) argues that the main disadvantage of training volume is that "When running long distances, speed is considerably slower than race pace. This training does not achieve developing neurological mobilization models muscle fibers needed during racing, which require a faster rate". This is due to the selective use of muscle fibers differs according to the speed at which is run.

So we have neither mileage nor speed independently constitute a training program to provide us with sure success. Complementary and suitable work for both is needed.


Rhythm is one of the variables that can be modified to improve performance. You can also change the reps, adding more at the same rate or shortening recovery between intervals. It is recommended to set more than one variable at a time, since excess weight may lead to alterations in the functioning of the structures of the musculoskeletal system. 



The training at race pace or slightly smaller or larger, mimics the physiological demands on our bodies undergo in lengths.

The intervals you make should not exceed 10% of weekly mileage. These can range from 800 mts to 3200, this will depend on the capabilities of each individual and how much is training.

For example, if you are running an average of 40 km. Ideal would be to consistent training on 5 mt x 800 or 10 x 400 m (total of 4 km.) once weekly.

The middle intervals (15 x 400) will be aimed at increasing aerobic capacity by increasing the anaerobic threshold and improving lactate tolerance and faster elimination. Longer intervals (eg 8 x 4 x 800m or 3000m) while improving the parameters mentioned above, will economize the glucogenic metabolism.


Some general recommendations

In marathoners speed ranges are really important to improve performance, although the opposite is created. Performing an increase in training intensity, involves adapting muscled and becomes more efficient mechanical and energy, improving oxygen consumption and thus improving the time. 



It is necessary to note that our body needs time to adapt to the stimuli that we are implementing. If over the course of weeks we substantially increased the rate of interval, simply because we feel that we can do more, we are at the risk of overtraining that may be reflected in an injury to tendons or a decrease in our performance, which will mean having to suspend our practices to recover and / or a setback in the preparation.

Consider also the recovery time. Recovery should take to be approximately 50% of the time spent in the interval. So that if the recovery occurs faster than in previous intervals, is a sign that your cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal system has been adapted to the effort and intensity imposed, so that it is ready for a more demanding job. 

The heart rate monitor can display more graphically this instance (recovery) is equivalent to the average frequency between maximum and resting. For example, if your resting heart rate is sixty and its maximum is 170, you can increase the pace when it comes to the 115 without having completed the "recovery time".


MEDS Clinic

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