Ask Dr. Jack Daniels: What Should I Do From Now Until Boston Marathon Training Starts?

Question:  What should I do from now until December when my training for the Boston Marathon starts?

Jack Daniels:  I’d suggest each person thinks about what total weekly mileage they may set as a PEAK amount (for during the final 18 weeks) and try to gradually build up to 80% of that amount by the start of about 18 weeks to go in December. Do not increase weekly mileage any more often than every 3rd or 4th week. You can also start getting used to a weekly Long run, which is 25-30% of each week’s total mileage.

If possible you should try getting used to a Long run on Mondays (the day of Boston), but Sunday afternoon can work as well. Also sometimes on Sunday morning so you are used to that time of day for long efforts. Get used to running during warm parts of the day, but not in real heat (stay around 60 degrees or less is best).

To customize Jack’s Boston Marathon Training Plan visit: http://runsmartproject.com/coaching/boston-marathon/

High School Summer Training Tips From Jack

The other day we announced that we now have available High School Summer XC Base plans from legendary coach Dr. Jack Daniels. We asked Jack for tips on how high school athletes should approach their summer training and what to expect from one of his summer personalized plans.

Coach Jack Daniels:  Summer is a good time to increase weekly mileage if an increase in mileage is desired for the year, but be cautious in your rate of increase. I recommend making an increase of about 7-10 miles every 3rd or 4th week, but not more often than that. Try to arrive at the mileage you will be using once school starts in the fall so you don’t have to go up during the cross-country season, when you will have enough stress with classes starting for the new year.

As for quality sessions in the summer I prefer a couple light repetition sessions (couple miles of 200s and/or 400s) each week, but speed should not be any faster than CURRENT (not PR) mile race pace, and recovery between the faster runs should be 2 or 3 times as long as was the faster run being followed. Reps keep your mechanics in tune so when you start some harder sessions once school starts you will not have trouble with stride rate. If you do hills for a rep session, add a couple 30-second flat runs after the hills to get into a nice turnover. Maybe one long run each week. Most important during summer is to get adequate rest, hydration and quality food, and take a day off if you’re feeling tired — rest is part of training, not avoiding training.

How Much Does Shoe Weight Affect Performance?

The professor teaching class.

Question:  How much does shoe weight affect performance?

Dr. Jack Daniels: As a matter of fact I did the original research on shoe-weight factor, when I was working for Nike in the early 1980s and our research was presented at the World Congress of Sports Medicine in Vienna in the early 1980s. We found adding 100 grams to the shoe increased the aerobic demand of running by 1%. Now 100 grams is about 3.5274 ounces, so each ounce changes the cost of running about 0.2835% (1/3.5274= 0.2835). If you can run a mile in 5:40, that is going 284 meters per minute and that speed of running typically coasts about 55.55 ml O2 per Kg body weight per minute.  1 less ounce will change the cost to about 55.7075 (from 55.55 above) and that VO2 will be associated with a running speed of 284.7 m/min and a mile time of 5:39.17, so about .83 seconds for a mile, per ounce less weight. 

Coach Jack Daniels: Proper Running Form

Jack shares his thoughts on proper running form: how to become more economical, proper arm carriage, and whether there’s a right way to foot strike.

Coach Jack Daniels is a private coach for The Run SMART Project. To receive a handwritten schedule from Jack check out the Run SMART Training Plans.

Coach Jack Daniels: Determining Your Weekly Mileage

Amby Burfoot asks Jack how to determine your weekly mileage and what a five-day a week running schedule of 40 miles per week should look like for someone training for a marathon.

Coach Jack Daniels is a private coach for The Run SMART Project. To receive a handwritten schedule from Jack check out the Run SMART Training Plans.

Coach Jack Daniels: Most Important Training Principle

Amby Burfoot asks Jack what he’s learned over the years from when he first started coaching. Check out what Jack says is the single most important training principle every coach and athlete should remember. Great stuff.

Coach Jack Daniels is a private coach for The Run SMART Project. To receive a handwritten schedule from Jack check out the Run SMART Training Plans.

Jack Daniels: Integrating Hill Training Into Your Marathon Plan

Question: I would like to know your recommendation for integrating hill training into a marathon program. Specifically:

  1. When to start/end training (at what point in a typical 24 week cycle?)
  2. What format of hill training (true Lydiard hill circuits (bound up, recover @ top, stride down, 3X150M strides, repeat), normal :60-:30 second hill reps with short rest (VO2 workout), uphill tempo runs, etc).

Run SMART Coach Jack Daniels: I like to think of hill training as another form of resistance training, and certainly resistance training can benefit a runner.  Resistance training could be hill running, or squats in the gym or circuit training, bounding, or deep-water running, etc.  In other words, training that may be overall beneficial for the development of a runner in terms of holding off injury or developing muscles that may normally become fatigued in races of various distances.