IMT Des Moines Marathon

IMT Des Moines Marathon
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Training for the I-35 Challenge

Okay, you've signed up for the I-35 Challenge. Now how to train. Rather than recreating the wheel and coming up with a whole new training regiment, look at ways to enhance your current training program.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon offers training guides designed for beginning to novice runners with a goal to complete a half marathon or marathon.


The week by week guides offer weekly mileage amounts with a break down of how much to run and on which days of the week. The purpose of the training guide is to build a weekly base, while incorporating a long run distance once a week.


Half Marathon Training Guide
Marathon Training Guide

While training for the I-35 Challenge it may be helpful to consider the following tips so that you can make adjustments to your current training program.

1. Increase your weekly mileage, especially in the 2nd half of the training program. Keeping mind the 10% rule, which suggests the rate of injury increases when more than a 10% increase in weekly mileage is added. For example, if your current training program calls for weekly mileage of 20 miles, consider upping it to 22 miles. Due this every week leading up to race weekend.

Allow for + or - 2 miles or + or - 15 minutes per week on long runs. Give yourself some wiggle room. Over the course of a training program if a couple of miles are missed here or there it should not cause an issue. There is more concern when we are tempted to 'make up' for lost miles by adding too much to the next run on the schedule.

2. Increase the distance of your longest scheduled long run in your training program. For example, if your current program calls for a couple of 20 mile runs, consider running 24 or 26 miles Build up your long runs in 3 consecutive weekends and then make a noticeable drop. For example 20 miles, 22 miles, 26 miles 10 miles.

For most runners the, risks for injury increase markedly at more than 3 hours of running.

3. Try back to back long runs on Saturday and Sunday. Start small such as 4 or 10 mile runs, depending on whether you are running back to back half marathons or marathons, to become accustom to the short or lack of rest period. If you are used to running on Saturday and resting on Sunday, start running (even if just a few miles) on Sunday and move your rest day to Monday.

4. Increase interval training. 3-10 weeks of 800m or 2000m variations for example will build strength and speed.


5. Incorporate hills into the 2nd half of your training program. Train once a week on hills and include them in long run routes. If you don't have a lot of hills in your area run a loop or an out and back on a hill. Run comfortably hard on the uphill and relaxed on the downhill. Repeat. Parking ramps and/or tread mills can provide additional opportunities.

6. Decrease the taper period. Most marathon training programs call for up to a month of tapering. Half Marathon programs call for two to three weeks. You'll likely want to shorten the taper period to one to two weeks out from race weekend and keep your long run distance a bit higher.

7. Run/Walk/Run. Jeff Galloway, Official Training Consultant for the IMT Des Moines Marathon encourages running with scheduled walk breaks. His training programs have successfully trained hundreds of thousands of runners and walkers to cross the finish line with less fatigue and faster finisher times.

The IMT Des Moines Marathon offers Jeff Galloway Training Programs for the half marathon and marathon distance. Follow Jeff's programs or incorporate some of his run/walk/run ratios into your training program for a successful back-to-back race weekend.

Visit the IMT Des Moines Marathon website and click on Training for more information.

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