My marathon runner (Keir) is racing today in his first 5k of the season.  Even though I do realize what we have done so far has only helped with his endurance, I also know that it has had a minimal effect.  Today I will share the first two of the five strength and conditioning phases that we have to go through in order for Keir to be in peak conditioning for the September marathon. 

Our first phase is his Adaptation period.  This period is utilized to help his body become accustomed to the new demands that strength-training will place on him.  Even though Keir has maintained some conditioning year round, we still utilize this brief period of training to avoid shocking the central nervous system and potentially injuring muscles or joints with this added stress.   

The second phase is his Foundational period which is pretty much where we are right now.  This is where I have placed a little more stress on the muscles to prepare his body for heavier weights (strength).  During this period of training I will incorporate high reps with about 55% of his one repitition max.  This is where I need Keir’s body to respond to strength-training by developing total body-strength and muscle endurance. 

We all have to realize that becoming an above average athlete is a slow gradual process, sometimes taking multiple years to peak.  Some novice runners or weight-lifters fall prey to the “more is better” fallacy.  When we take on this “more is better attitude” we are more susceptible to injury, overtaining, and failure (burnout).  It is imperative that we take the human body through its much needed transitional phases of training to ensure a positive training effect.    

You can read my previous entries here on Keir’s strength- training in preparation for this years marathon.