This is the time of year that thoughts turn to entering spring marathons and winter marathon training. We were lucky enough to have a special Run Mummy Run Twitter Q&A session with Matt Buck of www.runningadventures.uk to answer all of our burning marathon training questions.
Matt is an experienced ultra-runner and qualified running coach with 10 years experience of leading people on challenge events. He has completed numerous ultra-marathons and marathons including the infamously brutal Marathon des Sables in 2014. Matt has a passion for adventure and the outdoors. He believes in a friendly and personable approach to coaching in order to get the best out of his runners.
Q What would you say is the best training plan for a first marathon?
A One written by me! Seriously though, a personalised plan is best so that it is achievable and realistic around your other commitments.
Q I have an autumn half marathon and am running my first marathon in April. What sort of mileage should I do between now and New Year? Should I build from the 13.1 miles gradually or wait and start a 12 week marathon plan after Christmas?
A You need to be gradually increasing your mileage and long runs and want to eventually be hitting 20-22 miles for your long run. Don’t wait until the New Year to start, get your base fitness before Christmas, then kick on in the New Year.
Q I get to around 20 miles in a marathon and then lose energy and need to be sick. My training to 20 miles is ok and I’ve been managing my fuelling ok. I managed my fuelling much better at Paris marathon and it helped but I still needed to stop and heave. Perhaps it is partly psychological? Do you think running a longer distance in training might help?
A Are you definitely managing your fuelling ok? It sounds like you are getting low on fuel to me. Are you expecting ‘the wall’? There could be a psychological element happening as well. If you are ok up to 20 miles I would definitely consider trying longer in training, try 22 miles and see how that goes.
Q Can you do marathon training on 2/3 runs per week with 1 PT session and 1 or 2 bootcamp sessions? My marathon is in 20 weeks time.
A For sure as long as one of those runs is a long run to build your endurance.
Q I am a hungry runner and struggle with anything over 2 hours. I use gels but what else would you suggest eating?
A Gels are great if you can continuously take them throughout a whole marathon without feeling sick or getting stomach issue (I can’t!), shot bloks are a good alternative, as well as jelly babies, bananas, nuts.
Q I would like to try my first ultra marathon next summer. Would that be ok after a spring marathon? I’m nervous.
A A marathon in April is perfectly timed for building training for a summer ultra (distance wise). Just go for it. Any ultra up to 50km is achievable from marathon training.
Q What is the most effective way to improve my endurance for marathon running?
A Your long runs are vital for building your endurance up slowly. Never skip these sessions, without them, you’ll struggle to build the required endurance for a marathon.
Q Can you do too many miles training for a marathon?
A Many people do over train and it can be a big problem. A max of 40 miles per week is usually high enough for most people. The long runs are the most important.
Q I have VLM in April, my 3rd marathon. What is the best pre-hab stengthener for hip flexors please?
A There is a great article with exercises here http://runnersconnect.net/running-training-articles/hips-hamstrings-and-glues-are-the-key-to-running-faster/ …
Q I want to ask about speed. How do I increase my speed for a 26.2?
A There are a few ways – tempo runs, intervals and hill sessions will all be hugely beneficial. Make all your sessions count and mix it up a bit to keep it interesting.
Q Back to back marathons – How close is too close together?
A This depends on your training plan, your fitness levels and your goals. I would recommend a good month of taking it easier after a tough marathon..