Updated: Jan 28
Throughout secondary school I excelled at 800m and 1500m, however, even though I test my health every 6-12 months by seeing if I can still run 10k+ comfortably, with the knowledge I have on the negative effects of highly repetitive, chronic cardio (where ones heart rate is above 180-age for prolonged periods of time and several times a week) , I stick to walking and sprinting (1). If you are pretty fit already, planning on only running one in your entire life (and have enough time and understanding to progressively condition yourself mentally and physically) you will undoubtedly prevent the majority of, if not all, injuries and illnesses.
Action Plan (In Order):
1. Slowly become a fat burner (less than 150g carbs daily). Train low carb, race high carb.
2. Increase aerobic threshold (65-75% of max heart rate) by running 5-10 miles on back-to-back days after a few weeks of low level (less than 65% of max heart rate) aerobic activity. If you complete both without adding extra carbs you know your threshold pace where you are relying on fat for fuel not glycogen/carbs.
3. Interval train once a week starting with comfortable 400m intervals, walking for a couple of minutes between each one, build up to 10-15 in total. Progress to 800m intervals building up to 10. Carb load with approx 350-400g sweet potato carbs the night before to handle the more glycogen/sugar burning method. Don’t train hard the following day, walk, move gently and remain low carb.
Want to stay up to date with out latest articles and recipes?
4. Run at race pace, increasing miles each time.
5. A couple of days before the race, carb load (approximately double normal carb intake) on yams, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, wild/white rice if tolerated, and fruit, while maintaining protein intake and moderate fat intake (2). Spread carbs out across meals. Light jog, brisk walk only, don’t train hard.
6. Hours before race, have a light breakfast containing all macronutrients eg. a few whole eggs with a banana and half a sweet potato with a cup of freshly ground, freshly made, organic coffee if you’re a regular drinker.
7. Cover and protect your nipples.
8. Start slowly and pace yourself, at the half way stage/after at least an hour, have pure glucose (20g every 20-30 mins) not Lucozade, and mix with a little water (3). Keep refuelling with a little water without bloating (4).
9. Enjoy different forms of exercise afterwards, don’t get hooked on ultra endurance races.
Even one marathon can seriously damage the body (5). It will quite possibly be the hardest thing you ever do, and if ill-prepared you will suffer considerably. They have become popular in order to raise money or prove something, but are often misjudged (6). I suggest you have a really long think about whether or not you actually need to do it.
Related post: What Cardio Should I Do?
Related post: What Is Functional Training?
Related post: 5 Exercises You Should Master
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Co-founder of 'The Evolved Way', and experienced personal trainer, Samson practices what he preaches. His own healthy lifestyle, which informs this site, is based on understanding the right way to eat and exercise, not excluding of course going out and enjoying life knowing you can still feel and look good.