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Marathon: The Importance Of Interval Workouts

Beating the wall and finishing the marathon is a great challenge for any runner and, for that reason, endurance is one of the vital skills for a runner who wants to face the distance.

One of the clues to improve endurance is having a good amount of weekly milage, and slow and moderate workouts are essential for that.

However, having many low intensity workouts in your training plan is not advisable since speed is another important skill for a marathoner.

Speed work during a training plan for a marathon will help you increase muscular strength and power in your legs.

Moreover, it will help you improve your running economy  (you will use less energy while running) since by having more strength, you will need less energy to run at a certain pace.

Finally, it will help you reduce your perceived exertion and finish the race in less time.

One of the most popular ways to train your speed are interval workouts in which you have to run at a certain speed..



To do interval workouts, there are multiple possibilities since you can increase or reduce the amount of intervals, their duration, their speed and the recovery time between them.

Depending on the characteristics of the workout, the runner can stimulate different capacities, but in this article, we want to highlight another great benefit of intervals while training for a marathon: their influence on injuries.

Injuries are one of runners’ great problems and one of the main causes by which many cancel their workouts or quit running.

That is how every year, runners reach the start line of a marathon suffering from an injury due to the overtraining that affects their performance and the satisfaction offered by the race.

An interesting study made to almost 1000 runners that took part in a marathon in 2012 analyzed their training habits. For that, participants had to answer a quiz a month before the race.

Based on the results of this study, the investigators pointed out that regular interval workouts can be recommended to reduce the risk of injuries for marathoners.   

Undoubtedly, these results are another good excuse to add interval workouts in your training plan for the marathon.

flickr photo by ** RCB ** shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license