Full Marathon Training

The following heart rate based marathon training program is courtesy of Asics made specifically for the Buller Gorge Marathon. Each day has a distance to run or walk, followed by a heart rate training zone to work in during that day – further explanations of heart rate zones will follow.

You can use the distance aspect of this training program by itself and be prepared for Buller, but by including the heart rate training aspect you will be preparing yourself a lot more, by ensuring you are getting the most out of your training. Without a heart rate monitor it is hard to know if your workouts are actually helping you meet your objectives. You could be pushing yourself too hard and risking injury, or not working hard enough to get any benefits.

A heart rate monitor will give you the feedback you need to ensure you work hard enough to increase your fitness but don’t overtrain, and have the energy and motivation to complete the program, or even the days run.

This program is designed to work with Heart Rate Monitors that calculate your zones for you, however, you can calculate your zones yourself using the formula on the following page, and enter these zones into most of the Polar Heart Rate Monitor range.

Week 1

Prior to this week, you need to be comfortably running 16km once per week. The week before this should be very easy or off if you have been running for a long time.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

8km. BZ: Hills.

Wednesday

Rest.

Thursday

10km. BZ: Hills.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

9km. LZ: Easy Flat.

Sunday

16km. BZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 2

Key session will be the long run in every week. Aim to always do your long run, unless sick or injured.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

8km. BZ: Hills.

Wednesday

Rest.

Thursday

8km. BZ: Hills.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

10km. BZ: 5-8km top of BZ.

Sunday

18km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 3

A small step up from last week, keep the intensity low with your heart rate monitor.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

8km. BZ: Hills.

Wednesday

12km. LZ: Easy Flat.

Thursday

8km. BZ: Hills.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

10km. LZ: Easy Flat.

Sunday

20km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 4

Some speed, but still the long run is what counts, don’t panic 22km is fine, look ahead to see what is coming.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

9km. BZ: Hills.

Wednesday

14km. BZ: + 1k top of BZ.

Thursday

9km. BZ: Hills.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

12km. BZ: + 4-6x200m top of BZ.

Sunday

22km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 5

An easy recovery week, you want to be fresh for the next three weeks!.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

5km. BZ: Hills.

Wednesday

Rest.

Thursday

5km. BZ: Hills.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

13km. BZ: + 4x200m Hard.

Sunday

16km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 6

Hold back-don’t be tempted to do more, this will set you up for what comes in the next two weeks.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

9km. BZ: Hills.

Wednesday

16km. BZ: + 2x1k top BZ.

Thursday

9km. BZ: Hills.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

12km. BZ: + 4x400m top of BZ.

Sunday

24km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 7

A little bit of moderate running, but the Sunday long run is the key.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

9km. BZ: Hills.

Wednesday

8km. BZ: + 1-3x 1km top BZ.

Thursday

9km. BZ: Hills.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

13km. HZ: + 4x400m Hard.

Sunday

28km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 8

Sunday’s run is important so that you can step up next week. If you are tired you can shorten or drop Wednesday’s and Saturday’s Runs.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

10km. BZ: Hills.

Wednesday

18km. BZ: + 3-5 x 1km top BZ.

Thursday

10km. BZ: Hills.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

14km. HZ: + 6x400m Hard.

Sunday

32km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 9

This is the big week of the programme, get the log run done and you are ready!

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

10km. BZ: Hills – Up Hills HZ.

Wednesday

20km. BZ: + 4-6x1k top BZ.

Thursday

10km. BZ: Hills – Up Hills HZ.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

15km. HZ: + 6x400m Hard.

Sunday

36km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 10

An easy recovery week, you need this before the final push!

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

5km. BZ: Hills – Up Hills HZ.

Wednesday

10km. BZ: + 4-6x3mintop BZ.

Thursday

5km. BZ: Hills – Up Hills HZ.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

10km. HZ: + 8 x400m HZ control.

Sunday

20km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 11

Another week to make you feel fast.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

10km. BZ: Push Up Hills.

Wednesday

20km. BZ: 5-8x1km top BZ.

Thursday

10km. BZ: Hills- Up Hills HZ.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

8km. HZ: + 10×400 Hard.

Sunday

32-36km. LZ: Easy Hills on Grass.

Week 12

Almost there, still hold back a little on Saturday, Sunday is the most important session.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

15km. BZ: Hills – Up Hills HZ.

Wednesday

20km. BZ: 6-9 x 1km top BZ.

Thursday

10km. BZ: Hills- Up Hills HZ.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

30km. LZ: Hills on Grass or Half Maraton: top BZ.

Sunday

Rest!

Week 13

Need to start to feel fresh, don’t do extra training!

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

5km. BZ: Hills – Up Hills HZ.

Wednesday

8km. BZ: Hills + 4x1k top BZ.

Thursday

5km. BZ: Hills – Up Hills HZ.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

8km. LZ: on Grass.

