Masters Marathon

by Robert Wildes, answer by Marius

Masters Marathon - A different approach

Masters Marathon - A different approach

How should age influence your marathon training approach ? If you are a a master marathon runner, there are some things to consider.

Robert sent this interesting question :

Do you think there is any inherent advantage for older ( mid 50's) runners doing mostly singles versus doubles if the marathon is their ultimate goal PR race?

Specifically for runners with track records of running 15 or so miles a week on a consistent basis.

Hi Robert, this is a quite interesting question. The main challenge older runners face is a natural decrease in elasticity in the tendons and muscles as we age. There is also changes in the hormones that influences the general recovery and the general performance.

What I have seen myself (and advised for) in master runners (+40-45 years of age) is to use variation between the two approaces you name above.

This is that you can do in your marathon training schedule :

1. Two weeks of short doubles. On these, as they are shorter, you can push the pace a bit towards the end. Also, at the end of these runs, take 5-6 x 20 second "strides" with 20-30 sec. recovery in between each. This will help your running economy/tendon elasticity.

2. Two weeks of longer singles. On these, if you have time, try and progress in duration during those two weeks. Meaning that say you run 30 minutes the first 3-4 days, then 50 minutes the next 3-4 days then 70 minutes the next 3-4 days and finally 90-12 minutes (that can be alternating running and walking - point is just to get the duration in there)

After that you are back to the short doubles again!

Closer to the marathon you may want to cycle it two weeks of long duration and one run and one week of doubles.

This ensures the variation you need and at the same time is is injury preventing.

Wish you all the best the masters marathon training :)

Kind regards,

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