The Path to Marathon Success - Track Work or Repeats
by Benji Durden

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Track Work or Repeats

After six weeks of hill work, you're ready to move to the track. The workouts are all 800-meter runs (two laps around a track) with 400-meter recovery jogs (one lap around a track). Check Chart 2 for the times to shoot for. Our 48-minute runner should aim for 3:34 to 3:54 for the 800s. The 400 recovery jogs should be run at, or slower than, the easy run pace. The warm-up and warm-down times are 25 minutes at first, increasing to 28 minutes by the end of the program.

Consistent times are what to shoot for, rather than starting hard and finishing slow. If you can run all of your 800s within 5 seconds of each other, it's a much better workout than if you ran two 800s fast, but then have to slow down for the final ones.

If you don't have access to a track or if you simply prefer the roads, run for 3 minutes on the road at the 800-meter pace followed by a 2-minute recovery. Do the same number of 3-minute runs as the schedule calls for in 800-meter runs. For example, Week 8 calls for seven 800-meter runs, so instead do seven 3-minute runs.

If your training is going according to plan, you'll be racing faster as you work through the program. If you are a 48-minute 10-K runner and you improve your race times 30 to 40 seconds later in your training schedule, adjust your paces a bit. It takes a little math if you want to be precise in how much to move up in speed since 47:30 isn't on Chart 2. But it isn't necessary to be that exact. There is some overlap between the low range of one performance level and the high range of the next.

If your training has gone well, your perceived effort for a given pace should become easier. Focus on effort level and move through the range of times for your recent racing efforts.

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Credits: Text copyright 1996 by Benji Durden

This article has informational purpose and  isn't a substitute for professional advice.

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