As you may have read in my introductory blog post, I’ve never been much of a long distance runner so I suspect that I have no aerobic base so to speak of. So since I really started to train for a marathon, which is probably since March this year, I’ve stuck to pretty much the same mantra as part of my training philosophy – easy runs at easy pace.
What this equates to is I train mainly with heart rate showing on my Garmin Forerunner 235 and aim to keep that as close to, or usually under, 150bpm as I can. Where that number comes from is the Maffetone Method – supposedly you can estimate your maximum aerobic heart rate by subtracting your age from 180, and you can add or subtract some corrections if you need to (e.g. injuries, major illnesses, etc)
By keeping my heart rate below 150bpm, the theory is that your body adapts and gets more efficient at this particular effort level (though the same could be said of any type of training, to be completely honest). I’ve never actually dug into the finer details of the Maffetone Method, but the bit that really sold me was that training at this lower heart rate, you end up not beating up your body so badly and therefore are able to recover more quickly for your next runs. And truth be told, I’ve not really been disappointed with the results.
Currently, I’m training 3-4 days using this training philosophy – it applies to both my easy runs and long runs, and perhaps predictably, I do no speed work whatsoever. Coming up to the marathon on November, however, this may need to change just a little.
In a crazy, crazy version of my journey to my first marathon, I would have loved to have finished in under 4 hours, but at present, I think it may be too difficult to continue building my aerobic base and add speed work at the same time. That probably won’t stop me from trying, but more likely than not, my target speed for the marathon is going to be 6:00min/km, which takes me over my dream 4 hour marathon.
So that’s my training philosophy at present in a nutshell – I’m sure there are improvements I can make, and I’m sure I’ll make adjustments along the way too, but I’m learning a lot as I go, which has made the journey worth it so far. If you have any suggestions for me, please do leave me a comment below or on Instagram as I’m very happy to hear from other’s experiences.