Marathon specific workouts

by Goran Edenro
(Mölndal, Sweden)

Marathon specific workouts and the 100 day plan :

"Hi Marius,
I've just started the 100 day plan and must say that I'm really enjoying this schedule. Let's see if it can take me to my goal of 2:48:47 (currently on 2:51:57).

For my previous marathons I've done Canova-based training which has mainly been running at target marathon speed for about 40% of weekly km for approximately 8wks. During these weeks I've done 3-4x5k, 3x6k, 10k, 15k, 21k etc. at marathon race pace. Canova likes a lot of marathon specific workouts.

In your 100-day plan there's no marathon race specific workouts. Instead there's E3 and E4, which is faster, and E2 which is slower. Since your plan is partly based on Canova I wonder what your thoughts are about this.

I've always relied on knowing that I trained the muscle fibres I'm going to use as well as preparing my body to relax at target speed by running a lot on that speed. It's a bit scary to not do any specific sessions!

Thanks for your program, I'm really enjoying it!


/Goran, Mölndal Sweden"

AnswerHi Goran and thanks for your question.

As you know, I'm a big fan of the Italian system and in the 100 day plan you find quite a bit of running where you go up and down in zones (touching all zones from effort 2-4). These sessions, from my experience, will give you exactly what Canova is talking about - and when it says Effort 2, some of that should be high effort 2 (natural, within that zone) and Effort 3 low effort 3 (natural also).

However, since you are a quite experienced runner you can certainly take some of that earlier experience and place in there some of these steady marathon pace runs. This is no problem, you can just substitute them with a hard session in there.

For the more in-experienced runners and those over 3:00-3:30, running that much marathon specific work can be counter productive. In those cases, it is better to "boost endurance/shape" with the higher end training (threshold type) and get used to duration with the long-easier runs - like you see quite a bit on in the 100 day plan. But at your level, you can certainly play around with that.

I wish you all the best and I'm glad you like the program !

kind regards,

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