Marathon Training Specificity: At What Cost?
Marathon training... it can quickly become a complex beast. Chose your running website of choice or do a quick search for training plans and you'll end up with all sorts of ideas and theories (including this one). I would venture to say that the common theme between the marathon training plans you'll find is higher volumes and relatively lower intensities when compared to a 5K or 10K program. But have you ever stopped to ask, "Why?" Why should an athlete need 20+ mile long runs and 80+ mile weeks? Why should an athlete complete 10 mile tempo runs instead of repeat 400s? Well, I like to ask questions... A couple of weeks ago, after helping give a class presentation on the dominance of East-African runners, one of my classmates made the comment that we, as "sports-scientists", tend to over-analyze th ings. She argued that instead of trying to figure out what makes some athletes better than others, we should just go back to the basics and focus on what