Successful and injury-free Marathon training without the long runs?
Performance coach, massage therapist and friend of Trigirl, Emily Chong, subjected herself to a nighttime off-road marathon to test out her own theory about interval training.
Emily adopted a “no long run” style of training for the marathon, using gym-based strength training and high-intensity intervals in the pool and on the bike to boost her fitness, to great success.
Read more about Emily’s marathon training and why it could help to keep you injury-free here:
It’s cold, dark, wet and icy outside. You’re feeling tired or maybe you’re recovering from an injury. Perhaps you have a marathon booked in a few months. Should you grin and bear it and stick with the mileage written in the training plan? Should you listen to your body and rest?
Is Marathon training without long runs possible?
Your answer may be interval training, cross training and pushing weights in the warmth of a gym.
At the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Emil Zátopek became the first person to win the 5k, 10K and the marathon in the same Olympics. Before then he had never run a marathon, not in training, nor in a race. His secret? Interval training.
The “combustion triangle” of sports training consists of:
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Strength & conditioning and
Using just one activity to train for these components is not uncommon; many runners only run. However, this can be time consuming and risky considering the amount of impact and the time it takes to recover from running.
My Marathon Training Experiment
I wanted to experience how effective cross training and interval training could be for this blog post, so I signed up for a marathon as an experiment. Apart from a very slow Ironman in 2014 (with a 5hr run split), I had never run a marathon before. While I’m used to high volume swimming and cycling, I don’t run more than 10km at a time.