viernes, 31 de mayo de 2013


TRYiNG To BeaT 2:40 iN BeRLiN MaRaTHON

AúPa My Friends¡¡¡¡ I'm just coming with one of my entries I wrote some month ago in Spanish, when I started to prepare the Berlin Marathon.
Now I'm going to start with the Boston Marathon Training, so I want to write down my thoughts in English, just in order to reach more runners around the world. 

Once I finished my Madrid MaraTHoN in April, for being more accurate when I crossed Km 40, my head was thinking on in my next goal, Berlin Marathon.
Looking on the internet for a good plan which drives me under 2:40, it came to me the name of a trainer, ReNaTo CaNoVa. No body has introduced ourselves, but it was not necessary. We have understood each other very well from the beginning¡¡¡

People who know me, know that I'm self-taught, and basically what I have done since I started running  six years ago, it's to test different methods of workouts, and just see how they influence on my results. I'm not going to bring anything new, but at least I want to point out the concerns it has raised amongst me.

These thoughts has been taken out of the pages of an article of runner's world. Once I read this article I knew I was going to experience this methodology, not for the results showen by Renato's guys, but because what he says. Canova defends a high volume of workouts at the goal pace.

One of the main premises that make me increase the interest in his methodology was the fact that pace is more important than the distance.

According to Renato Canova philosophy, paces closer to the goal pace are more important than those further away. We have to try to run as much as we can at paces around our goal pace.
Workouts at slow or moderate pace will be more concerned with regeneration, that what we call "recovery runs". For Renato that kind of workouts has a significant  importance and should be place among this days with particular demands.

One of the Renato's Golden rule is ""to run fast you have to train fast", so what it's important for him  is to arrive well rested to the highlights workouts, and therefore to recover after this efforts, with workouts at around 70% of our goal pace.

Therefore Renato's philosophy is based in a main golden rule:

We must progressively extend 
the distance we run 
at the goal pace

One of the characteristics of this method is the lack of traditional base cycle. Although depending on the runner's base and if we have run a marathon in a short time, we can introduce a previous conditioning period.

If we assume an acceptable base, we can start with a  Global period, where workouts of strength and speed  is gradually given way to an increase of the distance to run with a decrease on the pace.

On the figure 1 we can see tipycal workouts of those period of training.

There is no big difference with the sessions I have been developing during this years in the first step of my planning trainings: slopes, oregon and oberon circuits (BeRLiN 2012), but he introduces 2 new concepts for me.
 1.- Competition, because Canova says: What better for a Marathon man than training his aerobic capacity with a 10 km race?
2.- Continous up and down hills..

Regarding the first one,  I'm not going to participate in races every weekend, family life exists, and we will try to adapt this methodology to the reality of a family and working man, What challenge would be better than this? Mr. Canova...
In my particular case I´ll try to make workouts at the 10 km pace, it's not the same but it will help¡¡¡

Regarding hills, I've ever do this kind of sessions, but never a continous up and down workout at high paces. I'll take advantage of living close to a hilly park here in Coslada¡¡¡¡

If the  aerobic power makes up the quality base for a marathon runner, the aerobic resistance could be consider as the quantitative base. This way,  we will gradually fasten the paces up to be close to the Goal PaCe(100% M.P.R) at the same time we will increase the distance we run. Another golden rule of Mr.Canova, it's that the difference between  fartlek's paces and recovery paces should be shorter as we approach to the day race. In the specific period recovery paces could be near 95% of the goal pace(see table  3)

When should we jump to the specific Period of training?
What he says is that we will be ready when we are able to run a similarly Marathon distance with good feeling. As shown in Table 2, when we are able to run  40/44 Km at 80% of the goal pace.
We have read and heard that we can run not more than 2/3 Marathons per year, and "my good friend" and he ruined that in one fell swoop¡¡¡¡ 
I can understand that he refers to the fact that you may only compete twice. If we take a look to Kirui's training plan Kirui , we can see that he runs two times the distance of  24.9 miles  at al 90% of his goal pace in the two previous month before World Championship.

But I tell you, I will skip that point, I don't want to give up in trying¡¡¡¡¡

Once we are in the  Specific Period,  it's important to memorise the pace we want to run:(Marathon.Pace.Race). Renato's workouts in that period revolves basically in 4 types of sessions:

Specific Endurance Long Run: is the workout whether is better represented Canova's methodology. Around 30 Km at 95% -100% GoaL PaCe.

LoNG RePeaTS: repeats in between 2 and 7 Km with pace a little bit higher than the goal pace with recoveries at 30 seconds slower than the goal pace.As we said before this recovery pace will gradually speed up and getting closer to our goal pace.

FaRTLeK, where recovery paces are very close to the race pace.

SPeCiFiC MaRaTHoN PaCe BLoCK: one of the things that most struck me when I read about Renato Canova's method, are this kind of double sessions, because as he says permits you to simulate the demands of the Marathon with out  giving up trying¡¡¡

Just to finish I want to paste the final thought of Renato Canova:

""Coaching is an art form and that includes coaching yourself. You alone can best assess your background, strengths and weaknesses to maximize the program. That said, Canova's principles have led to groundbreaking performances by some of the world's best runners. Let us know what they do for you.""

In AuPaNaCHo we take up the challenge ¡¡¡¡¡¡

We start now the countdown for Boston Marathon 2014, and as always what's most important for me is to arrive to the start line with any aches or injuries, then first step will be done¡¡¡