The Battle of the Bridge: Two Weeks Out

By Hayden Shearman // This week there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of runners out and about training for the Auckland Marathon. Trouble is, it’s almost too late.

Aside from any mental benefits late cramming can give you, it takes a good two to four weeks to see true physical adaptations from training. So you’ll just be recovering from the increased training come race day. But putting that aside, and assuming you’ve already done a solid block of training up to this point, what should we be doing two weeks out from the Auckland Marathon?

Auckland Harbour Bridge

Last week it was mileage. This week it’s a colourful combo of mileage, hills, some speed, and plenty of active recovery.

Mileage: This should still be reasonably high but probably a little tapered down from last week’s peak. Half marathoners, however, can afford to push the mileage a little more this week as they are likely to be doing less miles overall (requiring less recovery).

So your long run this weekend should still be significant. And how I like to approach this long run is to do most of it nice and easy (like most LSD runs) but then finish the final 5-8k at a steady clip (around your half or full marathon pace). This helps to simulate the feeling of needing to back-end the effort of race day, without actually doing that full distance.

You might also like to practice consuming fluids and gels at this race pace (to get ready for race day).

Hills: Auckland is blessed with plenty of rolling hills and some surprisingly steep volcanic cones. Use these in your long run and perhaps one other midweek run to practice good hill running technique and to remind yourself that you can actually run up a hill and not just collapse in a heap at the top.

Here’s an article on hill running technique. 

Some Speed: You’re entering the phase where you exchange quantity for quality. So you might do some low to mod hill reps (not sprinting), some strides (controlled fast short runs of 10-30secs), some fartlek, or a tempo run. But just do one, max two, sessions this week, and you should finish them feeling like you could have done a lot more.

I’ve written more about speed sessions here.

Plenty of Active Recovery: By active recovery I don’t mean heading out for another run to recover straight after your Sunday long run, but rather being intentional about your recovery times.

Set aside time for foam rolling (maybe in front of the telly or in the back yard), have the fridge stocked with plenty of nutritious vegetables and fruit (also aim to have carbs and protein within 30mins of finishing your big workouts), sleep well, get a massage, and have a soak in the sea and then a hot tub.

Treat yourself, you’ve earned it!

Finally, get a head start on your competition by popping along to Auckland’s Great Marathon Q&A evening this Monday (7:30pm) at Freeman & Grey, Ponsonby. It’s only $10 and includes advice from Auckland’s top running minds. Plus there’s free pizza!

More info here. 

Missed last week’s episode of Battle of the Bridge? Have a read now. 

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