Thursday, 13 January 2011

Marathon Training For Masters; Q&A With Marius Bakken

How to do masters marathon training :

"Hi Marius and happy belated New Year!
I'm starting your programme again for the London Marathon.
After last year following your plan I now want to take my performance one step higher and achieve a championship qualifying time of sub 2.45 at the age of 50.

My question is should I make any changes to the 100 day plan to take into account my age.
Some very good masters coaches recommend masters runners should do short hill sprints to help maintain a long youthful stride into old age, can I incorporate these hill sprints into the 100 day programme and how often should I run them!
Cheers Rick"

Answer: Hi Rick and good to hear from you ! I look forward to following your progress leading up to London.

Now, to your question - the main reason why performance go down with age is due to the decrease of elastic ability in the legs (the elastic tendon fibres tend to increase with time, the same with the general muscular elasticity )

Hill work can work, but it is difficult to control well, especially with age. Often it goes the other way.

What I recommend is to be really good at running the SS (special strides) in the 100 day plan (and remember:ONLY after hard work, NEVER after the easy runs :) )This is the #1 thing that goes right into the challenge of age.

In addition to this, pay attention to the self-massage in the 100 day plan. It helps you recover faster plus increase the above elasticity.

Other than that, some runners feel like they need more recovery time between hard work when they are older, but this is highly individual. With a well planned out system, this does not have to be the case - especially with the variation you find in the 100 day plan.

I wish you all the best with your preparations !

kind regards,

You want to start real easy on these and end at about your 3k pace or maybe 1500 pace, no faster !

That means about 90-93 % speed ; so no sprinting at the end of those. And do them progresive, meaning you start a bit slowly and get into a good rythm but never into sprinting.

That way you bring back the elasticity in your legs which is the main aim of these - for faster recovery between sessions. Marius

Tomorrow I'm running the Ashurst Beacon fell race.
I'm replacing M.B.s hardest session of the week with the race.
Very easy level one using heart rate monitor to keep my pulse down to 95-115 bpm.
felt very relaxed and fresh as I ran along with Tess on the hillside loop, weather amazingly mild! = 32 mins

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