Plan to run the Dallas Marathon in 2019?
The answer might be in your training plan.
That’s according to a new study that found that marathon training plans are much more effective than traditional training plans in helping to prepare runners for the upcoming races.
“Running marathons is a highly physical activity and many people who are training for it are running for the purpose of a race, so I’m not sure that a plan of training for a marathon would be an effective way to prepare for it,” said study author Dr. James T. McVay, an associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.
“You can’t say, ‘I’m going to run five marathoned marathoning races in a year.’ “
It’s not clear to me that we should have the same sort of focus as we do with any exercise that is performed for a race,” he added.
“You can’t say, ‘I’m going to run five marathoned marathoning races in a year.’
There’s no one training for marathonia that you can run five of.”
McVay’s study, published in the journal Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, found that runners who followed a running plan of six weeks or less (less than three marathon races per year) experienced greater improvements in their performance, such as increased peak oxygen uptake and lower cardiovascular risk markers.
For those who followed the same plan, the training group had a significant decrease in the risk of death, as well as lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
“I think it’s important to note that it was the training that was important, not the race itself, and that training has a large effect on outcomes in marathones,” McVays study author, Dr. Peter P. Riggs, PhD, said in a press release.
“So, we are suggesting that you should be running marathoni training and not race training.”
The study is not the first to suggest that running training can be effective for marathon runners.
In 2014, the American Association of Physical Therapy Physicians recommended that all patients begin training for the marathon as part of their physical therapy program.
The same year, the National Association of Athletic Trainers (NASAT) recommended that athletes begin training in March and finish training in September for their marathon races.
“Marathons are the most physically demanding races on the course, and the majority of marathon runners do not do well on a marathon day,” said NASAT CEO Chris Riddell.
“Therefore, we strongly recommend that marathon runners start training in early April or late May, and then finish in late September.”
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