Prepping for a mega marathon? All you need to do is keep your motivation high and your preparations on in full swing. “To help you, here’s a four-week schedule that will ensure you have a strong run and enjoy the euphoria of a marathon,” said Tarun Walecha, marathoner and founder of Delhi-based running group RunXtreme who is the brain behind Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon.
You can prep for any — a Half Marathon, Open 10K, Great Delhi Run, Senior Citizens’ Run, and Champions with Disability categories — with this guide, that you can alter a bit to suit your preferences.
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Start with your current weekly mileage, but with a schedule, as it will help to throw in some speed runs to ensure your legs get used to faster running. Three-four days of running in the week are ideal, along with incorporating two-speed workouts, one short easy run, and one long easy run. The speed workout can be interval, fartlek and/or threshold running. It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t suddenly push too much and let your body get used to the new regimen.
It is now time to push a little. You can increase your weekly mileage by 10-15 per cent, proportionately increasing all the other runs. You could also increase the length of interval training; so if you’d done 400 m intervals the previous week, increase them to 600 m this time. It is important to be mindful of your long runs, run them slow and easy. Aerobic training is a very important part of long-distance running.
It is important to be mindful of your long runs, run them slow and easy (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)
Since this is the last week of hard training, besides increasing the mileage by another 10-15 per cent, you can try and push a little on your effort. Having said that, make sure you don’t push so much that leads to injury. It may also help that in the long run in this cycle you touch close to 18 km. Do not worry if you haven’t done a half marathon distance in your training. Most runners often get anxious about that. With an 18 km long run, you’ll be good for the race day.
After all the hard work your body has done, it is time to pamper it a little and make it race-ready. You can do some short speed workouts to ignite the muscle memory, but do not exert yourself. You must rest well, eat well and most importantly, hydrate well through the week. The race expo happens this week and it is exciting to meet fellow runners and share the good vibes. Having come this far, now is the time to enjoy the race day. Believe in your training, and without fretting too much about the pace, go out there and enjoy the run!