Marathon training won’t rob you of middle-distance speed

Welcome! Forums Running Forum Marathon training won’t rob you of middle-distance speed

This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  denton 9 years, 11 months ago.

  • Author
  • #11697
  • #28420


    I will be the first to offer myself up as a more midpack example of what that is talking about. Every one of my big improvements in performance followed a focused increase in my training volume. This has happened with enough consistency that it's not just a coincidence.

    It's just a fact that distance running speed comes through stamina. If you have a strong aerobic engine, it's much easier to run at a higher intensity at shorter distances. Even more, it's much easier to do killer workouts that will maximize the development of your speed. While a big aerobic engine won't do much for you in the 100 or the 400, most of us very infrequently run less than 5000 meters and, for that event, you don't need 100 or 400 meter speed.

  • #28421

    Of course, as the media is wont to do, there were some simplifications in the article.  Ritzenhein never really got away from training at 5000-10,000m type speeds.  It seems like too many marathon runners have not followed a patient progression to the marathon distance that included a significant period of speed development for anything much faster than marathon pace. 

  • #28422


    Indeed, he never got away from 5000-10,000m type speeds. I'm sure he never completely got away from even faster speeds. Those paces are an important part of a well rounded marathon training plan. I realize they aren't a part of all marathon plans but any plan that excludes them is inferior.

    I know where you're coming from with that but my response would be that he was doing sensible marathon training and a sensible marathon training plan indeed will not rob you of middle distance speed. If one isn't following a sensible marathon training plan, then it's not the marathon training that is robbing them of their speed but a lack of balance.

  • #28423

    Well, the other side of that is that so few, even with a focus on the marathon, do train to a level that sufficiently enables regularly hitting 5000-10,000m type speeds.  This is again going back to the proverbial <60 mpw annual average type with a primary focus on marathons.

  • #28424


    Indeed. It's hard to get balance when you have such little base to cover so many things.

  • #28425

    Right, there is the notion that optimal training can have one only a handful of weeks away from running well over any distance from 5K through the marathon.  Not just balance, either, but a volume level adequate for fostering meaningful development.

  • #28426


    Well, that adequate volume level is a big part of the balance. Without the adequate volume level, there's no way to have balance. That's where I was coming from.

  • #28427

    'volume is the single greatest factor in distance running. It's not the only factor, but it is the most important' (Joe Vigil)….u can interpret that any way u want…..

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.