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Cross Training

by Donna
(Orange County)

What is the best way to add training / can one add cross training to the 100 day marathon plan ?

"Dear Marius,

I have just purchased and reviewed the 3:15 marathon plan. I have been running for years, and I am excited to try a new approach. My question is: I usually run six days a week and the plan is structured for only five days a week. I also enjoy biking and swimming. Should I do these activities on the sixth day or will this negatively affect the program? Thanks!"

Answer: Hi Donna and thanks for the very relevant question.

This is how it goes :

For most of the 100 day marathon plan you are free to add a run weekly (or even more) or use cross training for an added workload. No problem. However, it is extremely important that you stick to the number of "hard workouts" like they are specified. If you add more hard workouts (even on the bike) the chances of injuries will increase. So you can add additional easy runs and additional alternative training - but keep it on the "light side" in terms of intensity.

In addition to this : if you use the bike for workouts, ride with fairly high frequency - so that the movement you're doing does not become too static.

Now.

There is an exception to this. In the marathon specific weeks of the schedules, especially right around week nr 10 you want to cut out most of the cross training. At this stage I recommend only running and very limited cross training. You want to be as specific as possible at that time of the training and in these weeks the workouts are just on the edge of what you'll be able to take - especially in the sub 3:30 schedules. If you want to add more workouts in this period, make them only easy runs - or "walk-runs" (about 70 % running, 30 % walking)

Wish you all the best with your running (and cross training)

Kind regards,
Marius

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Gym work and marathon training

by Philip
(London)

How does one add extra gym work on top of the 100 day marathon plan ?

"Dear Marius,

Firstly I would like to say that I am very excited about taking on what looks to be a first class plan. I really can't wait to get going!

I have some questions/concerns:

Normally I like to stay fit by going to the gym 3-5 times a week and varying my exercises such as doing different core strengthening, weights and cardio exercises all the time. I want to continue my good progress of looking toned, and so I want to keep doing some sort of core and weight exercises whilst doing the 3.30 schedule 100 Day Marathon Plan. Is this ok?

I saw that in Chapter 10, Section 1, 2. Train Your Stomach Muscles means that my abs are covered, but what about my arms, legs, back, shoulders etc?
Can you recommend some marathon-friendly exercises for them?
And if so when would it be ideal to do them?

I'm concerned about this because as you said in Chapter 7, Section 4. by doing more resistance on the bike this could build muscle in areas where you have to carry them around as extra weight.

Thank you!

Philip"

Answer: Hi Philip and thanks for the question.

It is perfectly ok to do those exercises as long as you keep the number of repeats high (series of 20-40 repeats each). In addition to this, if you you do any of them on the legs, remember to do these "excentric" (adding load on the lengthening of the muscles)

I would also advice to keep track of how the core sessions influence the longer hard runs. In many cases you may want to space these core sessions so that they come the day after or the same day (after) the long hard work - and not the day before. But this is individual.

I may add a section on this into the 100 day marathon plan in the future. If you do want something that is customized for runnin, you can check out this site : Core running - I've seen the DVDs and they're pretty good.

As for using the bike - you want to monitor this as well and see how it influences your muscles. It varies quite a bit but in either case make sure to ride at a very high frequency.

All the best,

regards,
Marius

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Cross-Training Exercises

by Ryan Camire
(Newport, NH, USA)

What are some good cross-training exercises to combine with the 100 day plan ?

"Hi Marius! I tried to find information on cross-training on your site, but couldn't find much. What is your opinion on cross-training? What kinds of exercises would you recommend? I know that you don't recommend leg strengthening, but what about back and core exercises?

Also, my wife and I love to hike. Is hiking up mountains ok? and if we do it, should it just take the place of one of the hard days?

Thank you! Ryan"

Answer Hi Ryan and thanks for the question.

I'm a big fan of focusing mostly on running. It is probably the one sport where cross training/alternative training has the least effect of the endurance sports. In other sports such as skiing etc. it is slightly different - it has to do with the importancy of the elasticity in the muscles/tendons in running and "static" work such as exercises machines/too much cycling effects this and "eats" into the running performance more so than the increase in cardiovascular fitness those produce.

