John Feeney’s Marathon training tips - week four

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THERE are now just six weeks remaining until the Brighton Marathon and probably just three or four weeks before the start of your taper period.

Training volumes will be increasing and you should be building towards your longest runs.

Sub five-hour Marathon: For those of you looking to complete the Marathon in five hours or under, your long run this weekend should be about 2-2¼ hours. Try to include some hills in your training runs and aim to attempt at least one run of 18-20 miles before the Marathon.

Sub four-hour Marathon: For those of you looking to complete the Marathon in four hours or under, you should be aiming to run for 2¼ - 2½ hours this weekend.

Sub three-and-a-half hour Marathon: For the more experienced runners looking to complete the Marathon in less than three-and-a-half hour hours, your long run should be between 18-20 miles this weekend. Ideally, your long run should peak at 22 miles about two to three weeks before the Marathon and include a training plateau at 18 or 20 miles.

For all runners, it would be useful to gain pre-Marathon race experience by entering a half-Marathon or 10k event.

This helps you assess your training, practice pre-race nutrition, carbohydrate replenishment during the race and pacing strategies. Also, try including some Marathon race pace miles/minutes at the end of your long run. This encourages your body to utilise its fat stores as a predominant energy source.

These sessions are tough and may not be suitable for beginners. Build up the volume gradually and aim to try this session every other week. Finally, if you’re struggling with your training, don’t be tempted to increase the volume too quickly. It’s important to maintain structure to your training and ensure you include adequate recovery periods.