|Training Program - Four Training Principles
A Continuum of Readiness for the Marathon Exists. At one end there are rank beginners with no physical preparation and at the other extreme there are Olympic or world-class level participants. At any given time each of us is somewhere between those extremes. Get an idea where you are and strive to improve from that point.
General Adaptive Syndrome. We improve and adapt to new levels of performance by putting ourselves under some stress. Continual improvement needs a gradual application of more stress. This may involve longer or faster running or walking. However, improvement requires the opportunity to recover from this stress. The body follows its own rhythm. There is a certain rate, and no faster, to which it will develop. This program gives you plenty of time to progress to the marathon level. Stress without recovery leads to breakdown (injury and impaired performance).
Specificity and Delayed Training Effect. We perform better after practicing a particular act. A successful completion of the marathon distance (26.2 miles) is easier after you can run farther and faster. This program periodically introduces new types of preparation and maintains variety. A delayed reaction to improvement exists. Stress from running and exercising causes our body to slightly break down. Then it adapts to the particular stress, recovers and performs at an improved level. It usually takes 10-14 days to note improvement. Use the suggestions in the marathon plan as guidelines and blend them into your own personal plan.
Cross Training. Specificity does not say that cross training does not have a place in this plan. Fatigue or soreness from running may require some other activity in order to relieve stress on the body and the lower legs. Some cross training activities rather specific to running are riding a bicycle while in a standing position, running in an upright position in water and walking You can recuperate and even enhance your running prowess with these activities. Reverse the Run/Walk Intervals as described below. Walk 9:00 and run 1:00. Cross training workouts should not be more strenuous than Short Recovery Run workouts if you are using them for recovery.
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