Part. 1 Marathon Training

Today begins the first week of my marathon training. I am reminded the number one factor for running success is consistency. We measure consistency with the volume or duration of running. Often, the intensity of the running ( pace or speed) becomes the primary focus erroneously. Grossly 60% of running-related injuries are due to this.

Understanding the difference between volume and intensity is essential to maintain running consistency and decreasing injury risk. The volume of running is our total time or mileage. Intensity is effort. We measure this effort through heart rate variability and perceived exertion (RPE) rate. Heart rate is the measure of how HARD we are ACTUALLY working. RPE is self-feedback about how HARD we FEEL we are working. RPE is rated on a 1-10 scale. See the chart for examples.

Using our max heart rate, we can place ourselves into one of five zones that correlate with heart rate variability. The easiest way to find your max heart rate is by subtracting your age from 220. Each zone correlates to a percentage of the max heart rate. 75% of our total running volume should only be in zone 2 or 3. Use the chart below to determine your heart rate and RPE in each zone.

In the next few posts, we’ll talk about each of these zones in relation to running and what kind of cross-training is good to do during these times. Look at your training plan to determine which zone you spend most of your running time in. Are you at risk for overtraining? Or, if you need to recover now, learn more about running injuries here

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