My approach to training – Where to begin
Training for one marathon is in itself a huge challenge. One which takes grit, determination, and many, many hours of pounding the pavements. So how do I even begin to think about how to train for 6 of these things happening on 6 consecutive days?
My own approach to training is a tricky one. As I have never even attempted a marathon before, I needed a plan that can take me from half to ultra in the space of 16 weeks. It was time to get researching.
It is all about recovery
There are a lot of guides out there on the best way to train for a marathon. Most of which seem to follow the same theory of a gradual build up of one big run in your weekly plan.
For beginners who just want to finish a marathon, it is commonly said that it is only necessary to build this run up to around 20 miles and training plans usually factor in lots of recovery days to try and prevent injury. At SockMine, we have created our own marathon training plan for beginners which you can download for free. Click here to open up the document.
I am no expert, but from everything I have read and heard from those more experienced than myself seems to be based around one key factor: recovery.
Running on consecutive days means that we are going to have very little time for our bodies to recover. As a result, my approach to training is simply based around completing 2 to 3 “big runs” on consecutive days rather than just increasing one big run a week. The aim is to train my body to recover as quickly as possible, so I have the best chance of fighting off muscle soreness the next day.
In addition, with a challenge of this scale, times don’t matter. As long as I am able to cross that London Marathon finish line on the 23rd April, I will consider this challenge a success. Therefore I am not incorporating any speed/interval training into my plan. My one and only goal is to make it through the challenge in one piece so I feel with limited amount of time I have, increasing my aerobic and muscular endurance has got to be my focus.
The nutritional side
My other challenge is nutrition. For most people, this aspect of training is the best part; being able to eat as much as you like. As much as I enjoy food, I am by no means a big eater. So having to more than double my food intake during training has so far been quite a chore for me. I am trying to stick to lots of carbohydrates for energy, and protein for recovery.
Since I began this challenge, I have realised I need to take every step possible to reduce the risk of illness and injury. As a result, I have also made a big effort to increase my micronutrient intake as well as my macronutrient intake. To do this, I am taking a vitamin C supplement from Nutrivitality, who boast an absorption percentage of over 8 times that of other leading vitamin C products. This has really helped fight off bugs and also is claimed to help skin function.