Having said that, I do believe it is wise to do some core exercises, at least close to the competition season. I recommend 2-3 times weekly, starting 6-8 weeks before your first competition of the year - or year through if you really like it.

As for hiking, this is a great way of working your system. I would test this out on easy days, a suggestion is to take a small run of 20-30 minutes right after you finish these hikes, or run 5-6 x 20/20 runs (20 sec on, 20 sec break) right afterwards (no warming up needed). This really makes it feel better afterwards and can make these work on easy days.

I wish you all the best with your training.

regards,
Marius

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Cross training-CF, HR & Walking (sorry 3 questions)

by monica emory
(st.pete FL)

Cross training and running/walking.

"Hi
I thought I would wait til I thought of things I need to ask and do it all at once..

1. I go to crossfit 2x's a week right now, and began the marathon program 2 weeks ago-->my marathonis in Jan,2010. CF (crossfit) is made up of lots of squating,push-up,pull-up,ect usually at high-intensity. Do you think this is is ok to do while training or should I join a "normal" gym & do "normal" workouts.

2. My heart rate is pretty darn high..I guess I will adjust it but I think my MAX is 220..yikes! So i just adjust the normal percentages for zone 1,2,3,4 right?

3. Ok so I was up to 10 mile runs prior to starting your program.
I see that the long runs are 50% walking. Can I walk less? like 25%??--I am doing 2 to 3 half marathons in the next 2 months. Is the walking for recovery b/c of the weeks sessions or for people who are not ready to run that distance-or time yet?

THANK YOU!!
Monica"

Answer: Hi Monica and thanks for your questions. Here we go :

1. As for cross training, the cross fit system is ok early in the schedule (I am aware of how it works) - BUT you want to be careful with the squatting and other exercises on the lower extremities especially during the marathon specific weeks of the schedule (type week 7 to week 12/13)In this period you need muscular rest between sessions, so play it safe and at least tune this slightly down during this period.

Also, the best is to do cross fit after your running sessions - on the hard days so that you can keep the easy days easy and have all the muscular stress on the same day. It is crucial to have the easy day-hard day-easy day pattern in the plan.

2. Yes, you are right - you can just adjust it according to your own heart rate.

3. When it comes to running and walking, I've touched on this a few times before. Basically, you CAN stretch the running part - as long as you keep it in the right zone (not pushing the pace) BUT, you want to monitor how tired you get from these sessions and compare it to where you stay on the plan with the planned % running/walking. If running abit more does not make you more tired in your legs for the next hard sessions, you are ok to do this - but if you feel that this wears you more down, then you want to stick to the planned out percentage.

I wish you all the best with your training,

Kind regards,
Marius

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100 day plan combined with other sports:

by Karl
(Tr├Žsko)

The 100 day plan combined with other sports :

"Hi Marius

I`m planning on doing the 3:30 plan. But at the same time I play football once a week normally, and tend to have a squash or tennis session occasionally. Would this be a problem in regards of recovery, and if so is there any way to calculate such training sessions into the plan?

Thanks"

Answer: Hi Karl, and thanks for your question. The most important thing is to space the very hard runs as much as possible away from these other sports activities. Then you'll be alright. So adjust the schedule so that the hardest runs have at least one day of no other sport in from of it. In addition to that, after you've done tennis or football, use the special strides (SS*) to speed up recovery and you should have nothing to worry about.

Special note though : in the very hard marathon specific weeks midway through the schedule you may want to be extra careful as the load it higher vs. the rest of the schedule.

All the best with your training,
kind regards,
Marius

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Cross country skiing and running

How is it possible to fit cross country skiing into the 100 day plan ?

"How can cross country skiing fit into the program? Is it possible to do the long easy runs as cross country skiing?
We have got lots of snow in Sandefjord.
Hege"

Answer:Hi Hege, great question.

You may substiture any of the easier runs of 30 to 90 minutes with cross country skiing. You can also substitute ONE of the harder runs with skiing hard, but not the longest most specific marathon runs. You will need those in your competition later.

So it is quite flexible, and excellent for the easy runs to just do some skiing instead :)Remember to keep it within the correct heart rate zone though, so that you can recover well.

All the best with your training,

kind regards,
Marius

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