Improving your marathon time is a great goal for seasoned runners who want to push themselves. But what strategies work when you’re a master’s runner and your PR was run 20 years previously?
Recreational runners may not have the resources of a professional runner when working towards a PR (personal record), but luckily the core principles of improving performance are the same for all of us. To get faster, you need:
- A thoughtfully structured training plan (for progression and injury prevention)
- Varied workouts to gain both speed and endurance
- And consistency in training
With those basics, staying injury free and recovering quickly is much easier. If you are able to run, you can make gains. And gains = PR attempts.
Beyond the fundamentals, there are other aspects to leverage in your favor:
- Nutrition during long runs as well as marathon-specific fueling
- Strategic race selection, think: flat, fast, fall (as in autumn)
- Race day pacing
Strength Running is here to provide you with the resources that you need to improve and if you want more, join us at team Strength Running where we have a positive and inclusive community.
One of our team members is Rose and when I offered to do a coaching call with someone from the team, she jumped at the opportunity.
Strategies for Faster Marathon Times
Rose is a scientist by day and an enthusiastic runner (also by day). While she wasn’t involved with organized running teams through her earlier years, she has been running for several decades. Now, in her 40s, Rose is wondering if she can continue to get faster in her marathon times and beat a PR from her 20s.
As you’ll hear in this episode, Rose is a strong and committed runner who has made significant improvements in the last few years. She previously dealt with a lot of discomforts, but is now running pain-free. She attributed that to her strength build with the High Performance Lifting program and mobility improvements through our various routines.
Because of her solid foundation with training, one of the first suggestions I have for her is to increase her mileage. You can hear a bit of my rationale in this clip:
Through our conversation, I learned more about Rose’s past race performance, training cycle lengths, and her goals. We talk though many other aspects that she can dial in and ultimately lay out a full year of training and races for her.
Rose was pumped to hear that a PR is most definitely possible. We just have to be thoughtful in the approach and patient with the process. We’re all cheering for her!
From your feedback, I know that these types of coaching calls resonate with many of you. This information and support is the foundation of the Strength Running team, where you can join our thriving community.
In the meantime, please enjoy this episode and thank you to Rose, once again, for joining me.
Listen to the entire episode:
Thank You Elemental Labs!
A big thanks to Elemental Labs for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors.
Their products have some of the highest sodium concentrations that you can find. Anybody who runs a lot knows that sodium, as well as other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, are essential to our performance and how we feel throughout the day.
The citrus flavor has quickly become my favorite and I’m drinking one a day now to help me get enough fluids in our dry Colorado air. It’s tasty and delicious and I find that I’m not peeing every 45 minutes throughout the day, which might be an indication I wasn’t eating enough sodium.
There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense.
I’m encouraged by the fact that Navy SEAL teams, Olympic teams, and pro athletes have started using Elemental electrolyte supplements to improve their performance. Learn more about what they do at their website.