Sunday

15km. BZ: + 2 x 5 km at Marathon race pace (top BZ).

Week 14

Get your feet up and conserve your energy.

Monday

Rest.

Tuesday

3km. LZ: on Grass.

Wednesday

Rest.

Thursday

2km. BZ: + 3-5x 200 top of BZ.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday

Buller Gorge Marathon!

Sunday

Rest!

Note: If this is your first time running a marathon, or if you are feeling tired you can use Wednesday as an extra rest day further into the program to try and conserve energy. Please consult a doctor if you have not been involved in physical exercise on a regular basis.

Heart Rate Training Program Definitions

BZ = Basic Heart Rate Zone

Your Basic Heart Rate Zone is the zone used for your all round running. Keep your heart rate between 65-82% of Maximum Heart Rate.

LZ = Low Heart Rate Zone

Low Heart Rate Zone is the zone for exercising at light to moderate intensity and will be the zone for your easy or long runs to ensure you don’t over do it, and are getting rested when you need it. Keep your heart rate between 65-78%of your Maximum Heart Rate.

HZ = High Heart Rate Zone

Your High Heart Rate Zone will get you working at a moderate to high intensity. These runs will build your fitness and speed, and will be incorporated into runs to build strength. Your heart rate can beat anywhere between 78-87% of your Maximum Heart Rate.

f

Easy Flat

Choose a course that is flat and does not include hills. This will help keep your heart rate in your Low target zone.

g

Hills

Choose a course that includes some good hills – around 200m long. This will challenge you more and build the strength in your legs to complete the half marathon. Try and keep your heart rate in your target zone.

Up Hills HZ

Try and push yourself when you are going up hills to ensure you are working in your High Zone.

On Grass

Choose a course where the majority of your run is on grass. This will help you stay injury free and keep the pressure off your knees and hips.

2 x 1km HZ

Run 1km of your run in High Zone twice within the specified distance. This also applies for 3 x 1km HZ and 4 x 1km HZ, where you should try and do it three times and four times respectively in High Zone.

2 x 200m Medium/Hard

These are called tempo runs, and mean you should up your tempo at different times in your run, to a medium or hard pace (depending on the run) for the nominated number of sets and the nominated distance. This applies for 4×200, 4×400 and 6×400. Always try and stay in your zone, and finish feeling strong, like you could do 2 more.

How to calculate target heart rate zone?

Key Target Zones

  • 60-70% of maximum heart rate (Zone 1 – BZ): weight loss, building endurance.
  • 70-80% of maximum heart rate (Zone 2 – LZ): weight management, improving cardio fitness.
  • 80%+ of maximum heart rate (Zone 3 – HZ): interval workouts.You can estimate your heart rate zones

Based on your age alone or based on both your age and fitness level (Called the Karvonen formula). For people using this training program the basic calulation will suffice, however if you’re interested at the Karvonen formula check this link for information.

Age based formula

Your estimated maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. In order to get your target heart rate zones you need to do the following calculations:

  • Maximum heart rate * 0.6
  • Maximum heart rate * 0.7
  • Maximum heart rate * 0.8​

Your heart rate zones are:

  • Zone 1: Heart rate between Maximum heart rate * 0.6 and Maximum heart rate * 0.7
  • Zone 2: Heart rate between Maximum heart rate * 0.7 and Maximum heart rate * 0.8
  • Zone 3: More than Maximum heart rate * 0.8

Example:

Jimmy is 30 years old and his estimated maximum heart rate is 220-30=190.

  • Maximum heart rate * 0.6 = 190 * 0.6 =114
  • Maximum heart rate * 0.7 = 190 * 0.7 =133
  • Maximum heart rate * 0.8 = 190 * 0.8 = 152

Jimmy’s heart rate zones:

  • Zone 1: 114 – 133
  • Zone 2: 133 – 152
  • Zone 3: more than 152
  • Heart Rate Monitors

    No matter what your exercise goals are they can all be reached using one simple tool – a heart rate monitor (HRM). To understand how a Heart Rate Monitor can help you achieve your goals, we established a three point message:

    1. In order to reach your goals, you need to train at the right intensity.
    2. Heart rate is the only accurate measurement of your intensity or your exertion level.
    3. A heart rate monitor is the easiest and most accurate way to continuously measure your heart rate.

    If you’re new to the concept of heart rate training, a heart rate monitor consists of a watch worn on your wrist or an app on your phone, and a transmitter that you comfortably wear against your skin and around your chest. The transmitter picks up the beats of your heart, and sends the signals wirelessly to the watch you wear on your wrist or your phone as a number of how many times a minute your heart is beating. It’s that simple. No taking your pulse and doing a multiplication equation. Just look at your wrist and your heartrates there – continuously – guiding you during your whole workout.
    If you have any queries regarding this training program, please email info@asics.co.nz. If you’ve followed this program, we’d love to hear from you.

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