Training for a marathon can be boiled down to two essential things.
1. The first is obvious, the running. Run fast, run slow, run long, run up hills, run races and keep on running.
2. The second thing is the recovery of which there are also two essential things.
The first part to the recovery is how you need to be able to allow the body to recover having pushing it towards its limits in tough training sessions. In general runners don’t do recovery well. We are happy to push, push, push but taking a day off. That can be a hard one.
The second part to the recovery is how you recover during the run itself. And this is at heart of whether you will run a personal best or not. To make it simple you need to understand that as you run you produce bad stuff. We could call this bad stuff toxins, but that sounds too dangerous while calling them shite is probably a little too vulgar. So let us just call them, crap.
Now imagine you are in a room with a kid who is throwing crap onto the floor and pretend you can’t stop them from throwing crap onto the floor. So you need to clean it up. If you can clean it up as quick as the kid is throwing it on the floor then there is no problem. However if more crap is being thrown out than you can put away, and there is no end to the crap that your kid can find, then sooner or later the room is going to become so full of crap and you will find it difficult to move. Well that’s what running a marathon is like.
Instead the scientists like to call the crap – lactates and they are produced not by your one-year old but by your muscles. And if you are producing more lactates running than your body can process well then sooner or later you will hit the wall and find it difficult to move.
And ultimately that is what training is all about. You are pushing your body to the level where it is able to process as much lactates as it is producing. The only trick then on the day is knowing where this maximum level is. Otherwise you will be joining the crap on the floor.
In other news, as I reach the toughest week of running, boy am I tired.
Recovery (thank goodness)