Effort Based Marathon Training – Time to Talk About How Running Feels! [12]

effort based marathon training

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EFFORT BASED MARATHON TRAINING

Mark: So, we looked at the first method. Method 2?

Dave: Method 2, which, as I say, goes hand-in-hand with Method 1 (time-based training) is effort-based training.

Training Pace Predictor

One of the foremost reasons for doing this is to calibrate effort with the times that you’ve got listed in the schedule.

So, for a recovery run you’d make sure you were working at a very easy, comfortable pace.

Whereas, if it was a stamina-based run, you’d make sure it was comfortably hard.

That’s why we bring effort into the situation.

Then another scenario is when circumstances don’t allow pace to be the primary way of measuring intensity.

Examples are where you’re doing Hill Repeats, or something we call Fartlek Runs, where you’re working off-road at a variety of different speeds and gradients.

It’s more appropriate then to be aware of your effort rather than the absolute minutes-per-mile pace.

So, that’s where effort comes into its own.

Does Running Pace Matter?

There might also be situations where weather conditions are adverse and the actual pace becomes less relevant than how hard you’re working to overcome that headwind or that searing hot weather, that kind of thing.

Then yet another factor is if you’re running off-road on quite challenging substrates.

Pace is less relevant, because substrate in that situation is more of a dampener of your pace.

Mark: Yeah. What’s the best way of doing those measurements?

Dave: Great question. There’s actually two approaches I take.

Rate of Perceived Exertion

Firstly, there’s something called RPE, which is Rate of Perceived Exertion or Effort.

The general principle is you’re working through a full spectrum, from incredibly easy running right through to extremely hard, if not flat out.

Maybe not so much flat out given that we’re marathon running, but that is basically the spectrum. It’s conveniently calibrated on a 1-10 scale.

Talk Test

Then the second approach…

I suggest using both in tandem, by the way…

Is something called the Talk Test.

The beauty of this is that it’s easily testable as you’re running.

It can range from what I call the ‘gossip’ pace, which is so slow that you can literally gossip, right through to silence, and everything in between.

Mark: Okay. That sounds quite a good way of doing it, actually.

Dave: It’s much more intuitive.

As I say, at the end of the day, you work with both in tandem. People like the Talk Test.

Mark: Yeah, and it’s easy to do. You don’t need any equipment for it.

Dave: You don’t. That’s the beauty of it.

And that’s the huge benefit of combining effort-based measurements with time.

It’s so damn flexible!

With those two measures you can still perform advanced sessions.

You’re not condemned to just be running a bread-and-butter Steady Run!

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