Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

How do I run with my wife when marathon training?

"Hi Gary
Thanks for the training tips for the Rotorua marathon. My wife and I are going to run it. I have run 2 before... around 3:15-3:20 finishing time. My wife has run a couple of halves around 2:15. We obviousily run at different race sppeds but do a bit of training together on the long runs. I would like to get closer to the 3 hour mark if possible. She wants to complete the marathon.

My question is....

is it ok to continue to run together for the long runs up to 3 hours? The pace we run at is slower than my race pace but good for her.... Is this a good idea or will it hinder my training as I would be running faster on race day."
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Gary Moller comments:
Three hours on your feet is your training goal. I do not see any point in running longer than that. The risk of injury and excess fatigue cancels out any added benefit if there is any.

Work out your respective aerobic thresholds (AeT) this way:
  • Wear a sports heart rate rate monitor each
  • Run as fast as you can for 20-40 minutes preferably in a race and get your average pulse during the mid sections of the run (After the first five minutes and before the last 5)
  • This average heart rate is your anaerobic threshold (AT)
  • Your aerobic threshold is about 10-20 beats per minute below this.

So, if your AT is 160 beats, then your AeT is about 140. You can not run a marathon above your AT heart rate. Your AeT is probably the fastest you can run a marathon. If you exceed your estimated AeT you will surely hit the wall during a marathon.

When training with your wife, you must not have her trying to keep up with you by exceeding her AeT. Do not worry if the long Sunday run is easy since it is time on your feet drinking water only that is important. Run at her AeT or slower.

On the shorter Tuesday and Thursday runs is when you try to run for 1-2 hours nudging your AT here and there. On the Saturday is when you do much shorter, faster runs that exceed your AT for several minutes. You would do all these runs at your pace and your wife at her's. If you are doing these runs together, have your wife send you the long way round now and then or have you drive harder up a hill or run ahead and then run back.



Be sure to gradually build up the training volume and intensity to a peak prior to the marathon and make sure you have "rest weeks" as outlined in the training guide.

Follow these suggestions and the rest of the advice that is on this website and in the marathon training guide and both of you will be assured of personal bests.

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